Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Gregory Long

Project Type

Honors Program project

Scholarship Domain(s)

Scholarship of Discovery

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

Sport specialization is defined as intense year-round training in a single sport while excluding other sports. Though some studies have supported a relationship between increased levels of sport specialization and injury risk, others have contradicted this. Previous literature has also suggested that sport specialization levels increase dramatically throughout high school, though this hypothesized increase and possible relationship between sport specialization and injury risk has not been investigated in post-high school athletes at the NAIA level. This study aimed to investigate the possible relationship between sport specialization and injury risk, as well as how sport specialization levels change throughout college. A questionnaire was distributed online to 251 undergraduate NAIA athletes, and participants were assessed according to their levels of specialization using a 3-point scale. The injury history of participants was also gathered and compared to their level of specialization. The data were analyzed using correlational tests, showing a significant increase in specialization and a R2 value of 0.94 between injury frequency and level of specialization, though there were not enough unspecialized athletes to investigate a relationship between sport specialization and injury risk with regards to unspecialized athletes vs. specialized athletes. It is difficult to draw conclusions regarding a relationship between sport specialization and injury risk. However, the increase in both specialization and injury rates within the levels of specialization shows the need for further research into both sport specialization and injury risk, as well as research into NAIA athletes specifically.

Permission type

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

Share

COinS
 
Apr 6th, 3:25 PM Apr 6th, 3:55 PM

Sport Specialization and Injury Risk in NAIA Athletes

Fishbowl

Sport specialization is defined as intense year-round training in a single sport while excluding other sports. Though some studies have supported a relationship between increased levels of sport specialization and injury risk, others have contradicted this. Previous literature has also suggested that sport specialization levels increase dramatically throughout high school, though this hypothesized increase and possible relationship between sport specialization and injury risk has not been investigated in post-high school athletes at the NAIA level. This study aimed to investigate the possible relationship between sport specialization and injury risk, as well as how sport specialization levels change throughout college. A questionnaire was distributed online to 251 undergraduate NAIA athletes, and participants were assessed according to their levels of specialization using a 3-point scale. The injury history of participants was also gathered and compared to their level of specialization. The data were analyzed using correlational tests, showing a significant increase in specialization and a R2 value of 0.94 between injury frequency and level of specialization, though there were not enough unspecialized athletes to investigate a relationship between sport specialization and injury risk with regards to unspecialized athletes vs. specialized athletes. It is difficult to draw conclusions regarding a relationship between sport specialization and injury risk. However, the increase in both specialization and injury rates within the levels of specialization shows the need for further research into both sport specialization and injury risk, as well as research into NAIA athletes specifically.