Should Athletes Play Multiple Sports?
Why Should Athletes Play Multiple Sports?
The multi-sport athlete is important for many reasons but being a part
- Physical Literacy (physical literacy are skills that athletes should learn to move better as an athlete) Examples of physical literacy skills are- skipping, galloping, crawling, jumping, hopping, throwing, and shuffling. These are essential because without these foundational movements skills it will be much more difficult to pick other skills up later in the athlete’s development.
- Improve Athletic Skill Development
- Limit Overuse
- Limit Burnout
- Increase enjoyment at favorite sport
What Parents Need to Know About Being A Muti-Sport Athlete
- Winning isn’t everything. Developing skills are. Practices are more important than games. If your child is playing more games than practicing it is likely that they not only get worse but diminish their love for the game because competition becomes about winning and NOT skill development. And someone has to lose.
- Getting a coach that cares about their development and NOT about winning should be a priority. Everyone is competitive but recruiting good 8 year old baseball players to be on the coaches team so they can win the area title should be a RED FLAG.
- Find a program that believes in the development of the athletes. Do they have a sports performance model in their program? Can they show you what skills they will be learning and tell you why it is important for them? Do they know what Long Term Athletic Development is?
- The best athletes in the world played multiple sports all through high school.
- Giving our kids what they WANT and NOT what they NEED
- The easiest way to keep them active become what the parents are used to and not the athlete
- Keeping up with the “Jones'” becomes priority for many parents. “The Jone’s are getting their 6 year old pitching lessons so we should start them when our child is 5.”
- The 10,000 hour rule- Reference Malcom Gladwell’s Book (outliers). Remember 10,000 hrs of doing things the wrong way only creates a skill that they can’t use. The 10,000 rule has since become a myth
- Injury Rates Increasing Every Year- Youth athletic injuries are increasing at alarming rates every year. As of 2014 there were over 4 million injuries that occurred at practice or at competition. The sad part about this is that The Journal of Sports Medicine estimates that over 1/2 of these injuries can be prevented. Over $2 Billion was spent on hospital and medical cost for these injuries.
- Governing Bodies want their money- Athletic clubs and recreational sports need the money to survive and they will do just about anything (including just show up and play games) to get your money.
It’s time we look at the situation as parents and see what we are creating for our children. Is giving them what they want the best for them? Or is giving them want they need… different environments, more opportunities to make the best out of different circumstances, and better ways to help them develop physically, socially, and emotionally. As parents we need to give more opportunities for them to struggle, find ways through situations, and learn to find ways to lead in different environments. Get your children out, let them be uncomfortable, and don’t come to their aide when they first start to get uncomfortable.
The skills that they will learn in these different sports are now more beneficial in society that they are more likely to become leaders in their field of choice. These social boundaries are broken down in different sports, they learn to adapt to these environments, and strive to enhance skill levels in these various sports. With the same sport it ends up being “same day, same situation” “same coach, same way” which is only one way. They will have multiple careers in their life with multiple bosses and multiple employees to lead and learn to motivate. These situations in sports are being more valuable today than they were a generation before.
The physical skills that the athletes learn in these multiple sports are valuable to the sport that they enjoy the most. Basketball footwork is valuable in just about all sports, baseball eye-hand coordination is needed to catch and throw, soccer skills is great for footwork and conditioning, football is great to help kids be physical which can help in just about any sport. All sports have special skills that are needed for children to excel in other sports.
The emotional skill learned in other sports can also help young athletes learn to persevere and overcome which is another skill that young people are lacking in the real world. Emotional maturity is a skill that must be developed and taught. Many things in this world take hard work, perseverance, and learning to be uncomfortable. If your child is struggling with a sport or particular skill this can be a learning opportunity for your child. You must teach them to find a solution that works and help them to find the best alternative. Sometime your child will not be the best fit for coaching styles. That’s okay! They must learn to make the best of the situation and find how to better themselves. Pulling them off the team because they weren’t a good fit for the coach is not a good reason for quitting. Persevere, adapt, and overcome!