My child to the olympic Games

News 13 February, 2018
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    Sylvain Dancause

    Tuesday, 13 February, 2018 19:00

    Tuesday, 13 February, 2018 19:00

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    It was a few years ago, I met with Mr. Joel at the primary school of my children. A specialist and passionate about physical activity and its countless virtues. Educator, dynamic concerned about the health of our young people.

    Last year, I reconnected with him. As an expert of the motor, I had explained some of the major inconsistencies in connection with physical education in kindergarten.

    I met him again. This time, Mr. Joel wanted to inform me of the drifts of the concentrations in sport at primary school :

    – Sylvain, I guess you know the effects of the competition ?

    – Certainly.

    – You know that this wave is sweeping now among young people ?

    – Yes.

    – You know that the multiplication of the concentrations in sport at primary school is contrary to the evidence ?

    – No !

    – It is necessary to denounce this trend towards early specialization. I send you the reading and they talk about it…

    The performance race

    How to explain this social pressure pushing them to sports specialization early children ?

    From the outset, many associations sports specialize too early in an effort to attract and retain participants. As well, several parents rushed head first into this system for fear that if their child doesn’t specialize right away, it will never catch up those who have started earlier.

    Who has not heard of the famous 10 000 hours of practice to achieve excellence in a particular discipline ?

    “In this logic, many parents and coaches are convinced that it is essential to devote early in a single sport, often at the expense of other sports or activities during childhood” (Malina, 2010).

    By the way, the validity of this theory has been called into question. According to the model to promote development of long-term athlete (ltad), all previous activities should be taken into account since they are an integral part of the 10,000 hours of practice.

    The dangers of early specialization

    A criticism commonly addressed to the specialization early is the increased risk of injury (the most overhead). On the contrary, a practice multi-sport would reduce this risk.

    Scientists have also studied the psychological impact of early specialization and cite some of the risks : the increase of the stress, the anxiety, the state of psychological burnout, social isolation, interference with the normal development of a child or the permanent abandonment of the sporting practice.

    “If a practice is early and specific of a sport appears to be effective in improving performance in the short term, it is clear that this approach does nothing to guarantee success in sport in adulthood. An analysis of programs of early detection of talents made in Russia, Germany or even the United States is unambiguous : less than 2% of the young talents selected to reach one day the elite international sport ” (Jidovtseff, 2016).

    Finally, this early specialization will result in a deficiency at the level of fundamental motor skills and sport skills base.

    And then ?

    “In the current evidence, the competence motive of a child is the first factor of prediction to determine if it will be active at the adult age. This sense of competence will grow because the child has practiced a variety of physical activities and sports between 0 and 12 years old. The young people who have acquired literacy physical* are more likely to be active for life. “- Joel Beaulieu

    The mission of the school

    Interestingly, the addition of hours of training in the schedule comes at the expense of some raw materials… It happens when a paradox is fascinating : the physical education often leaves the place to the specific practice of a single sport.

    As if physical education was used only to move stupidly young. As if it was based on no scientific basis.

    All young people need education daily physical quality. And the expression of quality means it allows you to properly develop the essential knowledge inside a program by skills, including motor skills and fundamental sport skills base.

    In short, excellence in sports by the early specialization is a model obsolete that should disappear from our elementary schools.

    Is it that an education system should encourage the commodification or equip our children so they become citizens, physically active his whole life ?

    Given the dizzying rise of the sedentary lifestyle and its multiple consequences, I do not believe that it is necessary to ask the nurse Émilie Ricard what she thinks.

    Of the patients, she has already enough.


    *It is the development of motor skills and sports fundamentals. It is these skills which allow you to move with skill and confidence in all contexts internal and external to the ground, on the water and in the water, on the snow and ice and in the air. People who have a literacy, physical competence, confidence and the motivation necessary to take pleasure to participate in a range of sporting and physical activities.