Why Kids Should Play More Than One Sport – Part 1

Written by Brian Grasso

Multilateral development is a theory which urges young athletes to participate in several sports over their childhood and adolescent periods prior to specializing in one.
The basis is that varied athletic stimulus will serve to broaden the youngsters’ ‘warehouse’ or ‘portfolio’ of general athletic ability and develop a thorough or expansive base on which to build and eventually specialize. While the concepts are well known and the research citing success far reaching, it is still not an embraced reality within North American youth sports.
By examining elite athletics, you can most certainly see the impact that multilateral development can have –
* Michael Jordan – played baseball and football as a youth
* Dave Winfield – a multi-sport phenomenon drafted by the NBA in addition to MLB
* Gary Roberts – an esteemed NHL veteran, played lacrosse at a high level as a youth
* Kurt Browning – 4-time world figure skating champion was an avid hockey and baseball player
While these are just a few examples, the reality is that elite athletics is dominated by individuals who participated in more than one sport as kids.
By no means am I suggesting that excelling in more than one sport is important, but actively participating in a variety of athletic endeavors as you grow physiologically and psychologically is key.
These realities extend beyond just developing good athletic ability.
In fact, one of the problems I’ve encountered and often explained to parents and coaches in youth training seminars is that there is more than just a physical burn-out associated with specialized sporting endeavors.



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Posted by Coach Yun | in General, Youth Fitness | No Comments

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