As the World Cup continues in Brazil, we talk to ProPublica Reporter David Epstein.
In a recent piece for The New York Times, he argues that kids are getting too hyper-specialized in one sport at too young an age. Not only is this bad for all-around athletic development, argues Epstein, it raises the chances these young athletes will get injured:
Because families with greater financial resources were better able to facilitate the travel and private coaching that specialization requires, socioeconomic status turned up as a positive predictor of serious injury. Some young athletes now face surgeries befitting their grandparents. Young hockey goaltenders repeatedly practice butterfly style -- which stresses the developing hip joint when the legs are splayed to block the bottom of the goal. The sports surgeon Marc Philippon, based in Vail, Colo., saw a 25-year-old goalie who already needed a hip replacement.