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The prevalence and consequences of within-sport specialization in track and field athletics

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dc.contributor.author Kearney, Philip Edward
dc.contributor.author Comyns, Thomas M.
dc.contributor.author Hayes, Philip R.
dc.date.accessioned 2020-10-21T14:14:29Z
dc.date.issued 2020
dc.identifier.issn 0270-1367
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10344/9355
dc.description peer-reviewed en_US
dc.description The full text of this article will not be available in ULIR until the embargo expires on the 27/08/2021
dc.description.abstract Purpose: The aim of this study was to provide an in-depth analysis of the prevalence and consequences of within-sport specialization in track and field in the United Kingdom. Method: The competition histories of top 100 ranked athletes from four representative events (100 m, 800 m, long jump, and shot put) were recorded from a publically-accessible database. Athletes were drawn from Under 20 (U20), U15, and U13 populations from the 2014/15 season, U15 populations from the 2009/10 season, and U13 populations from the 2007/08 season. Athletes’ specialization status was defined based upon the number of event groups (sprint, endurance, jump, throw) in which they had recorded at least one performance. Chi-squared tests were used to examine the association between level of specialization at U13 and U15 and both performance and retention at subsequent age grades. Results: Within-sport specialization was rare among U13 and U15 track and field athletes, with approximately 10% of top 100 ranked U13s and 25% of top 100 ranked U15s competing in a single event group only. However, less than 35% of participants competed in sprinting, endurance running, jumping, and throwing events (i.e., diversification). There were no sex differences in the extent of specialization. Top ranked U20 female athletes were more likely to have diversified at U13 than their peers. There was no association between specialization at U13/U15 and subsequent retention. Conclusion: Administrators and coach educators should provide more sophisticated guidance for coaches and parents in relation to within-sport specialization. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Taylor and Francis en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport; 92 (4), pp. 779-786
dc.relation.uri https://doi.org/10.1080/02701367.2020.1776819
dc.rights This is an Author's Manuscript of an article whose final and definitive form, the Version of Record, has been published in Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport 2020 copyright Taylor & Francis, available online at:https://doi.org/10.1080/02701367.2020.1776819 en_US
dc.subject Adolescents en_US
dc.subject diversification en_US
dc.subject sport participation en_US
dc.subject youth sport en_US
dc.title The prevalence and consequences of within-sport specialization in track and field athletics en_US
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/article en_US
dc.type.supercollection all_ul_research en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_published_reviewed en_US
dc.date.updated 2020-10-21T14:08:24Z
dc.identifier.doi 10.1080/02701367.2020.1776819
dc.date.embargoEndDate 2021-08-27
dc.embargo.terms 2021-08-27 en_US
dc.rights.accessrights info:eu-repo/semantics/embargoedAccess en_US
dc.internal.rssid 2966655
dc.internal.copyrightchecked Yes
dc.identifier.journaltitle Research Quarterly For Exercise And Sport
dc.description.status peer-reviewed


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