For a long time, I have been concerned about the multi-sport bandwagon that many parents are rushing to jump on, and some are very eager to promote. My concern is not born out of the belief that the long-gone days of sports sampling were negative in any way. Those days when parents made sure that sports did not overlap and that commitment to a team was always honored seem like a flashback to the times of Oliver Twist.

The idea that a developing child can sample different sports according to a well-planned schedule where activities complement and not compete against each other is ancient history.

Most youth sports such as soccer, lacrosse, basketball and baseball, have all become year-round, competitive environments. All with demanding schedules that include tournaments, doubleheaders and traffic jams of fixtures. This is the unfortunate but absolute truth.

Most experts involved in the science of periodization–planning that considers physical and cognitive load will tell you that although there is limited evidence with the pre-pubescent athlete, the overwhelming data with overuse injuries, burn out and dropping out of sports by 12 years of age should be notice enough that too much does not work.

Post-puberty, the evidence is strong and most of the facts are simply ignored. The idea of 72-hour rest after a 90-minute game of soccer is one clear example.

You would need to go a long way to find a youth sports parent who would encourage a day’s rest rather than get out and train.

Much of the above is complete folly and those who suffer the most are the children we are all trying to protect. I spend a huge amount of time trying to figure out why and how this situation has been allowed to prosper and is now more common than not. Below are some of the factors that I think must be considered and addressed.

1. Win at all costs and always doing more is the only way to get there.

2. Playing three sports at the same time is trendy- parent pride, bumper stickers, keep them busy and all that drives parents to enroll in more and more.

3. The belief that being on a team is increasingly a selfish journey where individual growth is more important than team development.

4. Due to the above, the decline in certain core values like resilience, sacrifice and commitment reliability are all in the decline.

5. Those parents promoting the multi-sport at all costs dynamic as they believe kids never get tired and have not bothered to do the research.

I implore all parents to do the research and consider what is a sensible sports diet and what blend of sports at the same time is simply too much. Our children deserve careful research before we overextend them.