Students Shouldn’t Specialize in Just One Sport

Jonny Woodford, Staff Writer

Playing multiple sports can help kids build important life skills such as problem solving, teamwork, communication, and time-management. Playing different sports provides a great opportunity to be exposed to new team roles and become a well rounded player. While playing one sport does teach you life skills, playing a variety of sports allows for lessons to be taught in different environments. 

Playing the same sport every day for extended periods of time, like over the course of a year, can quickly lead to burnout. Burnout in a sport is when the athlete is mentally tired from playing the same sport all the time. When athletes play one sport too often and too early on in their lives, it can result in the athlete losing the fun and exciting aspect of the sport that made them fall in love with it. The athlete will then want to stop playing the sport because they are tired and lose interest in the sport. The sport turns more into work then a sport and the player will no longer want to keep pursuing it.

Overuse injuries go hand-in-hand with burnouts. If athletes play one sport year-round, they are constantly using their same muscles and using them too much, where athletes that play more than one sport don’t have as much strain on one thing. With there being no variety in movement and muscle development, the muscles and bones that are being constantly used can begin to wear out from the overuse. The repetitive motion of the same game year-round, doing the same skills and drills, can lead to different overuse injuries. Senior hockey player Asher Connolly has been playing hockey year-round his whole life; he suffered hip impingement, and had to miss a lot of summer training due to the overuse in his hips from hockey. “After my surgery I was in a lot of pain and had to do many weeks of rehab on my hips,” Connolly said.

The more sports and activities that athletes are involved in, the more opportunity they have to develop themselves as athletes. Many skills and techniques transfer from one sport to another and complement each other while continuing to further develop and build upon preexisting skill sets. When athletes develop their skills across different sports and activities, they are likely to find that their performance in other sports will most likely increase. Senior athlete Charlie Frattalone had been playing only hockey his whole life but senior year he came out and played football. He worked extremely hard and was the best at his position; he worked out in the weight room and got very strong as well. “Football changed me a lot. It was a great break from just playing hockey my whole life. Football is very fun and it made me stronger and more balanced, which is going to help me with my hockey season ahead,” Frattalone said. 

Playing sports is a great way to build self-confidence; with each sport athletes play, there are different levels of achievements that athletes are able to attain. Whether it is making a free-throw or hitting a single, each new step taken in the world of sports holds a new chance for success. As athletes succeed in sports, their self assurance increases because they start to understand they can overcome any obstacles that may stand in their way, both in sports and in life.