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October 22, 2013

#CANFIT20: Alternatives to over specialization in Youth Sports

Executive Director Arnell Hinkle delves deeper into physical education and the sports hype.


The San Francisco Chronicle recently published a series of articles on specialization in youth sports. The columnists did an excellent job highlighting the risks that youth face when they spend their free time practicing and playing only one sport. Overuse injuries start at an early age, and the expense involved in sport-specific travel clubs and coaching keeps most youth from low-income communities from participating. However sports are not the only, nor necessarily the best, form of physical activity for youth. Instead, young people should be exposed to a variety of physical activities that allow them to build skills that they will use throughout their lives to swim, dance, stretch, play games, walk, jog (with proper alignment), and do tai chi and/or yoga. After school and community-based programs are in a unique position to foster these life-long physical activity skills in youth they serve. For more information on how you and the youth serving programs in your community can incorporate more physical activity into the lives of young people, see the following from CANFIT: Active8 guide; Physical Activity Pyramid; After School Physical Activity Policy Brief; and Expanding After School Physical Activity Opportunities. #CANFIT20 celebrates CANFIT's 20-year anniversary with a monthly blog on the 20th day of each month beginning in August 2013 and other blogs, tweets, and social media posts on history tid-bits on CANFIT's journey to helping low-income communities strive for healthy eating and physical activity environments. Worked with CANFIT before? Share your stories and thoughts in our 20th Anniversary Assessment today.

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