single sportsThe issue of single-sport specialization — and the associated risks — is back in the headlines this week, and as someone who wrote about this trend more than a decade ago and has since become a youth sports coach, it is a topic of great interest to me.

The bottom line: Don’t do it.

Bluffton AngelsEight Beaufort County all-star baseball and softball teams are set to compete in their respective state tournaments in July.

The Bluffton American team received a host bid to the Dixie Youth Baseball Ozone (11-12) State Tournament, which will be held July 13-18 at Oscar Frazier Park in Bluffton, and Beaufort County will have host teams in both the Dixie Junior Boys and Dixie Boys state tournaments from July 19-24 in Bluffton, while five others earned state tournament berths by virtue of finishing as champions or runners-up in their district tournaments.

Here’s a look at the teams who will compete for state championships:

shutterstock 12908869The trend in recent years has been to slam youth sports culture — particularly the concept of participation trophies — for the downfall of the younger generation.

Alpha males and others who spend their free time being mad online would have you believe that rewarding a child for dedicating a big chunk of their free time for three or four months to physical activity in a team environment will be to their detriment.

D Bat elite SCWhen Beaufort County earned the bid to host the Dixie Boys World Series at Bluffton’s Oscar Frazier Park in 2017, a dream team was assembled. Players from throughout the county came together to form an all-star team that stunned the rest of the field and claim the Dixie World Series title.

A number of players from that team’s core are still playing together two summers later, teaming up with the D-BAT Elite 16U squad that recently captured the Perfect Game Battle At The Beach title in Jacksonville.

shutterstock 81178291Every parent wants to make sure their children are exposed to enough opportunities to find their passion, and that certainly applies to youth sports.

Although single-sport specialization has been on the rise with young athletes, the conventional wisdom remains that playing a different sport each season is beneficial to a child’s development and helps children avoid overuse injuries. Even if you’re a firm believer in “a sport for every season,” though, there are only so many seasons in a year, and it can be difficult to find the time to let your kids try every sport that interests them.