Florida State track & field head coach Bob Braman says versatile track athletes are more likely to receive a scholarship than those who focus on one event. “It's important for an athlete to have more than one skill," he says. "If somebody is a great pole vaulter, that’s great. But somebody who is a great triple jumper and long jumper is more valuable to us.”
Track & field consists of 21 events, but Florida State can only offer 18 scholarships to track athletes. That means Braman must find people who can compete successfully in more than one event. He says it's very appealing to college coaches when a sprinter can also run for distance, or when a long-distance runner can also perform in other indoor, outdoor and cross country events. “If an athlete is only going to do one event, then he or she must be really, really uniquely talented, and at the highest level,” says Braman.
To catch the eye of more college coaches, practice versatility. If you are a 100-meter sprinter, try the 200-meter sprint. If you're a long jumper, try the triple jump. Succeeding in more than one event will help you get recruited. Maybe you'll even snag a scholarship.
For training and workout tips, check out our track and field page.