Should Your Child Be a Multi Sport Athlete?

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The Benefits of being a 2 sport or multi sport athlete

 

Written By Lamar Hull @ Google+

  multi sport athletes

Basketball is a phenomenal outlet for young athletes to learn valuable life lessons. Teamwork, humility and coordination can all be learned and built on the basketball court.

Focusing on just one sport however can limit a young athlete’s talent, skills, and rob him or her of potential avenues to improve their skills in the sport they are truly passionate about.

A young basketball player who participates in multiple sports can gain far more than just a new skill set. Being a multi sport athlete, such as; playing football and baseball can be a huge asset in developing an all around player for a given sport.

For example, a football field provides an excellent avenue for basketball players to develop skills for future seasons. Basketball is a deceptively physical sport, and it becomes increasingly so as players get older.

The physical contact that is required in basketball, even at the youth level, can overwhelm a less aggressive kid. Football allows young athletes to experience physical contact and hits, preparing them for those to come on the court.

It teaches them the best way to absorb a blow and get an and-1 and not fold under a little bit of pressure. Football is a physical sports, so consult with your physician before registering your young child to play.

If a basketball player played football, they most likely would not be on the offensive or defensive line. Typically, you see a multi-sport athlete play in positions that need speed, such as; the wide receiver, running back, and cornerback positions.

Being a two sport or multi sport athlete not only will allow them to keep their conditioning up, but can actually help improve it as well. Football games progress one play at a time, each requiring a burst of explosive speed.

Football helps develop these fast twitch muscles and bring that same explosive speed to the basketball court or any sport. Football made me a more explosive and quicker basketball player. I was always a physical and an aggressive player but football made me fearless because of the physical contact.

Playing basketball in high school and college, I had no hesitation in taking the basketball to the hoop as a small guard against bigger and taller players. However, be careful!

Football is a tough sport and results in a lot of injuries. I was a wide receiver and safety, so I was hardly ever in the football trenches. Not always the case, but as a receiver I was always tackled by one player and as a safety, I was able to deliver a lot of the punishment.

Young players, in any sport, drink lots of water, stretch and eat healthy to help limit injuries. Concussions are common in football, so be careful because it is a physical sport.

There are other sports that can help your child develop other skills that they might not be able to gain by playing only one sport (ex: baseball, golf, tennis, soccer, etc.). These sports are also not as physical as football, but will help your child develop other skills.

Baseball can significantly improve a basketball players skill set as well. Regardless of their position on a baseball team, several fundamental skills are required and developed.

Baseball requires one of the highest levels of hand and eye coordination of any youth sport. Think about the eye coordination when pitching, catching, or hitting a baseball.

The patience, intuition, and knowledge required to make a swing connect with a pitch can transfer directly to the basketball court. The techniques used in batting can help improve shooting and passing accuracy on the court.

2 sport athlete

2 Sport Athlete that I coach in Basketball

On the defensive side of the diamond, players learn and develop proper throwing technique, which can be applied to the court as well.

Throwing and pitching techniques can help to improve both passing and shooting strength and distance.

In addition, the same fast twitch running muscles that are developed in football can be further developed by playing baseball.

This continues the conditioning process and helps to increase speed and endurance on the court. One of the kids that I coach is a great example of this. He is a better basketball player because of his successful experiences in baseball.

multi sport athlete

Multi Sport Athlete

Safety should always be a large consideration in any youth sport, and football and baseball are no exception.

Players should always wear appropriate safety equipment at all times. This includes, but is not limited to helmets, pads and mouth guards.

Parents and coaches should be especially cognizant of any blows to the head. If this does happen, please monitor the player closely for signs of a concussion.

 

Conclusion

Diversifying a young player’s sports experience is an excellent way to build skills that apply directly to the sport they love. Regardless of the player’s chosen position on the basketball court and any other sport, the experience of other sports like football, baseball, soccer, and etc. can help make dramatic improvements in a player’s overall skill set.

In addition, if a young kid is a multi sport athlete, he or she can truly find his passion, develop new friends, build a sustainable confidence, become a true team player, learn life lessons from different angles, and etc. I would definitely recommend allowing your child to play multiple sports, it definitely made me well-rounded in the game of basketball.



 

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