USA Today posted a great article
about the U.S. women being multi-sport athletes before focusing on their soccer
careers. (READ HERE)
Athletic Republic’s Sports
Performance coaches agree with this concept. Some might argue that being a
multi-sport youth athlete might be more than some kids can handle, but there is
a chance your child is not even able to decide his/her favorite sport at an
early age, plus there are several benefits to being a multi-sport athlete. For
example, Abby Wambach’s statement about crediting her playing youth basketball
to helping her current specific abilities she performs on the soccer field.
The benefits of multi-sport
participation are physical, psychological and social. Developing these benefits
at an early age will provide a great foundation for any athlete and these
benefits will last a lifetime.
First, being the physical aspect.
There is less chance of overuse injuries. Using the same specific muscles the
same way each time, puts a lot of wear and tear on them throughout the season.
Think about softball pitcher and the amount of pitches she would have to throw
if she had to be a pitcher year round, versus only the regular season?
Playing a variety of sports allows the athlete to work out different muscle
groups and in different directions and different velocities. Another physical
advantage is a young athlete who plays more than one sport works more muscles,
which improves overall balance and symmetry. Just like lifting weights, lifting
the same amount of weight, in the same motion each time, is not going provide
much benefit or create any growth/improvements.
A second are of benefit of being a
multi-sport youth athlete are the psychological aspects. Participating in
multiple sports keeps each game interesting and can help prevent “sports
burnout”. Also, playing multiple sports at a young age gives kids time to
decide what they really love to do. Sports are fun and should be enjoyed
throughout an athlete’s lifetime.
Lastly, a third benefit of playing
multiple sports as a youth athlete would be the social aspect. Every sport has
its own rules, skills, coaching styles, and team dynamic. As a multi-sport youth
athlete, they have to learn how to play each game by the rules and
understand/experience different coaching styles, as well as, how to interact
with teammates and opponents. These are all import social aspects developed
through playing different sports. Over all, there are several
advantages to playing multiple sports as a youth athlete.
At Athletic Republic,
we have a Test, Teach, Train philosophy. We TEST athletes to determine a
performance baseline and identify areas where they can create separation from
their peers. We TEACH athletes the same methods used by many of today’s top
professional and Olympic athletes to improve sport and position specific movement skills. What does this mean? We TEACH athletes what they need to
do to get better. How to move better - the foundation of improving
athleticism. How to train smarter - learning to listen to their
body, push limits safely and to incorporate sound nutrition to fuel performance
and recovery. Essentially, we help athletes improve their Training IQ.
Then we TRAIN using scientifically-proven programs featuring our patented technology,
individualized training protocols and real-time video analysis to give every
athlete the ultimate performance sports training experience.