Dive in ‘n’ run

Athletes shouldn’t be pressured to quit their secondary sports

I bet you’re wondering how in the world I ended up with this title, “Dive in ‘n’ run.” It’s actually a bit of a story, so let’s get into it.
At the end of last school year, I learned that I was going to be the next Sports Editor for The Journal, which was super exciting. Not only was I looking forward to designing pages, but I knew that being Sports Editor specifically meant the opportunity to write a column for each issue.
But that also came with deciding what to name my column and how to make it special. And, after playing around with so many different ideas, I finally landed on this one. Aside from representing the sports that I compete in (cross country, swimming and track), it also encapsulates my somewhat chaotic energy.
So as I mentioned before, I’m a three-sport athlete, which is pretty rare in high school today. Each year, a larger percentage of young athletes is choosing to focus solely on one sport, according to ScienceDaily.
While some may argue that playing one sport allows them to have a better chance at being a collegiate, or even professional athlete, this isn’t always the case. For example, over 80% of D1 lacrosse players, both men and women, were multisport athletes. The same goes for running, with 87% of women and 91% of men being multisport athletes. There are more examples, but I’ll just leave it here. Clearly it’s possible to be an incredible athlete while still taking part in multiple sports.
Another risk with specialization in sports is that it has been linked to higher injury rates, according to the National Library of Medicine. And this shouldn’t surprise you. Doing the same motion over and over again, year after year, just doesn’t seem like a recipe for success. Hello overuse injuries.
In case injuries aren’t scary enough, how about burnout. I can tell you for a fact that if I had tried to only compete in one sport, I would have quit a long time ago. Even if you love it, it’s just so mentally taxing to try to improve on the same sport all year long.
Now let’s move onto the benefits of doing multiple sports.
Every sport uses a different group of muscles, and training all parts of the body results in a stronger and more well rounded athlete who is capable of performing at a higher level.
I see this theme run true all over athletics at SHS. Here are just a couple of the many examples.
Junior Carter Hartman participates in football, wrestling and is a thrower in track. His main sport is football, but he says that each of his sports build off of one another, helping him increase agility, speed and body-awareness.
Junior Karlyn Fox has been on the swim and soccer teams for the past two years, and she thinks that doing both helps to improve her overall fitness and increases her success.
Junior Adrian Perez, who does cross country, swimming and track, believes that doing several sports has helped him to see what parts of his body are weaker and the areas that he needs to improve.
Oh, and I just realized the best reason to do multiple sports. The more you do, the more opportunities you have to make awesome memories and friendships that will last a lifetime (I know it’s cheesy, but just trust me).