Basketball practiceWhen comparing college athletes to high school athletes who don’t play college sports, an interesting trend about the age at which both groups began playing only one sport emerges. A study presented at the 2014 meeting of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) found that the former high school students who didn’t play college sports began single-sport specialization at an average age of 14.2 years, compared to an average age of 15.4 years for the college athletes.

Likewise, a study of Swedish tennis players found that the elite athletes played a variety of sports until age 14, while the sub-elite tennis players quit all sports other than tennis by age 11.

Source: Statistics presented in the Op-Ed column “Sports Should Be Child’s Play” by David Epstein in The New York Times June 11, 2014.