The 3-Sport Athlete Is Not As Common As It Used To Be
Both were standout 3-sport athletes
Earlier this week I spoke to a group made up mainly of retired educators, coaches, athletic administrators, officials and sportswriters. One of the questions posed afterwards which led to a lengthy conversation had to do with the shrinking number of three-sport athletes…something that was quite common “back in the day.”
There are still plenty of males and females who put on a uniform and represent their school in fall, winter and spring but not like it used to be and certainly not when it comes to superior athletes. That’s because many were coerced usually by a coach or parent into specializing in one sport often at a very young age. There have been numerous cases of kids as young as 10 being told to choose between two or three sports and concentrate on just one. Usually the “goal” is to get a full college scholarship which by the way few do especially when it comes to sports outside of football and basketball.
However despite the odds we are telling kids that instead of playing multiple sports with their classmates and enjoying the experience of being part of a team that they should give that up to spend 12 months a year on one sport often spending many weekends traveling to tournaments and showcases. You know what the end result is for many? It’s called athlete burnout and is a very real condition.
There is a reason many and I do mean many young athletes tire of competitive sports at a young age and as often is the case the blame can be placed on adults who have taken the fun out of it. At the end of the day if you are not having fun then why participate?
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