Long term athletic development is the main reason I got into physical therapy.
Working with athletes from 6y/o to now professional athletes my thoughts on its importance have only been solidified.
The athlete that has a strong foundation of proper movement and has adequate mobility/stability from their youth will increase their performance and resilience to overuse injuries. Multi sport training and an offseason is also vital for optimal long term results.
This picture shows the domains of fitness that athletes can improve on at certain points in their life. Movement is also something that can be worked on at a young age and progressed.
To parents and kids: The truth is no college or professional team cares if you are the best athlete at 10 y/o. They need an athlete that can perform at the collegiate/ professional level and not be a liability for reoccurring injuries. The best predictor for future injuries is precious injuries, so keeping kids safe is the ultimate priority for their well being and future success.