Young Athletes Often Focus on Just One Sport Too Soon in Their Careers

By the end of the 2018 College World Series baseball game, everyone knew that the catcher for the Oregon State Beavers had been a two sport athlete until the time he finished his freshman year in college. Catcher Adley Rutschman broke the CWS record for hits by reaching 17, posting the second high on-base percentage in tournament history with an average of .649. He also finished tied for second all-time with 13 runs batted in. With all of those times at bat and all of that time on base, the ESPN sports commentators had plenty of time to tell, and retell, this young player’s story. Although he was not on anyone’s radar for the draft as he came out of high school, when Rutschman announced at the end of his freshman year that he would finally give up football and only focus on baseball for the remainder of his college career, this switch hitters batting average skyrocketed and his catching skills only improved.

Catching in all of the tournament games through the regional, super regionals, and the finals, Rutschman ran to the pitcher’s mound, put his arm around which ever teammate had completed the inning and served as a leader of this team that came close last year, but won in 2018. As the sports announcers talked about how important it is to college coaches that high school athletes remain multi sport players, parents around the country are probably wishing that the high school coaches would get the message.

Multi Sport Athletes Continue to be the Most Recruited Coming Out of High School Sports

Parents who spend a fortune buying both sticky football gloves and the latest baseball bats for their players often agree that not specializing in any one sport at a young age serves as the best advantage, but these parents often hit a brick wall when it comes to discussing the topic with high school coaches. Wanting to have access to their athletes both in and out of season, a majority of high school coaches have only their team’s best interest in mind when they reward single sport athletes with the top starting positions.

Whether you are looking at a tennis player who also likes to play golf or a football player who loves to swing a bat, there is a growing amount of evidence that indicates that multi sport athletes, both females and males, perform longer and better in college if they avoid specializing in only one sport.

From golf balls to footballs to softballs and baseballs, there are many talented athletes in high schools across the country. Too often, however, these athletes are forced to focus on one sport instead of training in a variety of setting for a variety of skills, an approach that has been shown to create the best college players.

Following the statistics of a sporting goods company shows that Wilson Sporting Goods provides the National Football League (NFL) with almost 25,000 official game footballs every season, amounting to nearly about 780 footballs for every NFL team. Every sporting goods store capitalizes on the fact that there are many middle school and high school athletes, though, so they can afford to promote their products on games that are aired on national television. And while loving football is not in itself bad, the fact of the matter is that most athletes would benefit from playing not just one sport but several.

A baseball, football, or softball player who also knows that regulation golf balls must weigh less than 1.620 ounces and have a diameter of more than 1.680 inches, as well as the fact that the longest put ever made reached almost 375 feet is an athlete who might have more success having a college, and possibly a professional, career than someone who only focuses on training for one sport.

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