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New school year offers fresh start for athletes
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I’m going to let everyone in on a little secret. No athlete currently enrolled in any of the three high schools is going to make any money playing sports. This is just the reality. Parents, you know this. If you didn’t, you do now. And now that you have faced reality, what are you going to do about it?

The answer is simple. Let your kids play as many sports as possible. When school resumes tomorrow, every high school athlete gets a fresh start. They get to hit the reset button and play as many sports as they can. Many won’t because of the recent trend of specialization. But the opportunity is there and I say, take advantage of it.

For whatever reason, kids focus on one sport as if they are preparing for a future as an athlete. Unfortunately this is the wrong approach. First of all, the great athletes are those who played more than one sport in high school and college so this whole specialization thing is a dead trend. It probably stemmed from Tiger Woods who was driven to be a professional golfer since he was a toddler. If I had to pinpoint one athlete that set this insanity in motion, it would be Woods.

We shouldn’t blame Tiger Woods though. Instead let’s look at some of the all-time greatest players in professional sports. They all played multiple sports. Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders, Tony Gonzalez, I could go on and on. They all had one thing in common. They played more than one sport in high school and college and in Jackson and Sanders case, professionally. Gonzalez could have played in the NBA. Remember Kenny Loftin? He could have played professional basketball too and don’t forget Charlie Ward won the Heisman before going on to play in the NBA for more than a decade.

Being a multisport ath

Parents seem to think if kids focus on one sport, it will improve their chances at making it as an athlete at the highest level. Look, shooting baskets in the front yard until dark every night is what will make you better. That’s something that can be done whenever. Playing in these expensive offseason leagues or on club teams are great for networking, sure. And yes, they expose kids to different competition. But they don’t necessarily make your kid any better and they sure as heck aren’t going to be the difference between making it as a professional athlete.

I can understand and appreciate parents wanting to give their children the opportunity to earn an athletic scholarship. That is an admirable goal. As long as everyone is of the same realization, that’s much better. But don’t let people talk you into shielding your kids from different sports because they think it will hurt their chances at making it a different sport. That’s selfish thinking and hurts an athlete’s chances to excel in other sports and might even take away from another team’s success.

The bottom line is, if you son or daughter is good enough at a sport; they’ll earn a college scholarship. Some coach will find them. You don’t need to spend tons of money sending your kids to elite camps and all this Mickey Mouse stuff. All you’ll do is make them feel like they’re better than they are. Let kids play all the high school sports they want. You never know, they may wind up earning a scholarship in a sport you never thought they could. More than anything, they’ll have a great time along the way before they graduate and are forced to face the reality of working a regular job.

lete only makes you better at each sport you play. Playing soccer does wonders for your fitness level. Playing football increases strength and agility and volleyball is an excellent sport to compliment basketball for girls. Think about it, you jump more in volleyball than you do basketball. All that’s going to do is improve your fast twitch muscles and explosiveness. It’s much better than waiting around for the basketball season to start.