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Differing Opinions On Being A Multi-Sport Athlete

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There is a school of thinking that suggests young people who want to play a sport in college need to focus on only one sport in the years leading up to that time. The reasons for this are varied. One reason is that coaches are demanding that their players be available for all games, practices, etc and that gets in the way of requirements of additional sports. Another reason is that the competition level becomes so intense that one needs to devote themselves to improving their skill levels in their sport of choice if they hope to find a place on a team.
There are, however, differing opinions on whether this is the right strategy. Many college coaches are now saying that they prefer players who are skilled in two or more sports than those who have put all their eggs in one basket. The numbers bear this out. This year only 5 of the recruits that were signed by Ohio State to play football had not been a multi-sport athlete. The other 42 athletes wore basketball jerseys or soccer jerseys or baseball jerseys each season in addition to playing football.
Some medical professionals feel that playing multiple sports is a better choice for maintaining one’s physical health as well. They say that the repeated stress on joints, muscles, etc involved in playing one sport only on a consistent basis results in fractures and chronic injuries to ligaments, tendons and muscles. They claim that different sports use bodies in different ways and that perhaps a change is as good as a rest in restoring our bodies.
The jury is still out on which approach is best. In the meantime, research indicates that the vast majority of college and professional players have been multi-sport athletes.