Monday, March 18, 2013

More on the Multi-Sport Athlete

More?  Yes, I know.  Because it's what I'm passionate about and I believe it's how we're in the process of turning Carlisle into one of the most successful 3A/4A all around sports and activities program in the state.

I guess I'll probably never let it rest.  When your passionate about something that's the way it is.

We're in between seasons right now and getting things rolling for spring sports.  Are you out there competing?  Many are, and we're happy about that.

You're getting better and making yourself a better athlete.  That's the point, making yourself a better athlete.  You only do that by competing.

It's good to train, we have to train to get better, but you only learn to win by competing, and you need to compete year round.

Last week in the article that was shared, we learned how specialization can lead to over use injuries and how it's good to use other muscles that are required in different sports.  The other thing that specialization leads to is burnout.  I've seen many athletes over the years, who were gifted in a certain sport and trained for years, just give it up because it stopped being fun and became a job.

My case to athletes has always been that if you really want to pursue something in college, it's going to be a job when you get there, so you need to experience other sports and activities in high school because you won't have time for other things when you start to compete at the collegiate level, and it doesn't matter if it's JUCO, NAIA, or any NCAA level, it's going to be a job and full time commitment.

Which leads to a final point this week as it relates to the college coach and recruiting.  I have had many conversations with college coaches as they recruited athletes that I have coached, or athletes in the schools where I've been.  Three questions are routinely asked by them all from NCAA Division I on down.

#1 - Character Questions

        What kind of a person are they?  (They being the student/athlete)
        What kind of character do they have?
         Can I trust them on weekends and when they are away from me?

#2 - Academic Questions

          What kind of student are they in the classroom?
          Will they go to class?
           Am I going to have to have someone on them all the time about doing their work?
          Coaches don't have time to have athletes that are going to fail or struggle in classes.
          They'll get someone else to take that spot.

#3 - Finally, and I don't make this up for the sake of this blog,
     Do they participate in other sports or activities?

            The college coaches I have dealt with, have wanted athletes competing
             year round.  Many have also been encouraged by a student's participation the fine arts
             because they know this makes them well rounded and they are learning to budget time, are
             organized, and not afraid to work.

             I had a young man being recruited by the University of Iowa to play football back in the
             mid-90's (yeah, I know ancient) and the football staff was glad that he continued to play
             basketball, so was I as he helped lead us to the state tournament.
             Never once did they tell him to not compete and just train to play football.

             They wanted him out for track in the spring to continue to train and compete in the shot put
             and discus, which he did.

             Yes, that's a NCAA Division I example, and most of our students will compete at a level
              lower than that, but I can almost guarantee that coaches at the NAIA and NCAA D-III
              level will be wanting multi-sport athletes.  

It's not to late to get involved this spring if you need to.  How about summer?

Don't say what if?  Just Do It!!

p.s. Next week I've got more to say about it from another perspective.


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