Recently, there’s been a lot of talk about the importance of kids engaging in more than just one sport. There was even a claim recently, by Ohio State’s football coach, Urban Meyer, explaining that the vast majority of recruits were multi-sport, not one-sport athletes.
While multi-sport athletes are on the decline, with more and more parents preferring to have their kids specialize in one sport only, believing that specialization will yield success, statistics have
There are many reasons why kids are choosing to specialize in just one sport these days. Some of it has to do with the high cost of playing sports; many parents can’t afford more than one set of equipment and uniforms! Also, coaches today, even youth coaches, can be quite demanding of their players, leaving little time for much else. Plus, many kids desperately want athletic scholarships and thus work their hardest at being the best they can at a particular sport.
Sadly, though, the chances of getting a scholarship are slim, and they’re even slimmer among those who focus only on one sport! Coaches want kids who are very skilled, who are playing sports even in the off-season, and who have learned special skills and techniques from other sports disciplines.
There’s also a lower risk of overuse injuries among kids who play more than one sport, since they’re not working the same muscles all the time. Plus, these kids are more likely to actually enjoy the game and avoid burnout, which, in turn, makes them more likely to be athletes into adulthood.