Perils of Single Sport Athletes
March 16, 2017
Filed under Sports
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As spring sports near, and high school games begin, the excitement begins to swell in everyone. One of the most fun aspects of high school is going to sporting events and cheering on your team. But have you ever asked that soccer player or softball player why they only play one sport?
College and Single Sport Athletes
As a high school athlete and student, many have the goal of getting an athletic scholarship and going on to college and playing their favorite sport. But, I’m sure you didn’t know that most college scouts look for athletes who play multiple sports. The following graph was made by Tony Holler, a high school track coach. It shows that not only do athletes who play multiple sports have a better chance of getting recruited, but the amount of athletes recruited who play multiple sports is almost triple the amount who play one sport.
Single Sport Injuries
According to pediatric orthopedic specialists, single sport athletes account for 50% of overuse injuries, and children who specialize early in a sport are often the first to quit. Also, they are at a greater risk of burnout due to stress, decreased motivation, and lack of enjoyment. Playing multiple sports decreases the chance for injury.
Better Overall Athleticism
Playing multiple sports gives you more of an advantage playing other sports. Although it may not seem like it, everything you learn playing one sport carries on with you into the next. Research shows that playing multiple sports gives you better overall skills and ability, and that participating in multiple sports gives you better confidence and a longer playing career.
Single and Multiple Sport Athletes at GCHS
If you come to our high school, there’s a large divide between people who play one sport and people who play multiple, such as students who plays only soccer, or wrestle, to students that play both soccer and volleyball, or basketball and baseball.
Emma Dutko, a sophomore at GCHS, plays varsity soccer for the high school and club soccer for St. Louis Scott Gallagher. Emma said, “I choose to play soccer because I want to play soccer in college, and I just wanted to focus on that.” Also, given the fact that you are more likely to get injured playing one sport rather than multiple, Emma said, “I was playing two sports at the time, basketball and soccer, but I tore my ACL playing soccer. It could’ve happened in basketball, it could’ve happened in anything.”
Another student at GCHS, freshman Freddy Edwards, is a multiple sport athlete. He plays varsity football, varsity basketball, and varsity baseball for the Warriors. “My dad and coaches tell me that colleges like kids who play multiple sports, and I like playing multiple sports. At the end, I think it’s more beneficial. It keeps me active and out of trouble,” said Edwards.
Playing multiple sports has lots of benefits. You have less of a chance of injury, you have more confidence as a person and player, you learn skills that you can take with you for the rest of your life and use during other sports, and you meet lots of new people.
So, when considering your future as an athlete, also consider that playing multiple sports is more beneficial than playing only one.