by Dusty Kiel
The young male athlete wakes up in the morning, eats breakfast, and is off to school. He attends class and is then exposed to several different sports throughout the year.
The question for the athlete then becomes do you want to be a “good” high school athlete, or do you want to excel in one sport specifically and give yourself a better likelihood of playing at the next level.
While a lot of us would argue that young athletes should enjoy playing several sports with their friends, are we hurting their chances of playing at the collegiate level?
Of course, the 6 foot 3, 200 pound wide receiver, who runs 4.4 seconds in the forty yard dash might not have any problem of playing multiple sports. It is the other student ath-letes who have the dreams and aspirations of taking their skills to the next level, but lack the ability by just a slim margin. For example, a friend of mine who was a three sport athlete up until his sophomore year, wanted to play football in college. He stopped playing baseball and basketball and focused on football. He was able to gain solid muscle, speed, and further develop his skill sets and by his senior year held scholarship offers from several schools. So, should these young men get involved in sport specific training? ABSOLUTELY!
Focusing on one sport has become more and more common at earlier and earlier ages. In many cases however, parents are afraid of their son focusing on one sport because they are worried about them being lazy and laying around on the couch playing video games during the “off-season”.
Now-a-days though, there is no such thing as the “off-season”, and what was thought to be the off-season before is now arguably the most important time for the athlete!
Off-seasons now entail developing further skills, as well as becoming bigger, faster, and stronger. As an example, a young man who plays offensive line for his high school team needs to gain weight in order to gain the attention of coaches.
The athlete plays basketball during the winter, which hinders his development of becoming bigger and stronger. The off-season becomes very important for this individual because he needs to gain weight. If he is playing basketball during the winter, he cannot gain the weight necessary to give himself a chance to play at the collegiate level.
This development should also consist of exposing the athlete to other young men in there sport to see how they stack up. This exposure is accomplished by performing at scouting camps, as well as “Showcases” where collegiate coaches are allowed to watch the athlete perform.
Training and making sure the athlete is ready for these camps and Showcases is important too. Any exposure is good exposure and the earlier a player can get in front of a college coach the better!
Training The New Wave of High School Athlete