With youth sports becoming so uber competitive these days a lot of kids are devoting all of their time to just one sport. This can be a blessing in the sky or in most cases can be detrimental in their development as an "athlete". I am a firm believer in encouraging kids to play more than one sport throughout their childhood. The reasons being:
- Specializing in just one sport can actually increase a kids chance of injury, especially in baseball in terms of throwing.
- Learning different skills in different sports will translate into more athletic movements from your athlete.
- Teaches kids to be well-rounded. They will learn from more coaches, meet more like-minded people, experience different sports cultures, and have opportunities to compete in different capacities.
- It will help to keep them from "burnout". I remember as a kid that played many different sports, I was always eager and excited for each new season to come as it brought on a new set of challenges in a different sport.
- The most important reason I believe playing multiple sports is important in youth development is for the simple fact that sports are FUN! Having fun should always be the focus in sports at the youth level, this will help the athlete to foster a passion for the games they decide they want to play.
I am grateful that my parents encouraged and allowed me to participate in different sports throughout my childhood. It allowed me to develop my athleticism and gave me a taste of everything. I have participated in baseball, basketball, soccer, wrestling, cross country, roller hockey and boxing (just for fun with friends), football, and rugby. I know that because I played multiple sports growing up it absolutely helped me in my development as an athlete and person.