Current Trends and Impact of Early Sports Specialization in the Throwing Athlete

Forrest L. Anderson, Michael L. Knudsen, Christopher S. Ahmad, Charles A. Popkin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Early sports specialization (ESS) is a relatively new trend that has led to many youth athletes to focus on only 1 sport at an increasingly young age. Although parents and coaches perceive that this will improve their athlete's chances of success at the collegiate and professional levels, studies have shown the opposite. ESS leads to increased injury risk, higher rates of burnout, and lower lifelong sports participation without increasing elite achievement. Throwing athletes are particularly vulnerable to these overuse injuries of the shoulder and elbow, which have been shown to correlate directly to the number of throws and innings played.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)517-525
Number of pages9
JournalOrthopedic Clinics of North America
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2020


  • Early sports specialization
  • Throwing athlete
  • Youth sports injury

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Review

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