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Should Kids Play Multiple Sports? Learn Why

Lately, this question has been frequently asked by both parents and kids. We’re going to highlight our research by speaking with professional athletes and coaches. It’s ensuring you or your child has fun in the sports setting they’re most comfortable in.

Should kids play multiple sports? Young athletes should play multiple sports for multiple reasons, such as learning discipline, how to win in close situations, and, most importantly, how to be a good teammate.

Playing multiple sports can help a player grow not only physically but mentally.

We’re going to break down different aspects of playing multiple sports, which can help you get a winning edge.

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Learning How To Win

One of the more critical factors in playing multiple sports is learning how to win. What does that mean? Let’s picture the situation below with an athlete who only plays one sport:

It’s the fourth quarter, the game’s last play, and the coach calls a play for you to catch the game-winning touchdown. Naturally, your adrenaline is through the roof from the competition.

However, it is your first time in this situation, nerves and uncertain doubts start to set in, on top of the adrenaline rush.

The ball is thrown your way, and you drop it. A massive disappointment to your teammates and coach and the entire town that supports you. It happens every year to players around the world.

The opportunity for a player to get another chance to make that play in a football game again may not ever happen again/.

Now let’s take a 3-sport athlete and put them in the same situation. They’ve already been in a basketball game or a baseball game where they may have faced buzzer-beating or a two-out at-bat situation.

The stress an athlete endures during these situations is similar to that of the football game.

Having been in these situations from a young age, a multi-sport athlete’s body and mind become numb to it. They’re so locked in that they can’t hear the crowd noise, feel any emotion, or be rattled.

Image result for tom brady clutch

Whether it be Tom Brady or Kobe Bryant, any great athlete has these moments of being locked into the moment. Mainly due to their upbringing of playing multiple sports and being stone cold at the moment.

Discipline Tolerance

dis·ci·pline

/ˈdisəplən/noun
1. the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.

Discipline is a key component of any sports team. In football, it’s the backbone of every great team. Knowing what you’re supposed to do, when you’re supposed to do it, is the difference between winning and losing.

In this article, the discipline we’re referring to is the ability to execute your job, be on time, and work hard. All three essential life skills are also needed in the real world.

The mental discipline to correctly block a gap scheme is the same discipline used to run a ball screen in basketball or not swing at balls outside the strike zone. Training your mind in the moment of exhaustion allows execution in the fatigued moment.

Improving Range Of Motion

Football players are known for having weak hips. Why? There typically isn’t much frequent lateral movement if you’re a skilled player. Unless you’re making a jump cut to avoid a defender or breaking in/out of a route, engaging in any lateral muscle is almost nonexistent.

Hips are the driving force of speed. Track athletes understand this and use frequent band work to strengthen the hips. Basketball players are consistently moving side to side to cover defenders. Hockey players are constantly engaging their hips and glutes when skating.

Naturally, players can improve these muscle groups by simply playing the sport. While playing these sports, mixing in weight training can help players maximize their potential.

Learning How To Be A Good Teammate

Playing multiple sports puts you in different scenarios, both good and bad. During tough times, bad teammates are exposed, and good teammates are glorified. In situations where things go haywire – whether it be an interception, a fumble, or even reacting to a bad call from the coach, your frustration and character is being tested.

Especially from a young age, these skills can be worked on to grow into a better teammate. Here are some examples of how we can grow into being better teammates:

  • Picking teammates up when they’re down
  • Taking responsibility for mistakes
  • Complimenting teammates on both normal and big plays
  • Hyping up teammates to get the most out of them

Being in a competitive environment brings out the emotion and ‘will to win’ that every athlete has buried deep inside them. It’s a ‘fight or flight response that the body naturally emits when put under pressure.

Learning how to control these emotions can be wired through living in the scenario multiple times.

Like how a boxer practices rounds or a baseball player takes live batting practice, rapid repetition and mental calamity in a hostile environment can help prepare for the real thing.

Players should exert themselves in these situations as much as possible to be better mentally prepared.

Should My Child Play Multiple Sports?

Yes! Have your kids explore what sports they like and don’t like. It also puts your child in a competitive environment to help make it past adversity and grow mentally.

How To Be Good At Multiple Sports

Continuously working out and working on the techniques that your sport requires. If it’s hand-eye coordination, catch 100 footballs a day.

If it’s catching fly balls, then catch 100 fly balls a day. To get better at something, you must practice it consistently and efficiently.

Conclusion

We believe players should play multiple sports. This is our belief. It’s not the correct answer (if there’s one). It exposes you to mental and physical situations that you would not otherwise encounter, only playing one sport.