Title of Submission
Elite Athletes' Perceptions on the Importance of Specialization
Major Advisor Name
Type of Submission
Current literature is limited in reporting elite-level athletes’ perceptions on specialization. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate athletes’ beliefs about the importance of sport specialization. Participants (N=468) responded to an open-ended question asking if they felt it was important to specialize in one sport. More than half of the athletes thought it was important to specialize in one sport. The most frequently cited responses for those who specialized were that it was easier to fully focus effort on one sport instead of two and mastery of sport was more attainable if athletes specialized. Those indicating multi-sport participation most frequently indicated that specialization increased risk of burnout and a multi-sport approach created a more all-around athletic individual. The results of this study will help to explain what elite athletes are actually saying about the importance of sport specialization.