Off and Running

Please stop playing sports to get ready for other sports


Mark Carlson, Sports Editor

So sitting in my study hall the other day, working hard to do some homework that wasn’t due until next Friday, I was really glad that I spent my entire English class preparing for study hall. Now I see that that sounds and is ridiculous. And while that scenario sounds like it belongs on another section of this newspaper, that is kind of what people do when they play a sport like track or cross country to “get in shape” for another sport.
Let’s start off with a metaphoric situation. Suppose that Jim, Tim, Kim and Fin are all serious about playing tennis. But then Joseph joins the team to get his reactions and muscle movement ready for bowling. While Joseph may work hard in practice, he may not take the matches seriously because he’s not out there to play tennis, he’s out there to get ready for bowling season! And his lack of caring about success would ruin the team’s hard working mentality. You know they saying, “One apple spoils the barrel!”
I can speak from personal experience, that having the person that whenever they lose because they give up near the end say “I’m only out here to get ready for football” is really annoying. It builds a general sense of resentment among the rest of the team.
Just to clarify, I have no issue with people playing more than one sport. I think it’s great except when someone takes a coach’s time and effort in a sport that they aren’t taking seriously and they are already thinking ahead to the next (insert sport here) season. But if an athlete takes a sport seriously and competes and it happens to prepare them for another sport, then there are no issues there.
If an athlete goes out for a sport, and gives 60 percent effort because he is focusing on another sport, he won’t even be getting prepared for another sport as much as an athlete that gives 95 percent and competes all the time. So even if you decide that you need to do a sport to get better at another, you get more out of it if you give maximum effort just like Wade Wilson does.
But seriously, don’t play another sport just to get better for another. There are plenty of sports specific training guides for individual sports online. Just googling “football off season workouts” gave me about 601,000 results so about 30,000 different sites that have a actual workouts and the rest are there just to steal your credit card number. And these workouts are designed to give an athlete of a specific sport the most quality off-season workouts for their primary sport, whereas playing a different sport would not give an athlete as high of quality of conditioning.
So do you want to be one of the most hated people on a team, where you don’t really care about team success and don’t get good conditioning for your “primary” sport that I bet you are just amazing at, or do you want to be good at your sport? I’ll let you think about this for a good long while since it’s such a hard decision.