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Psychologist Weighs in on Specialization in Youth Sports

By Sandy Bauers, For The Philadelphia Inquirer, 12/01/17, 2:45PM CST


One of the myths out there is that more is better. That can drive parents to sign up their son or daughter at a very young age for an abundance of sports activities.

Joel Fish, is a parent of three kids in sports, a licensed psychologist and a sports psychologist, Fish is also director of the Center for Sport Psychology in Philadelphia, where he works with athletes of all ages and skill levels.

And, sometimes, with their parents. He’s been a sports psychology consultant for various professional teams, including the 76ers, Flyers, Phillies, USA women’s national soccer team and the USA women’s national field hockey team.

For Fish, step one is that mom or dad has to understand how competitive they are. What is the parent’s attitude about winning, losing, success, failure and competition?