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Cubs Manager Thinks ‘Kids Should Play Every Sport’ And Fight ‘Specialization’

“I prefer the liberal arts of everything,” said the former three-sport athlete.

Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon voiced concerns about youth sports at a press conference on Tuesday, specifically his feelings about pushing kids in a specific direction before they’ve found their calling.

“Specialization, especially at an early age, is obnoxious to me,” Maddon said. “I’m anti-specialization. I prefer the liberal arts of everything. I think kids should play every sport.”


In high school, Maddon played baseball, basketball, and football until an injury caused him to quit basketball. He attended Lafayette College as a baseball and football player before finally settling on baseball for his career. Maddon has long been vocal about the importance of youth sports and reminding parents that the first step is having fun.

Maddon encourages kids to try an array of sports “so they can be exposed to different coaches, different methods of training and techniques, just different groups of guys and having to interact.”

Numerous studies suggest that specialization at an early age is less effective and leads to a higher likelihood of overuse injuries as well.