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NBA Issues New Youth Sport Guidelines

BAY SHORE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- The NBA is telling parents that they shouldn't let their kids focus on any one sport until they are 14 years old.

CBS2's Jessica Layton reports the recommendations are based on advice from experts.

The NBA announced new youth sports guidelines which include: delay specializing in one sports until the child turns at least 14; limit the amount of days and time they are competing at the sports; and let your child rest at least one day a week, followed by an extended break at least once a year.

The YMCA is one of several national organizations endorsing the guidelines.

"Parents sometimes get really caught up into pushing their kids into one sport for college scholarships and things like that, but they really shouldn't," said Bob Pettersen of the Bay Shore YMCA. "They should let the child try a lot of different things."

Even athletes who had pro aspirations as youngsters believe the NBA is giving good advice.

"I played football, basketball and then I started track as well in middle school," said physical education teacher Wade Richardson.

Richardson played basketball in college, and while he didn't make the pros, he said his love of all sports has paid off in so many other ways.

"With sports alone, it created friendships and relationships that last for a lifetime," said Richardson.

Alicia Apolinaris, a mother of a 5-year-old, believes the amount of time youngsters play sports should be monitored carefully, but not shunned because athletics can teach many life lessons.

"Absolutely, structure and obedience and following the rules," said Apolinaris of Brentwood.

The NBA said it consulted physicians, coaches and parents for its guidelines, which they believe could also cut down on child injuries.

The NBA study also found that a majority of successful pro athletes played in numerous sports as children.

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