As a youth athlete, and even throughout high school, participating in multiple sports offers many benefits. As athletes develop and grow, they tend to narrow down which sports they want to participate in, mainly choosing the ones they like best. Kids are able to grow athletically from this.
On the other hand, there are athletes who only participate in one sport and invest all of their time and training in that specific sport. Many would assume that this would indeed help athletes truly get better, but this is not always the case.
As kids grow, playing multiple sports promotes a healthy and active lifestyle. Here are some more benefits of being a multi-sport athlete.
Maintain interested in sports
Participating in only one sport can become pretty boring. Being in the same routine each day can get old pretty quickly. This is why one-sport athletes often get “burnt out.” Playing multiple sports, however, allows athletes to get out of that routine, which gives them something new to look forward to and train for throughout the year.
Provides time to decide which sport you really love
When you’re a kid, it’s hard to pick one thing. It’s hard to pick a favorite color, TV show, food and especially sport. As these kids grow as athletes and as individuals, playing multiple sports will help them decide what they want to do, and will give them a better understanding of what road they want to go down.
Become a dynamic team player
Playing multiple sports means you’re playing on different teams which means you’re playing with different teammates. This can be beneficial to whichever sports you play. This also teaches kids how to handle different situations of adversity, which will benefit them in whatever sport they play.
When kids and athletes participate in multiple sports, they are going to have different roles on each team. This helps develop different types of skills that can be applied from one sport to another, as well as enhance eye-hand coordination, balance, endurance, explosion, communication and agility.
Fewer overuse injuries
As athletes grow, their bodies can become overstressed and it can lead to overuse injuries. This is especially true when kids only play one sport. Using the same muscles over and over for many reps over the years is going to put wear and tear on your body muscles, and increase athletes' risk of injury.
College coaches also tend to look at multi-sport athletes during their recruiting process. Coaches like Urban Meyer and Dabo Swinney especially enjoy recruiting guys that played multiple sports in high school. Dabo Swinney said, “I just think that the cross-training, the different types of coaching, the different types of locker rooms, the different environments that you practice in, the different challenges -- I think it develops a much more competitive, well-rounded type person.” Dabo Swinney has won multiple College Football National Championships, as well as his three sons who are all multi-sport athletes.
Multi-sport athletes tend to have improved health and wellness, decreased injury rate, improved athleticism and improved leadership and teamwork. Being a versatile athlete goes a long way, on and off the field. Lastly, many speed and agility drills help athletes grow in multiple sports. As athletes train and work to improve with speed and agility drills, they are able to get better athletically in all sports.
At Warren Academy, we offer speed and agility drills through our sports and performance programs that help athletes of all sports and ages get better. To learn more about our programs, visit our website today!