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Old 02-28-2008, 07:10 AM   #1
Dave Paton
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Default sport selection with kids (off topic)

This is kind of a weird topic. i was wondering if anyone knew where more info could be found:

I was reading an article recently on how the USSR did studies where they found that kids specializing in sports at an early age would peak at around 15 years old in the specialized sport and usually burn out on the sport at around 17-20 years old. there are exceptions to this, but they are exceptions to the norm. what the USSR did was have kids participate in basically just a PE class sports setting where the kids would play dodge ball, play tag and various other gym games until they are between 10-12 years old. the coaches or experts would then watch these classes and choose kids based on body composition, GPP, and general skill set and ask them to then specialize in a particular sport that they would probably be most successful in. so if a kid had long limbs and not much explosiveness, he wouldn't be put in a weightlifiting track, he would be encouraged to run distances. A kid with a long torso, long arms, and short legs might be encouraged to swim. a tall kid would be put on a volleyball or basketball route. etc etc.

Where I am going with this is I think this is a great way to develop athletes albeit very communist. i would've loved someone to tell me, hey, you really shouldn't be playing basketball. why don't you try wrestling, fencing, tennis or whatever. So i was thinking about myself and others and wondering if anyone knew where info could be found on what types of body composition are compatible to specific sports or anymore info on these types of studies?

I also realize that a lot of people say that kids should play sports that they are interested in. so, who cares if a 5'3, 110 lb freshman wants to play basketball? well, i am just thinking about myself and playing the "what if" game. I was a very good baseball player (pitcher) who specialized only in baseball my entire life and I did exactly what the study suggested. I peaked at 15 and totally burned out at 17. I haven't even thrown a baseball in 13 years. however, i took tennis lessons last year at age 28 and guess what? My "live" arm translated very well to the tennis court and i started almost instantly beating people who had been playing for a long time. What if someone had suggested tennis when i was 10 years old?

sorry for this long and not well organized post. i was just wondering what others think....
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