By Kobe King
One of the decisions that has been stressed on kids today is whether they should specialize in one sport or try participating in multiple sports. There have been many studies to show which is best for athletes, but this topic is still defeated. Still, studies show that being a multi-sport athlete gives you better muscle and motor skill development. It also reduces physical and mental exhaustion.
According to ESPN, “Studies show that playing multiple sports leads to better muscle, motor and skill development. It promotes general athleticism, balance, speed and agility.”
Another reason why students should be multi-sport athlete is because of burnout, physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress, with playing one sport.
According to the National Federation of State High School Association, “Burnout can be caused by many factors, but it ultimately occurs when athletes feel helpless about their ability to meet external or internal expectations. If tender, growing joints are subjected to the same movements and stress without rest and recovery, those joints are going to get hurt.”
Being a multi-sport athlete would allow the athlete to have rest because he/she is using different joints and muscles in each sport.
WCHS Athletic Director Ken Sears was a multi-sport athlete in high school; he played football, baseball and basketball. He thinks being a multi-sport athlete is important for muscles.
“I just think helps build a better athlete, because you get exposed to different physical things as far as muscle use, and you are not over using certain muscles like maybe [if you’re just] a baseball pitcher and basketball shooter,” Sears said.
For Sears, being a multi-sport athlete was a smart decision because he ended up getting a baseball scholarship.
“For my case, I love basketball, was a better football player, but ended up getting a baseball scholarship, so it was a good thing that I did all three,” Sears said.
WCHS senior Garrett Curtis explained how he believes that playing multiple sports can increase scholarship opportunities.
“It’s a good thing to be a multi-sport athlete because it gives you something to do and you have a better chance of getting a college [scholarship],” Curtis said.
WCHS senior Ryan Hammond is also a multi-sport athlete who also plays football and wrestles but still manages to have a job. To cope with all this, he only works on Sunday and does his homework when he gets home from practice.
Hammond also explained the benefits of playing multiple sports.
“It helps with power and focus, plus wrestling just makes you tough with the hard work and demand it has. [Some advantages of being a multi-sport athlete are] time management and dedication because over time single sports will make you worn out and tired and doing multiple sports makes you push yourself farther than you thought you could,” Hammond said.
Being a multi-sport athlete, Hammond has built himself a career to where he has gotten numerous college offers but he decided to go to Saint Francis to play football.
Drew Brees, a player for the New Orleans Saints, believes kids should enjoy all they can, before making a decision on what to pursue: “Kids should be playing as many sports for as long as they possibly can. Don’t feel like you have to specialize anytime soon. Because what you don’t realize is that all the sports combined is what makes you the athlete that you are. And eventually, you will have to specialize.”
While playing multiple sports, if any at all, may not be for everybody, those who want a challenge, and to increase their future possibilities, playing multiple sports may be a good choice.