College coaches never say, “I hate my multi-sport athletes.” The opposite is true. They love them!
Here are four reasons why multi-sport athletes are better and more attractive to college coaches.
1. Sports Skills Transfer
Eighty-seven percent of the picks in the 2015 NFL Draft were former multi-sport athletes. And this isn’t a one-year anomaly. The long-term average hovers around 70 percent. All athletic movements transfer—quickness, running, jumping, agility, throwing, etc. For instance, jumping for a basketball is similar and builds the same muscles needed to push off the blocks and have a good kick in swimming.
2. Multi-Sport Athletes Have Higher Sport IQs
They develop a feel for any game they play. They are more creative and less mechanical in their approach. For instance, some 10-year-olds look like demi-gods in the batting cage, but have no idea how to run the bases. Some collegiate volleyball players have never served a ball in a competition, ever.
3. Multi-Sport Athletes Suffer Less Burnout
How long does traveling every weekend to compete in six showcase events remains fun? Maintain your passion and fun by taking breaks and time off.
4. Multi-Sport Athletes Learn to Compete
Each sport is different and requires different levels of focus and resiliency. To become mentally tough, athletes need to be in various sports situations that test their resiliency and ability to come back. If they learn to compete early, it will transfer into other areas later on. We can compete in anything.
- Marcelo Chierighini was SEC Swimmer of the Year at Auburn, a national champion and Olympian; he didn’t start swimming until age 16.
- Maverik McNealy, golfer at Stanford University, the top-ranked amateur golfer in the United States, played hockey and soccer as well as golf into his senior year in high school. The balance, stability and core strength required for hockey transferred to golf.
- Future NBA Hall of Famer Steve Nash played soccer, rugby and basketball in high school.
Finally, the single-sport specialist isn’t the worst culprit. It’s the multi-single sports specialist in the new wave of overlapping specialized sports, where one team and league overlap another. Where is the time to play unorganized games?