Exploring the participation pathways among high-performance varsity soccer players: is it as simple as specializing or sampling?
MetadataShow full item record
Research on the sport participation patterns of youth athletes often contrasts two types of participation: early sport specialization (Ford & Williams, 2017) and sampling/ diversification (Coté et al., 2009). However, the definitions of each of these categories has been imprecise and inconsistent, which may impact conclusions about the appropriateness of different types of youth sport participation (Coté et al., 2009). In particular, the notion that youth can only fall into one of two categories of sport participation may be too simple and ecologically problematic (Baker et al., 2009; Bridge & Toms, 2013). The purpose of this study was to explore different participation patterns of youth soccer players, and to understand the impact of these patterns on athletes’ current level of play. A modified version of the Developmental History of Athletes Questionnaire (Hopwood, 2013) was used to collect retrospective participation and training data from Ontario Tech University varsity soccer players.