Multi-Sport Athletes Prepare for Winter Season

Junior Carter Bailey participates in two sports.

In today’s athletic society, fierce competition sometimes forces athletes to focus on one specific sport, resulting in the dying breed of multi-sport athletes.

Although there are some athletes who play more than one sport, each year more athletes tend to quit a sport, in order to enhance their skills at the sport they want to focus on.

Most of these athletes participate in sports that complement each other. For example, running track and field to increase stamina for basketball. Other athletes simply participate in multiple sports due to personal passion for the sports.

As most athletes believe specializing in one sport will increase chances of playing the sport in college, top notch college football program Clemson disagrees.

According to The New York Times, head coach Dabo Swinney, after losing the National Championship game to Alabama, brought a recruiting class of 23 players in the next year, half of them having played more than just football in high school.

Swinney played three sports himself in high school.

“I want the multipsort guy… I just love that,” Swinney said.

Of course choosing to specialize in one sport has its pros and cons.

Junior Michael Brown, the starting safety for the football team and a member of the varsity basketball team last year agrees that playing in more than one sport comes with positives and negatives.

Brown loses time training for basketball during the months he spends playing another sport.

“During those months of football all the other basketball players are training and getting better,” Brown said.

Brown also agrees multi-sport athletes are rare in today’s world.

“I feel like athletes are so focused on one specific sport nowadays. They feel the need to grind all the time since competition is tougher,” Brown said.

However, he does not believe playing more than one sport is completely a negative decision at all.

“If they have a sure future in one sport then just focus on that, but if not then they should just keep grinding in multiple sports,” Brown said.

Brown participates in sports with consecutive seasons, fall and winter, different from Junior Carter Bailey who focuses his attention on sports in the fall and spring.

Bailey participates in varsity tennis and varsity baseball, being a member of no. 2 doubles for tennis in the top seven, and middle infield for the baseball team.

Since Bailey plays a fall and spring sport, he has the winter to train and make the switch into baseball season less difficult.

“It’s much easier to transition into baseball season over winter because I have time to recover from tennis, and train for baseball,” Bailey said.

Although Bailey believes there are some disadvantages to playing multiple sports, he also believes communication helps profoundly.

“I feel like if you communicate well with your coaches then you aren’t so much at a  disadvantage. Communication helps coaches understand your commitment,” Bailey said.

Bailey is passionate about both sports, and loves to compete, which was his motive for playing multiple sports.

Sophomore Jack Isakson runs cross country in the fall as well as track and field in the spring. He keeps himself in shape by keeping his focus on his athletics after and before school.

Isakson agrees with Brown in that it can be difficult to play more than one sport.

“It’s a struggle trying to balance out the sports in between seasons and with school,” Isakson said.

Many cross country athletes run track to stay in shape for the upcoming cross country season. It is also very common for many fall and winter sport athletes to run track and field because it helps them stay in shape, work out, and get stronger.

Isakson also enjoys doing it because it allows him to stay active.

“It’s better than just sitting at home and it gives me something to do that I’m good at,” Isakson said.

As both Isakson and Brown compete in two different varsity sports, they do so in sports that compliment each other.

Studies show that football tends to increase toughness, endurance and physical capacity for the basketball court.

On the other hand, basketball provides an athlete with sufficient stamina, coordination and agility for the football field, all attributes necessary for a football player to dominate.

Playing multiple sports is time consuming and can lead to shortened training times for sports while the other sport is in-season.

Playing multiple sports can also be seen as a pro due to increased amount of exercise, on top of change in joint and ligament movement.

Senior Savaya Brockington, the point guard for the girls basketball team, as well as a starter on the girls soccer team believes the exercise for each basketball and soccer are different.

“Considering both of the sports… You have to be in a different kind of shape for each soccer and basketball. It’s not as hard as most people think but the transition is definitely tough,” Brockington said.

Brockington, similar to Brown, believes multi-sport athletes are decreasing every year. However, she believes it’s due to injuries.

“I know some people who have stopped playing a sport so they can focus on their main one, just because there are so many injuries going on.”

Brockington’s passion drives her to compete in multiple sports, on top of the friendships she’s gained through soccer and basketball.

“I’ve always enjoyed both sports and grew up playing both of them. I’ve also been able to create bonds with two different types people which is just amazing.”

Charlie Peterson, Hery Acosta, Alek Shahbaz

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