Early specialization seems like a good idea if the kid reaches high levels of competitive sport. But the research shows higher levels of burnout for kids that specialize early.
I definitely agree...I see so many kids now treat athletics like a job instead of just enjoying the game. Not too long ago, if you were a good athlete, you played whatever sport was in season. There was no year round training and specialization like there is today. I know a kid personally who was a phenominal baseball player growing up, played on the top select teams in the region, and was considered a future D1 prospect coming into high school. The kid grew to hate baseball and gave it up when he got to high school.
It does seem now-a-days that if a young person wants to make it at the next level, this is the route he has to take to remain in line with his competiton. I think it is great that kids are getting recognized at a very early age, but I can easily see how burnout comes into play.