Are you a high schooler who loves sports, no matter what type? You may have been told to focus on just one sport during high school to increase your chances of a college athletic scholarship. In this article, we’ll cover the real truth about single and multi sport athletes in high school and provide tips on how to be the best candidate possible for college recruiters.
Single Sport Athletes
In some sports, you increase your chances of being recruited if you focus on one sport. Gymnastics and hockey are two prime examples. Most of these athletes are singularly focused before they even reach their teens. This supreme dedication allows them to reach their peak performance sooner than multi-sport athletes. And who wouldn’t want to reach success as quickly as possible? It’s empowering to stand with the elite in any sport, let alone at such a young age.
However, there are risks in being a single sport athlete. Single sport athletes are more prone to injuries caused by overuse. This repetitive action they use on a particular set of muscles to hone their talent can get worn out much more quickly than if they played multiple sports. Add to that the great pressure to succeed on a student who only has one path to college scholarships — this tension can lead to burnout.
You may have interests in several sports seasons throughout the school year. Football, basketball and baseball may all be sports you’d like to take part in. Or maybe it’s volleyball, basketball and track or softball. That’s great! Most high school athletes benefit from participating in a variety of sports. In fact, many college recruiters are specifically seeking these multi-sport athletes. Why? Because they’ve discovered that these cross-sport students don’t experience injuries from overuse and repetitive exercise. Instead, these high schoolers use a variety of muscle groups as they move from sport to sport each season.
Additionally, due to the variety of sports they play, most multi-sport athletes gain better hand-eye coordination and greater agility. They also learn how to communicate more effectively and learn to adapt to a variety of team cultures. This multi-sport fitness, both physically and mentally, is highly valued by college coaches. Playing more than one sport provides a greater chance of being recruited by multiple colleges, or even by two coaches at the same school.
How to Choose Your Path
There’s no right or wrong choice for how many high school sports to play. Sit down as a family and talk about the goals you’d like to pursue. The earlier you do this, the better! There’s a big difference between wanting to play basketball at UNC and wanting to run cross-country at an in-state university. Find the direction that matches your goals and pursue that wholeheartedly.
The lessons you’ll learn playing any high school can carry you far in life. Add to that the opportunity to play college sports? Whether you choose to join the ranks of single or multi-sport athletes, you have a recipe for lifelong success. Team work, determination, discipline, and confidence are all take-aways whether or not you get recruited by a college. Here at Total Development Center, we focus on the total development of an athlete.We would love to guide and mentor you so you achieve your dream of playing sports after high school. Contact us if you want to learn more.