Parents often debate about whether or not their kids should specialize in one sport or play multiple sports. Which is truly better for kids?
BJJ vs. Everything Else
This is something relatively new in history because, traditionally, kids played baseball in the spring, football in the fall, and basketball in the winter.
But with an art/sport like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, parents are now feeling pressure to expose their children to multiple sports versus training solely in BJJ.
One big thing that parents need to keep in mind with training only in BJJ is that the child may burn out much faster than a parent anticipates.
Some great options to consider are:
- Picking up a second sport as a means of crosstraining to improve BJJ and then coming back to it later
- Dropping BJJ training to 1-2 nights per week and introducing another fun activity on the other nights
- Dropping BJJ training to fewer nights per week and having NO scheduled activities on the other nights
From the Experts
Rick Wolff, the chairman for the Center on Sports Parenting, notes that there are an abundance of studies out there that show that burnout is the number one reason that kids quit sports, BJJ included. The odds of burnout increase exponentially for teens who have been training a single sport (especially at a high level) for 8+ years.
Wolff goes on to state that most professional athletes that our kids love to watch didn’t specialize until they were in high school.
So what do we do?
You and I both understand that we want the best for our kids and we want them to really be able to excel and achieve in BJJ, but sometimes the best way for them to achieve is to leave.
Really pay attention to the instructor at your academy. If the instructor frowns upon kids playing other sports or taking breaks from BJJ, you may want to rethink where your child trains.
As a final point, I want to state the one that we most often forget:
Ask your child was he/she wants to do!
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