In the midst of some spirited discussions on our campuses following Friday’s post praising the 3-sport athlete, I came across a website (www.stack.com) offering some interesting insights on the topic from some folks in the athletic world far more qualified than me. Check it out:
The first questions I’ll ask about a kid are, “What other sports does he play? What does he do? What are his positions? Is he a big hitter in baseball? Is he a pitcher? Does he play hoops?” All of those things are important to me. I hate that kids don’t play three sports in high school. I think that they should play year-round and get every bit of it that they can through that experience. I really, really don’t favor kids having to specialize in one sport. Even here, I want to be the biggest proponent for two-sport athletes on the college level. I want guys that are so special athletically, and so competitive, that they can compete in more than one sport.
– Pete Carroll, Head Coach of Seattle Sea Hawks, 2014 Super Bowl Champions
Today, a lot of kids individualize in a specific sport. I think one of the things that helped me most was playing everything. I played basketball, I played football, I ran track. I even played soccer one year, [and] I played baseball. I think it allowed me to recruit different muscles [and] work on different things that I normally wouldn’t. And, it gave me a greater appreciation for the sport that I’ve come to love.
-Arizona Cardinals WR, Larry Fitzgerald
In high school I did a lot of cross training. I ran track a lot; I played soccer [and] baseball; I played football. All those sports were combined into my training regimen, and I just transferred that over to basketball.
-New York Knicks F/C, Amar’e Stoudemire
The one thing I did that I think a lot of athletes don’t do now is [play] a little bit of everything. I played basketball every day after practice. On the weekend, [I] played football on the beach in the sand. I was surfing, body surfing, snorkeling, hiking. Hawaii’s a giant playground, so I grew up doing all kinds of things.
-Olympic Gold Medal decathlete, Bryan Clay
Onward, Malcolm Gauld