I highly encourage young athletes to participate in multiple sports. First, I am biased because, while growing up, I played football, basketball, baseball, golf, track and ran track. While in college, I learned squash and boxing. In all of the sports, I developed as a person and athlete. Second, kids would be better athletes if they played multiple sports. I believe that kids are spending too much time developing specific and sport-related skills and not enough time to become bigger, faster, stronger with better hand-eye coordination. While supporting college admissions, I am seeing this more often. I’m the past, I would assume that the captain of a sports team would excel at West Point’s Candidate Fitness Assessment. However, for many, this is no longer a valid assumption and I may have to coach improvement for this test. I recall lifting weights after track practice with a middle distance runner who was also a wrestler. We both went to West Point where strength and endurance were essential skills but neither of us tried out for the track team. Finally, body mechanics can be learned in any sport and applied to other sports. My best footwork training was learned while boxing and it helped me in football and all swing sports such as squash. The hand eye coordination developed during football catching drills helped my golf and tennis. I’m not sure what I’m learning on my skateboard.
At his high school, Steph Curry was the top golfer. He was not offered a scholarship by the school his parents attended and where his dad was a top basketball player. I imagine that it took considerable discipline for him to play golf rather than spending extra time to work on his ball handling or jump shot. Yet, he is one of the few NBA players that I would not play a round of golf for money. A round with Michael Jordan might make a mortgage payment.