YOUNG ATHLETES PLAYING SEVERAL SPORTS. My friend Bruce Abel sent me this article about how a majority of college coaches believe that young athletes should learn more than one sport rather than specialize because of the opportunity to learn skills in other sports. When I read the article, I recalled a friend of mine telling me that when he moved from Connecticut to Texas, his son, who was in eighth grade, had been told he had to choose one sport to do all the year round. The boy had played three different sports in Connecticut, depending on the season.
The article cites two of the very best football coaches. Pete Carroll, the coach of the Seattle Seahawks, wanted multiple sport players when he was a college coach, and 5 of the first 47 recruits for Urban Meyer at Ohio State had played only football in high school. Wayne Gretsky, the great hockey player, is quoted about how much he loved playing lacrosse in high school, and how he would have disliked playing hockey all year round.