Today's youth sports landscape is very different than it was 10 years ago. With more and more travel and club teams, many young athletes are playing more games at a higher level than ever before. On top of that, many young athletes are starting to specialize in only one sport at a very young age.
Playing multiple sports, especially as a young, growing athlete, offers a variety of benefits. Below, we go over some of the benefits of being a multi-sport athlete!
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.
Fewer overuse injuries
When playing only one sport throughout the entire year, athletes have to use the same muscles over and over and over again. When athletes utilize the same muscles and movements throughout the entire year, the risk of overuse injury greatly increases.
Exposure to new experiences
Youth sports offer so much more than just practices and games. Youth sports encourages new friendships, teaches so many life skills and lessons, and ultimately how to work as a team. By playing multiple sports, young athletes are able to not only meet more people, but learn a variety of different skills needed in different areas of life. For example, the life lessons learned in baseball and basketball are different, and by playing both young athletes are able to apply those skills in different situations.
Many great athletes were multi-sport athletes
Another one of the benefits of being a multi-sport athlete is that it doesn’t get in the way of greatness. If you look at some of the best athletes all-time, such as Derek Jeter, Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson and many others all grew up playing multiple sports. Although it may seem like playing the same sport all year long is the best opportunity to make it big, playing multiple sports doesn’t shy any athlete away from greatness!
Stands out to college coaches
College coaches also tend to look at multi sport athletes during their recruiting process. Coaches like Urban Meyer and Dabo Swinney especially enjoy recruiting athletes 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 of person.”
Sport-specialization is becoming more and more popular with young athletes, however, the benefits of being a multi-sport athlete offer so many great skills and advantages. Multi-sport athletes tend to have improved health and wellness, decreased injury rate, improved athleticism, and improved leadership and teamwork. When it comes to youth sports, play as many as you can!
At Warren Academy, we work with athletes of all sports and ages. If you are interested in learning more about our youth training programs, visit our website today!