Variety is the Spice of life

As we close the 2019, football season and meet individually with each player, one question we always ask is what sport they are playing in the winter and/or spring.  We encourage all our football players to be multiple sport athletes, especially our freshmen and sophomores who are still developing as athletes and members of our campus community.

I recently saw a social media post stating that Saquon Barkley, Ezekiel Elliott, 2019-11-21 Multi Sport Athleticsand Christian McCaffrey were all 3-sport athletes in high school.  They seem to be doing very well for themselves…

While I understand the thinking behind specializing in one sport, I believe there is much more to gain (mentally, physically and emotionally) by staying a multi-sport athlete.   Participating on multiple teams helps students expand their social circles and increases opportunities for social interaction.  It also diminishes the opportunity for emotional burn-out caused by playing one sport year-round.

Variety is the spice of life.

There is also a great deal of pressure to succeed for the one-sport athlete who has invested so much time, and often money, into success in that sport.  Playing multiple sports also allows athletes to experience different roles.  The star in one sport may be a bench player in the other.  That experience may make the athlete a better competitor and will most certainly be a lesson in humility.

As for the physical benefits, growing bodies are often stressed by repetitive physical activity and often experience injuries that might be avoided by granting their bodies a break from repetitive movements associated with only one sport.  There are way too many young girls with ACL injuries and young boys getting “Tommy John” surgery.

Lastly, there is a financial benefit to families.  Participation in multiple sports at the high school level comes with little to no cost to the family.  The year-round, single-sport athlete, who must play on clubs and travel teams, can add thousands of dollars in financial burden to their family.  Encourage the multiple sport athlete at the high school.  The price is right and so are the benefits.

Coach Rich Alercio is available to discuss coaching philosophy, X’s & O’s, or teach his O-Line “techniques in the trenches.” Contact Coach at and share with your colleagues and friends. Thanks for supporting this blog and joining our conversations, and as always, thanks for your time!

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