It may seem a bit over stated, it’s a hot topic in the media and sport world these days. Being a multi-sport athlete can increase your overall chances of success in your sport and make you more likely to be identified as a top recruit.
Lets look at some skills that can be learned and developed through different sports:
Golf – Individual focus, dedication and attention to detail
Gymnastics – Balance, flexibility, coordination
Track – Competitive drive, explosiveness
Baseball or Softball – Hand eye coordination, strategy
Basketball – Footwork, communication, agility
Soccer – Endurance, creativity, game sense / positioning
Swimming – Mental toughness, endurance
Tennis – Hand eye coordination, agility, footwork
This is not exhaustive list – think about it for a while, what sports do YOU play, and what skills are you learning that can be applied on other playing fields?
Now, do you think a coach would want to recruit an athlete that dedicates all their time and training to one sport, or do you think a coach is more likely to look for an athlete that has the endurance of a cross country runner, the explosiveness of a basketball player, the agility of a tennis athlete, and the flexibility of a gymnast?
In addition to skill development, athletes that compete in many different sports learn how to function under different training regimes, with different styles of coaching and expectations, and different team dynamics.
A Multi-sport athlete may learn how to win humbly on their championship soccer team, and lose with grace on their last place basketball team.
A Multi Sport athlete may be the star of their tennis team, but might be an occasional sub for their club field hockey team. Knowing you can’t always be the star can teach you empathy and humility and how to be a good team mate.
A Multi-sport athlete may be less likely to face mental or emotional burnout when faced with the intensity of a collegiate training and competition schedule. Playing many sports allows you to maintain focus, gives you an opportunity to play for fun, decreases the stress involved with training and allows you to train a variety of muscles and skills in fun and always changing environments.
A Multi-sport athlete may be less likely to be injured, or suffer from over use injuries. Why? Because when you only play one sport you use the same muscles repeatedly in the same movement patterns. You can read about this HERE in our blog on overuse and over-training. When you are competing in multiple sports you are working more muscles, improving your overall muscle tone, balance and strength.
A Multi-Sport athlete is a smart, creative athlete. They develop better, and faster decision making abilities on the field that benefit their team. Coaches like working with athletes that are able to create something positive out of a bad play, or are able to turn nothing into something on the field.
A Multi-sport athlete is less likely to have ‘peaked’ in their focus sport by the time they reach College. A lot of time, coaches are looking for athletes with the potential to succeed. Athletes that possess the qualities and base skills and movements they are looking and have the potential to develop into a star player with focused specified training. They want you to continue to develop and peak in college, not in high school!
Did you know that in 2013 the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine surveyed a group of athletes and found that 88% of college athletes participated in more than one sport as a child?
So, the ONE thing that you can do immediately to increase your chances of being identified as a top recruit is to PLAY OTHER SPORTS!
Want to start your Recruiting on the right foot? Click here to get started with an online athlete profile today!