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Benefits and Disadvantages of the Multisport Athlete

by Gwinn Nixon

The multisport athlete, and I mean the real multisport athlete, seems to be a dying trend these days.  The multisport athlete that is one of the better players on your school’s teams each season.  More and more I see high school students playing just one sport, by either the failing trend or coaches demand, and not even training as much as they could in the offseason.  But I want to look at the main benefits and disadvantages to why this trend might be going on.

What are the main benefits of a multisport athlete?  Well, from what I have researched as well as my opinion, the main and most important benefit of being a multisport athlete is that it is very beneficial towards the human body by working different muscles.  When you play a sport you work your muscles, but not all of them.  When you play a different sport you work different muscles and this can help you strengthen your whole body, which in the end can help prevent injury, and help you in your overall athletic development.  This is an aspect that most high school athletes do not know.

Another benefit of the multisport athlete is the experience that you get when you are able to play multiple sports.  I was a multisport athlete in high school and had nothing short of a great time with my friends and teammates every season getting to experience numerous ups and downs with them.

One last benefit of playing multiple sports is the experimentation.  You can’t find out which sport you enjoy most if you don’t try them out.  By playing multiple sports you can find out not only which sport suits you best, but also which one you enjoy playing the most.

The main disadvantage of being a multisport athlete is that there simply isn’t enough time.  As a multisport athlete there isn’t an offseason, as you are constantly moving from sport to sport.  What this means is that there is no offseason to train or rather specialize in one sport.  This can certainly limit your upside or ceiling in a sport and could hurt you, especially if you are looking to pursue a sport at the next level.  The main thing to be aware of here is that if you are concentrating on one sport to make sure to work out all your muscles in your training.  It is no secret that players get better in the offseason, and when there isn’t one you are essentially relying on natural ability and while this definitely works for some people, others need to train if they want to succeed.  Is it possible to be a multisport athlete and train as well?  Yes, but it takes time and a lot of dedication.

So make the decision for yourself on what is best for you, but I’m always rooting for the multisport man.

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