Sport Specializing vs. Sport Sampling
My husband was a professional cyclist. He started cycling at about age three and never looked back. It's like he was born knowing this was his sport. He moved from some specialities within the sport (i.e. BMX, mountain biking, road), and he enjoys skiing and running as well, but it's always been all about the bike for him. He was an early (self-selected) sport specialization kid, no doubt about that.
I was an active kid but never had a "sport." As a small child I tried ballet dancing, figure skating, and gymnastics. In late elementary/junior high I had a brief taste of success in varsity athletics when I was on the track team as a sprinter; but soon I got bored with training, and lost interest. I've tried all sorts of sports throughout adulthood - cycling, running, yoga hiking - and enjoy keeping things new and interesting. I'm a sport sampler for life.
Our children are only two and four and we haven't had them involved in many sports programs but they definitely love their bikes. Miss M has a confidence we don't see anywhere else when she's on her bike but we are letting them figure out their own passion and encouraging them to try different things for as long as we can.
In this month's Family Matters I'm looking into the sport specialization vs. sport sampling question. Children are being pointed towards one sport earlier and earlier, in the hopes that they're the next Sidney Crosby or Ellie Black, but is that the best method for long-term success?
You can read the full article here.
I'm curious - did you know what your sport was early on? Did you focus on just one, or try several sports?