The Benefits Behind the Multi-Sport Athlete
Essay by: taraoneill
Athletics are rewarding, yet very demanding activities that kids across the globe take part in. A fraction of these kids stick to one sport and do not dare to explore the wonders of being a multi sport athlete. But, in reality, this is not the brightest idea. In fact, research shows that being a two sport athlete advances players. At the collegiate level coaches are specifically recruiting kids who participate in more than one sport. Even at the professional level there is evidence that a vast majority of current athletes participated in multiple types of athletics in high school. In addition to aiding success, being a multi sport athlete can reduce the risk of overuse injuries and help to cross train the body. Sticking to one sport throughout a high school career may sound like a good idea, but the truth of the matter is that this can hurt any chances of playing beyond those four years.
Many advanced recruiting coaches at distinguished colleges are looking for athletes who are on multiple sports teams. Due to the fact that playing on more than one team shows good time management and can further ability in a main sport, coaches are gaining interest in the multi sport recruits. Ohio state football coach, Urban Meyer, is high up on the list of coaches encouraging multi sport athletes. 42 of the 47 athletes recruited to play there weren’t just involved in football during their high school years (NewsOk.com). Coach Dabo Swinney, football coach at Clemson, commented on the topic saying, “I just think that the cross-training, the different types of coaching, the different types of locker rooms, the different environments that athletes practice in, the different challenges — I think it develops a much more competitive, well-rounded type person” (Crouse). Being that Clemson and Ohio state are two of the top programs in the most popular college sport, this is a huge testament to their recruiting strategy and should persuade young athletes to want to play more than just one sport.
The 2016 NFL draft is a major representation of the pros of competing in multiple forms of athletic activities in high school. 89% of the draft picks were multi sport athletes in high school (Coaching Search). This is proof that adolescents in high school should definitely play a variety of athletics. Anyone with the dream of making it beyond the collegiate level should invest time in a couple of sports to gain the means someone at the professional level has. Arguably one of the best basketball players ever, Michael Jordan, played more than one sport. He was a proficient baseball player in addition to being a magnificent basketball player. Today, there are athletes interchanging their fields of expertise, such as Tim Tebow. He is able to play professional baseball after having been a quarterback in the NFL because he did this in high school (USA Today). There are various examples at the professional level that support being a multi sport athlete, thus, high schoolers with the dreams of making it big time should engage themselves in a variety of sports.
Not only can being a multi sport athlete lead to the ability to play at the collegiate and professional levels, but it can also help to cross train an athlete’s body. Although most athletes that play multiple sports often have one that they focus on more, being involved in a side athletic hobby can help improve success in both. For example, when swinging a baseball bat, a baseball player’s core and lower body to gain power. When throwing a football, these two things are two of the most significant body parts needed to throw the ball successfully (Onkst). In addition to becoming physically advanced, playing multiple sports can enhance the mind. It can allow for a mental break from the same thing everyday as well create a mentally tough person. Basketball and lacrosse can be seen as similar sports in the way that field and court have to be seen. Thinking about lacrosse can increase someone’s ability to think about basketball which in the long run will make them a better player. All parts of one’s body can benefit from being a multi sport athlete which is yet another reason why they should not stick to solely one thing.
At the high school level, there are many kids obtaining overuse injuries from doing the same thing over and over again and wearing their bodies out. When playing more than one sport, allow time for certain parts of someone’s body to have a break, therefore reducing the risks of injury. In baseball, the rates of Tommy John surgery needed are vastly increasing (NFHS). This is due to the fact that kids are beginning to stick to one sport and play it more often because they believe it will advance their chances of playing at the collegiate and professional level. Yet, throwing the baseball too much and too often can cause injuries. Playing another sport in addition to baseball allows for time for a baseball player to rest their arm and use other parts of their body. This is just one of the many examples of how being a multi sport athlete can help avoid injury.
Being a single sport athlete is not only what colleges and professional teams are not looking for, but it can hurt chances of being able to excel due to injury. Being a two sport athlete is very beneficial. If they want to be able to compete to the best of their ability, athletes should look into playing another sport. This will advance chances of making it beyond the high school level and can allow for a more successful athlete.
Crouse, Karen. "Want to Play Football at Ohio State or Clemson? Try Playing Other Sports, Too." The New York Times. The New York Times, 30 Dec. 2016. Web. 24 Mar. 2017.
"Nearly 90 Percent of 2016 NFL Draft Picks Played Multiple Sports in High School."Coaching Search. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.
NFHS. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2017.
"Football Recruiting: Urban Meyer Isn't the Only One Who Prefers Multi-sport Athletes."NewsOK.com. N.p., 01 Feb. 2015. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.
Onkst, Timothy. "Which Muscles Are Used When Throwing a Football?" LIVESTRONG.COM. Leaf Group, 03 Feb. 2014. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.
Samuels, Doug. "The Value of Multi-sport Athletes: HS Coaches Share This with Your Players." FootballScoop. N.p., 18 Jan. 2016. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.
USA TODAY High School Sports August 9, 2016. "How Good Was Tim Tebow as a High School Baseball Player?" USA Today High School Sports. N.p., 09 Aug. 2016. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.
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Wes. "Dynamite Sports." Dynamite Sports. N.p., 29 June 2015. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.
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