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The Benefits of Multi-Sport Participation

The Benefits of MultiSport Participation

In today’s world of trophies and college athletic scholarships, kids are being pushed to specialize in a single sport at increasingly younger ages. Often these young athletes are being guided in this direction by parents and coaches who believe that early specialization leads to future success at the college, professional or international level and increases their chances of receiving an athletic scholarship.

While there is certainly nothing wrong with working to develop skills in one sport, it’s important for kids to play multiple sports throughout their childhood and adolescence in order to maximize their health and well being. In addition to promoting physical fitness, social development and mental resilience, research shows that playing more than one sport reduces overuse injuries and burnout from sports, and improves overall athletic performance.

Fewer Overuse Injuries

When athletes play more than one sport, they are using different muscle groups which helps to prevent overuse injuries. For example, a baseball and soccer athlete will stress different muscles in their arms, legs and core. This enables these muscle groups to “rest” from one activity, which allows them to perform better in both sports.

Developing different movement skills in a variety of sports also helps to improve overall balance, speed and agility. It is common to see high profile professional athletes who played more than one sport in their youth. The list includes such notables as Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Joe Mauer, Bo Jackson and Alex Rodriguez.

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