When you think of the most elite athletes in the country, what one thing might you think the vast majority of them have in common?
If you guessed hours of training, beginning their chosen sport at a young age, or spending lots of money on coaches, you’re wrong!
What the vast majority of recruits have in common, surprisingly, is that they played more than one sport in their youth. In other words, they didn’t focus solely on the sport that they now excel at.
What is it about playing more than one sport that makes kids more likely to grow up and be superstars? Well, there are a few things.
First of all, athletes who engage in more than one sport learn all kinds of skills, both personal and athletic, that they can use to make them better athletes in general, not just athletes in a particular sport. Plus, many skills learned are useful across various forms of athleticism.
There’s also the fact that, when kids play multiple sports, their training continues, even in the off-season, meaning they never get lax or out-of-shape and are always working toward being better athletes.
Other benefits that researchers have pointed out include:
l Fewer overuse injuries
l Higher rates of physical activity in adulthood
l A reduced chance of quitting sports
l Increased chances of fun and enjoyment through sports
l Decreased stress levels
l Better athletic skills
l Increased creativity
l Increased intelligence
l Increased chance of being recruited for a college-level team
As you can see, the benefits of being involved in more than one sport are immense. So, when your child comes to you and says he’d like to try something else, don’t panic! Don’t assume this means that your child will never play hockey again. Instead, see it as a good sign that your little athlete is heading down the right path toward becoming a pro, if that’s what he wants to do in the future, and support him wholeheartedly.