Panelists Address Pitfalls of Early Athletic Specialization

USM, in partnership with REDgen, hosted a speaker series in September that focused on the pitfalls of early athletic specialization. REDgen is an organization that promotes balance and resiliency in the lives of children and teens.

The event featured a panel of experts including Leigh Podlesny, trainer at Positive Coaching Alliance and former college softball coach; Carolyn Kieger, women’s basketball head coach at Marquette University; Joe Amplo, men’s lacrosse head coach at Marquette University; Kate Markgraf, two-time Olympic soccer gold medalist with a master’s degree in kinesiology and educational psychology; and Steve Wojciechowski, men’s basketball head coach at Marquette University. The panel was moderated by Tim Van Vooren, FOX6 sports director.

The panelists noted that the benefits of playing multiple sports from a young age far outweigh those of specializing in one sport. They encouraged parents to think of sports as a way to build character, patience, and positive thinking. Added Wojciechowski, “There are so many different roles to play, lessons to learn, and environments to experience in athletics regardless of your skills, and they are all beneficial.” Learn more about REDgen at www.redgen.org.

From left Leigh Podlesny, trainer at Positive Coaching Alliance and former college softball coach; Carolyn Kieger, women’s basketball head coach at Marquette University; Joe Amplo, men’s lacrosse head coach at Marquette University; Kate Markgraf, two-time Olympic soccer gold medalist with a master’s degree in kinesiology and educational psychology; and Steve Wojciechowski, men’s basketball head coach at Marquette University; and panel moderator Tim Van Vooten, FOX6 sports director.

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