by Jackson K.
Specialization, especially in sports, is one of the most inconspicuous ways that a youth or adolescent can do to harm themselves. Narrow your possibilities in sports can cause more injuries and excluding other interests can prevent someone from having multiple career choices. Though an excellent basketball player or engineer may want to specialize, it is better to take up an additional hobby to leave the door open for opportunities.
Specialization in sports can cause injuries because of excessive, repeated movements. This is most common in baseball and softball where the athlete throws so much that their arm begins to hurt and this can lead to injury. But this isn’t only caused by specialization. I play multiple sports, baseball among them, and my arm hurts a lot after pitching. This is because I constantly pitch, and usually pitch more than my arm can handle. This is another threat of focusing on only one interest. Over doing anything is never helpful, and specialization can cause that.
Also in sports, if you specialize at one position, you will be pigeon-holed for the rest of your sports career. You will have to be the top person at that particular spot to start. But if you learn to play multiple positions, you can be flexible and have a better chance at starting.
Also, narrowing interests can be particularly harmful to your career. For example, if you spend your whole life coding and are 100% focused on getting a job as a professional coder, you will lack variety in talents. This could hurt you if there are no job openings in the future as a coder, and you won’t be able to find another job that you talents fit. This is why it is important to practice different things, and Blach electives are a great way to do that. If you are an amazing engineer, take an art or computer science class.
Middle school is a great time to be able to explore new options and take new paths. Also, in the future, if you and your competitor are equally competent for a job spot, the one that has more talents will likely make the spot.