by Dr. John O. Spengler, SPARC, on behalf of the Aspen Institute's Project Play.
There is widespread recognition among medical and health communities of the importance of free play, and organized school and community sports programs that meet the physical activity needs and interests of youth. Consensus among leading medical and health groups centers on several common goals: 1) increasing regular physical activity for all kids and maintaining an emphasis on fun, 2) discouraging early sports specialization and overuse/overload, and 3) recommending age-appropriate sports development with youth development-specific coaching education.
This brief summarizes key recommendations relevant to youth sport espoused by leading medical and health experts and organizations, and demonstrates areas of consensus on youth sport within the medical and health communities. Entities associated with recommendations referenced in this brief include the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Sports Medicine, American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Institute of Medicine, National Athletic Trainers Association, and the National Youth Sports Health & Safety Institute/Sanford Health.
The recommendations presented here were first selected upon consultation with experts in the medical, health and sport fields, then further refined following feedback from the group of experts, including the National Council of Youth Sports, participating in the February 26, 2014 Aspen Institute Project Play roundtable, Off the Bench: How to Get Health Pros into the Game of Youth Sports, and finalized with consultation from a small working panel. The intent of this report is to demonstrate areas of consensus within the medical and health communities on how to get and keep youth active in sport.
Click here for full report: Research Brief [PDF]