Christian McCaffrey is a weapon.
His ability to dissect a defense in a multitude of ways makes him one of the most entertaining players in the NFL. How did McCaffrey go about building his trademark flexibility? According to him, a lot of it comes from playing a variety of sports as a youngster.
“I played three or four sports as a kid,” McCaffrey says. “When I was in elementary school and middle school, I never had an offseason to train. I was always in season. And I think playing multiple sports was the best thing I’ve ever done. They all complemented each other. I ran track, played basketball, played baseball and played football. And when I decided I wanted to play football, I didn’t stop playing those other sports because I knew that they complemented me. In high school, I played three sports. So college and now is the first time I’ve had an offseason where I could really hone in on football-specific training, but I think some of those different movements that other sports brought were really important in my development.”
McCaffrey is far from the first NFL player to advocate kids playing multiple sports. Superstars like J.J. Watt, Drew Brees and Calais Campbell have also told STACK they believe playing multiple sports during their upbringing was crucial to their development. In fact, 88% of the players selected in the 2017 NFL Draft played multiple sports in high school. In a recent study, just 22.3% of professional athletes said they “would want their own child to specialize to play a single sport during childhood/adolescence.” The numbers don’t lie, folks.