On a recent edition of Coaches Corner, two coaches mentioned the effects caused by athletes choosing to participate in only one sport at the high school level. There are two main reasons why these coaches, and myself included, think this is causing problems. The first reason is the lack of students available to participate in other sports. If you limit yourself to one sport, it takes a huge high school to have enough other athletes available to fill the remaining teams. If you are in a small school, this becomes critical.
The second reason is a little less obvious. Coaches believe that students who participate in only one sport are more prone to injuries. The reasons given usually deal with overworking certain muscles. If you are a multi-sport athlete, you will probably use most of the muslces in your body at one time or another. If you are a single-sport athlete, you use the few same muslces over and over again. This is a greater problem when the athlete’s body is still developing which occurs during the teenage years.
If you have a son or daughter who plays sports, let them try different things until they find what they are best suited for. Only a select few are good enough to limit themselves to one sport. For the “select few”, limiting to one sport might make sense. However, beware if they start having a lot of injuries.