Originally Posted by OSH
I had a feeling my "three sport athlete" comment would catch a few comments...
Here's my opinion since it was asked to explain it:
Number 1: kids need a break. They are "burnt out." They are beat down. Their bodies need a chance to recover and heal. Their mind needs a chance to also recover and heal. With playing 3-sports (in the typical fall, winter, spring seasons), the bodies never have a chance to do that. So many times kids end up being "burnt out" because there was never a chance to recover. So many times kids are hurt or have to rehab because their bodies are so beat up. Kids need the opportunity to be kids. That means so much when they get to recover mentally and physically.
Number 2: there are some kids that can pull of the 3-sport (again in the fall, winter, spring seasons) athlete. That's fine. But it certainly isn't in the number that we see in many places. As a college coach, I am in the process of recruiting a 3-sport athlete now...it blows. You cannot get him/her on campus. You always have to work around the schedule. I understand it is the student-athlete's choice, but parents and the kids do not realize that their "well-roundedness" in athletics only goes so far before they seriously lack in one, two, or even three of the sports. I have no problems with playing 3-sports up until high school (sometimes). I have no problems with playing 2-sports (sometimes). I even have problems with playing only one sport (still need time off and away). There needs to be a time where the kid and parents start focusing on the future and life after athletics OR where athletics will take him/her. Letting sports hinder that, may only hurt the college choice OR financial aid opportunities.
Number 3: I believe that 3-sport athletes, especially the mediocre ones, take away the opportunity for other kids to participate. Reducing the amount of sports one participates in opens up the opportunity for others to participate. Some kids like to play only one sport and happen to be behind the "athletic curve" or "puberty curve" when they are growing up. By the time they develop, they are already out of the sport because of some mediocre 3-sport athletes pushed them out of the sport. Their development may have moved them into the sport again had they had the opportunity when they were younger. Now, this may seem unlikely, but I think it does have some merit. There's no reason why participation numbers are what they are in youth athletics but in high school athletics they drop off BIG TIME. I know there are roster limitations -- which is why I believe athletics are operated wrong (whole other argument there).
Number 4: I believe that specialization is a good thing. Specialization touches on the first three as well. Now, I know there are GOOD 3-sport athletes, and people know 3-sport athletes that have become professionals. But, again, those are special anyway. I also know professionals who were one-sport athletes who specialized. So...the point of 3-sport/1-sport is moot. Everyone has skills. Everyone has weaknesses. I truly believe to really excel in the skills that we have. We have gifts to offer people and use those gifts. I was a 2-sport athlete...but I probably could've done with baseball and excelled much more in my other sport. Looking back...I should have. I was a starter in baseball, left fielder on a team that was 3-time district champs and regional runners-up. But, I was a college athlete in the other that was definitely behind the curve in technical and tactical abilities because of lack of specialization.
I guess what I really am trying to say is: the kids really have to figure out what is important and what they really want to get out of athletics. Do they want to just have fun? Well, play 3-sports and have fun. Do you want to be a college athlete? Well, make sure you are not neglecting the sport you want to play in college -- many times playing more sports neglects THAT sport you want to play. Make sure you take care of your mind and body. This is something that very few high school coaches, club coaches, AAU coaches, etc. even touch on. There are so many kids that are wearing knee braces, ankle braces, elbow sleeves, and protective head gear now because of the trauma their bodies endure with no chance to recover. Kids are relying on their knee braces and ankle braces so much they are hindered at developing and recovering. It's not a good idea to be wearing two ankle braces as a 13-15 year old! I don't care if you've had a sprained ankle or two...it's not good! It's time that coaches and parents start caring about the mind/body instead of "well-roundedness" and "athletic scholarships."
I certainly respect your right to have your opinion. I happen to disagree, to varying degrees with each and every point as they relate to your statement
I think we need to stop seeing three-sport athletes.
Your initial statement says to me that no athlete should play 3 sports in high school
. If that is accurate, then I disagree.....
- this is the personal choice of the athlete and their parents. If a kid loves the sports that they play, and their health is monitored properly, this is a non-issue. I know may athletes who, when asked what their favorite sport is, say that it is whatever sport they are playing at the time. This tells me that they are not a candidate for burn out.
- this is a problem that affects you, not the student/athlete. Again, personal choice of the athlete...if they want to come to you, or you want them bad enough, you will find a way. In addition, it is the athlete's choice to play 3 sports....if that hampers their development in your sport, they know that and are making a conscious choice.
- Irrelevant. The 3 sport athlete is making a choice to play 3 because they want to...it should be of no concern to them that they are 'taking someone else's spot'. The person who is not making a team needs to work harder and get better to earn
that spot on the team.
- again, personal choice. If a kids chooses
to participate in multiple sports rather than concentrate on one, that is their own personal choice. Not everyone who participates in high school athletics wants to play in college. My two children were examples...both could have played a sport in college if they chose to as both were recruited. Both chose to be students rather than student / athletes in college.
I think for people to suggest that anything other than personal choice here is irresponsible. Kids need to make these decisions for themselves.