student athlete

Does Playing Multiple Sports Make Players Better All-around Athletes?

The question of whether focusing on one sport is an advantage or a disadvantage for an athlete is often hotly debated. We live in an age when sporting performance is minutely analyzed with hi-tech coaching tools like Hi Rise Camera and Hi Pod sideline cameras. So much so that some people would argue that concentrating on the techniques needed to excel at one sport is more than enough to ask of any young athlete. On the other hand, some people would say that technologies like the sports video camera are partly to blame for the rise in sports burnout. They make an athlete focus far too much on one specialized sport.

Of course, technology is only one part of the debate. The real question is; are multi-sports athletes better all-around athletes. Or, will not specializing hold back an athlete from truly mastering one single sport? Here are the arguments on both sides of the debate:

Developing Complementary Skills

Athletes who compete in multiple sports can find that the skills that they acquire in one sport can be transferred to another sport. A football player, for example, can improve hand to eye coordination by playing baseball. The counterargument that, on the other hand, is that a football player will never need to swing a bat.

Athlete Burnout

Playing a single sport all year round can lead to athlete burnout. Quite simply, an athlete can lose all their enthusiasm for a sport if they are playing it day in and day out. Ultimately, this can lead to a very promising player deciding not to peruse their chosen sport when they move on to college.

Off-season Injuries

One of the issues that multi-sport athletes can experience is that they are more prone to injury. An injury sustained playing another sport during the off-season can impact on their ability to compete in their primary sport. While sports video camera systems like Hi Rise Camera can help athletes avoid injury, nothing can completely prevent it.

Personal Development

There are two sides to the argument when it comes to the personal development of athletes too. Proponents of the multi-sport argue that multiple sports help an athlete become a better team player. A top football player, for example, might learn better interpersonal skills when they discover that they are only a mediocre soccer player. On the other hand, focussing on one sport and excelling at it will build an athlete’s self-confidence.

Difficulties Choosing One Sport

If an athlete is forced to specialize in one sport too early, it can be counterproductive. It can be difficult for gifted athletes to choose one single sport to focus on when they are young. If they are given the opportunity to play many sports before they specialize, they will have far more enthusiasm for their chosen sport. On the other hand, specializing at an early age provides more opportunity to perfect the skills of a chosen sport.

As you can see, the arguments for and against playing multiple sports are far from clear cut. The answer is that it depends on the individual athlete. Fortunately, sports video camera technology and sideline cameras like Hi Rise Camera and Hi pod can be used in multiple sports. This means that schools can offer the same high level of coaching technology regardless of the sport being played.

Many coaches are now advocating multi-sports participation for younger athletes. A report by the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine concluded that multi-sport training during early to middle adolescence reduces the risk of burnout and enables the development of transferable skills. It appears, then, that the conclusion is that playing multiple sports at a young age does indeed make players better all-around athletes.