Menu
Jason Adams
by on November 7, 2022  in Sports /
0 Rating 19 views 0 Likes 0 comments

Raising 4 kids in sports was quiet a strain on quantum mechanics.  Challenging speed limits and the over-under 10 mph rule  to get each child to their scheduled practice time and location was nothing less than heroic.  The thought of my kiddos playing multiple sports throughout the year seemed impossible.  There just isn't enough time and money to do it all.  However, I knew then and I know now that the best thing for an athlete of any sport is to acutally participate in as many sports as possible.

Want to play at a higher "club" level?  Well then multisport is almost impossible.  Club coaches want their athletes to attend every practice and game.  There just is no time for anything else.

But what do we do with the trend that 75% of athletes quit before they get to high school.  What's even worse, fewer children are even attempting to play sports.  So, what are we going to do to combat those trends?  That's an article for another day.

"Specialization" can actually be the reason an athlete quits sports all together.  Here are some very good reasons to stay a multi-sport athlete.

1. Fewer overuse injuries. I cannot stress this enough - growing and maturing bodies can become overstressed by constant repetition and that stress can lead to injuries. Not understanding speed and endurance training leads to a lack of rest and recovery time in year-round sports exacerbates the problem. There are plenty of examples of serious, grown-up sports injuries happening to kids at younger and younger ages, from Tommy John surgery for 12-year-olds to high school girls with multiple ACL injuries before they graduate. Studies show that playing multiple sports leads to better muscle, motor and skill development. It promotes general athleticism, balance, speed and agility.

2. Less opportunity for emotional burn-out. Kids who spend so much time focusing on one sport -- and whose families are similarly solely focused -- risk tiring of the sport all together. Specializing raises expectations, the costs for parents for travel and club teams and the pressure on young athletes. Having a variety of experiences keeps things interesting, the monotony of a single sport goes away, and so does that pressure.

3. Exposure to different kids. Soccer friends will be different from swimming friends, who will be different from the kids in your Tai-Kwon-Do class. Exposing kids to different sports allows them to share teammate experiences and make memories with a diverse group of peers. It helps them expand their social circle and their opportunities for interaction.

4. Exposure to different roles. Being a bench player on the basketball team is a different experience than being a starting pitcher on the baseball team. It's an opportunity to broaden their experiences, socially and developmentally. It's an opportunity to become a better competitor and all-around athlete, the kind that coaches value because they are flexible, multi-dimensional, exposed to many situations and coachable.

5. Not putting all your eggs in one basket. Playing only one sport limits your options. An injury, a bad experience with a coach or a reduced role on a more competitive team can bring an abrupt end to an athletic career. Such a small number of high school athletes move on to play a sport in college; even fewer earn an athletic scholarship. If the goal is to play as long as possible, perhaps it makes the most sense to play as many sports as possible? Just ask Derek Jeter, who played basketball in high school, or Elena Delle Donne, who played volleyball at Delaware before returning to the basketball team on the way to the WNBA, or Robert Griffin III, who played baseball and ran track.  The following statement can be found on Patrick Mahomes Wikiepedia page:

"He played football, baseball, and basketball. Mahomes believes that training pitching and playing basketball improved his quarterback skills."

I must confess that my oldest 3 kiddos played majority one sport (soccer) until middle school.  Then my daughters picked up volleyball, basketball and/or band.  My son, he begun playing football and basketball.  Despite tearing his ACL in each leg and a horrible labrum tear in his left arm, he went on to play College Football at TCU.

I've seen it all and have coached it all.  I started off as a swim coach, then soccer, basketball, football, volleyball and so-on and so-on.  My coaching journey has taught me that sports generally share the same principles and technique mechanics. 

So why not have a true multisport youth development program where a "seson" consists of playing more than one sport?

Nick Saban says he wants a well rounded athlete.  He wants to know what other sports a football player competes in?

Well, what if the answer was all of them?

Sports are meant to be a spiritual experience that leads to personal character growth and fun.  We lose that when we "specialize" early and put so much on pressure on one aspect of our life.  We forget the humor found in challenging our body's coordination.  The sport becomes a job too soon.  The joy and fun gets poisoned by excessive routine-ness.

Playing multiple sports keeps the fire for competition blazing.  Athletes gain a better understanding for offensive and defensive principles.  Thier bodies develop a greater well-rounded, athletic body.  it's not just smarter and it is far more fun.

Check out our multisport youth development program at championtechnique.com.

0
Total votes: 0
Jason Adams
User not write anything about he.
Be the first person to like this.