Let's Play 2 (or 3, or 4)

February 16, 2012

A few conversations I had at last week's Women In Sports Leadership conference further affirmed a point I've been making for years -- high school athletes, if they'd like, shouldn't hesitate to play multiple sports.

Doing so does not hurt, but might just help their chances at landing that prized college scholarship -- on top of adding another layer to the high school sports experience.

Reaffirming this for me last week was Michigan State softball coach Jacquie Joseph, who spoke on that subject at the WISL conference. She's heading into her 24th season as a head coach at the Division I college level -- so she's been around for some of the evolution of both high school sports specialization and college recruiting. Plus, she coaches a sport that sees its share of athletes playing just that one.

Later, I spoke with a high school coach who leads teams in three sports and also played one at the Division I college level. She's a believer in this as well. 

Some of the things I've been told over the years about playing more than one sport:

  • It allows an athlete to learn more skills and hone more parts of his or her athleticism.
  • Using another range of movement further helps condition an athlete's body and make it more resistant to injury.
  • It's hardly rare to see a college football coach watching a prospect's basketball game -- coaches like to see how athleticism transfers across sports, and sometimes will see something from an athlete playing basketball that he didn't show on the football field. (Football and basketball are used in this example, but the same applies to a number of similar situations.)
  • Athletes get an opportunity to play whatever they'd like only this once (unless they turn out to be that rare college athlete who takes on more than one sport at that level).

These are hardly new arguments. But they are always worth repeating -- especially when the people frequently making them (college coaches) are the ones single-sport athletes often are trying to impress.

Today in the MHSAA: 5/30/23

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

May 30, 2023

1. TRACK & FIELD The No. 1 East Kentwood girls won a Michigan Interscholastic Track Coaches Association Division 1 title, while No. 2 East Kentwood and No. 3 Zeeland West shared the boys championship – Athletic.net | Holland Sentinel

2. TRACK & FIELD The No. 1 Shepherd girls and No. 3 Frankenmuth boys won Division 2 MITCA team titles – Mount Pleasant Morning Sun | Saginaw News

3. TRACK & FIELD The No. 1 Olivet girls and No. 1 Clare boys were Division 3 MITCA champions – Lansing State Journal | Mount Pleasant Morning Sun

4. TRACK & FIELD The No. 1 Hillsdale Academy girls and No. 1 Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Prep boys were MITCA Division 4 champions – Jackson Citizen Patriot | Athletic.net

5. TRACK & FIELD Detroit Renaissance swept Detroit Public School League championship meet titles, repeating as winners in the league – Detroit News

6. TRACK & FIELD Oak Park’s girls returned to win the Oakland County championship, and Walled Lake Central’s boys won their first – Oakland Press Girls | Boys

7. SOFTBALL Sarah Basket became Division 2 No. 4 Essexville Garber’s single-season home run record holder in leading the Dukes to the Coleman Invitational title – Bay City Times

8. SOFTBALL Division 3 honorable mention Leslie defeated DeWitt to win its first Greater Lansing Hall of Fame Softball Classic title – WILX

9. BOYS LACROSSE Muskegon Mona Shores avenged a 2022 postseason loss with a 14-3 win over Grandville in a Division 1 Regional Semifinal – Muskegon Chronicle

10. BOYS LACROSSE East Grand Rapids advanced in Division 2 with a 19-10 win over Mattawan – Grand Rapids Press