-By Nexus Sports Team. 

Clemson Tigers Football Head Coach Dabo Sweeney wants a multi-sport “guy” when looking at recruits . Former NFL “bad boy” wide receiver Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson credits his grandmother for letting him participate in as many organized sports as possible which helped pave the way to the Pros . NFL quarterback Colt McCoy praises the numerous benefits – especially skill development – that are derived from playing multiple sports . Another NFL quarterback, Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers, is also keen on the benefits of being a multi-sport athlete. On a conference call with the media in late 2016, Rodgers was asked to comment on the abilities of rookie sensation Carson Wentz, quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles. Rodgers speculated – and on point – that Wentz’s athletic skillset must have been served up by playing multiple sports in high school. Wentz did, in fact, play basketball and baseball in high school and the athleticism he garnered is now showcased on the field. His ability to modify his throws, his quick feet in the pocket along with the great fundamentals (his base) are a few examples he pointed out. Aaron Rodgers wanted to make a point regarding specialization - the same point Johnson and McCoy made in their videos – which was that NFLers are best served by a diverse athletic background . We are convinced that every parent reading this post agrees with the fundamental idea that the best way to develop athletic abilities is through multi-sport participation. 

The challenge here is how do we do it when so many sport schedules overlap and organizations appear unwilling to “share” their athletes? For student-athletes who engage themselves in high school sports teams, this shouldn’t even be a debate. The school’s responsibility is to develop student-athletes, not football players, basketball players or swimmers. Setting aside the academics for a moment, the schools’ programs need to be in tune with one another to allow student-athletes to learn, develop and thrive. For student-athletes who are engaged in the civil circuits, the challenge is greater as the organizations are all under various governing bodies. Rest assured, you have options available to you. Opting for 2 or 3 recreational-level sports instead of one highly competitive sport is a great way to build acumen, stamina and interpersonal relationships. 

Playing one highly competitive sport along with one recreational is also available, like hockey and martial arts or soccer and skiing for example. Look for sports that have short or condensed schedules when looking for a complementary sport to ago with your competitive sport. Why do we do it? Perhaps the child has college or university aspirations and developing these skills may help tremendously come recruiting time. Or – if for no other reason – we do it to allow them to enjoy the spoils and smiles that come with playing the game, whatever it or they may be.​

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