One of the main motivators for young athletes is the desire to compete in college athletics. Parents want to help make those dreams come true for their kids. Rightfully so. That is why so many pursue the club sports and ultimately narrow down to just one sport. Sometimes that is way too early in their athletic career.
There are certainly other motivators for playing sports. Some kids don’t have a desire to play at the collegiate level. They just want to have fun. Or they like the competition. Or they just want to compete with their friends and classmates.
Those are great reasons as well.
As a coach, it does get frustrating seeing great athletes play certain sports. But, for whatever reason, they just do that one sport. We all probably understand why they do that. I don’t have to list those.
Yet, I feel their athletic experience isn’t entirely what it could be if they did play other sports without the guilt of supposedly “sacrificing” training or playing for that main sport.
Recently, the Central Ohio nominees for athlete of the year in various sports were announced. Obviously, these are some of the best of the best in the city. I’m going to throw out some numbers for you.
- Between boys and girls, 30 sports were represented that had athletes of the year awards.
- 330 athletes were nominated. A few were nominated in multiple sports, but most of them were nominated in just one sport.
- Out of those 330 athletes, my staff has worked with 13 of those athletes at some point in their athletic career. 1 of those athletes was nominated in 2 different sports and 6 of them were within this last athletic year.
- 7 of the 13 athletes are seniors. Out of those 7 seniors, 5 of them are participating in a D1 sport next year and 1 is trying to walk-on.
Over the course of a typical sport year, we work with a lot of athletes. Because it is individualized training and we have limited time slots open, it isn’t tons. But, if I had to guess I’d say it is 150 athletes a year. 150 athletes who want to improve and better themselves for various reasons.
And yes, some have the goal of playing in college.
Alright, that is great, but what does all of this mean??
In my mind, first off it illustrates what a small percentage of athletes actually get to be that good where they are playing in college.
Yes, I realize that there are quite a few athletes who will play in college that don’t necessarily get end of the season accolades like these athletes. Let’s look at my numbers. 6 will be participating in college, but only 3 of those 6 trained with us these last 12 months.
3 athletes out of the 150 we see annually? All I know is that is a small percentage.
If you know that going in, I guess I would try to see what I can do with my athletic career (which you only have once in your life) to make it as fun as possible. To find a way where if I have an interest in multiple sports to be able to do it without compromising my physical well-being and be overtrained.
It’s tough. I get it.
But, I know too many athletes that have put their eggs in one basket, spent gobs of $$$, and in the end the kid decides not to pursue the sport in college and just have fun. The parents just want them to be happy, but in the back of the mind you start thinking about all the time, travel, and money spent.
Was all that worth it just to create a positive experience for your kid?
Or could less have been spent to develop the athlete in another sport as well, to have an equally positive experience in that sport too? Maybe.
It’s a whole other blog post to address how to do these multiple sports, but I just want you to be aware of the numbers. It’s a small percentage that get to that next level that people desire. Is it worth it sacrificing every other sport to get there and can you do it?
I guess we will find out.