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This isn't about two sport blue chip prospects or kids whose primary sport is football.

This is about kids who excel at baseball and also play high school football because it's something to do.

We have two kids in town. Both 2023s. Both are very good baseball players. Both have the talent to play college baseball somewhere after High School. Both really want to play college baseball. Both would never play college football other than on special teams at a lower level D3...maybe. Neither has the size and speed to play college football offensively or defensively as a starter. Neither has any desire to play college football.  But both play High School football.

One tore his ACL playing High School football in the fall of 2020 and had to miss the entire 2021 baseball season. He would have been a sophomore starting on varsity baseball because his bat is that good.

The other tore his ACL and his MCL at High School football practice this fall and will miss his junior season as a high school baseball player. He would have most likely would have been a starter for his school. Right now he's in the midst of 16 weeks of PT just to get back to being able to walk.

Hopefully both end up playing college baseball after they graduate in 2023 because it's what they really want to do.

But they both had to go through serious surgery and PT and lost a season of High School varsity baseball because they were playing High School football for something to do.

Is it worth it?

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Would you then include any HS sport?  Basketball players, in my experience, also have a lot of ACLs torn.  How about the HS baseball player already committed?  Would you tell them to forego HS since they have already committed to a collegiate team?   

Side note, I had several of my HS players play both football and basketball since I coached at a small HS.  One was fortunate to play both football and baseball at U of Iowa.  I have had one play basketball and baseball in college. 

@CoachB25 - I said football because that's what happened in both instances. But, I guess you can substitute basketball as well.

My son was a baseball and basketball player when he was younger. And he was pretty good at his age when he was 8 through 11.

But, the reality was that his dad (me) is 5-10. His mom is 5-4. And both of his grandfathers are under 6 feet tall. He was never going to be tall enough to play basketball at older ages. And, he was always getting hurt on the court because he was aggressive and the wood is unforgiving. Finally, he had to miss the start of his 12u baseball spring because of two fractured fingers from playing basketball in February.

We (us and him) decided it wasn't worth it and he stopped playing basketball.

No regrets either.

Whether it is worth it or not is up to the individual, but I am tired of the wokeness about playing multiple sports. Kids should do whatever they want to do for sure, but the ESPN broadcasters shouldn't have to mention during the LLWS that the players play other sports every five minutes. I understand that this is their directive, as ESPN gets alot of flax for exploiting the kids and broadcasting this youth baseball event. But it has gone too far and I am tired of people asking me if my kid plays other sports.

It remains to be seen how the two anecdotal examples that you provided will work out, but if their goal was indeed to play college baseball, it is difficult to see how it was worth it unless that wanted to be a two sport athlete and also play football in college.

So to provide a less woke, unqualified repsonse, no it was not worth it.

Honestly you can get injured with anything. Sure football is risky but you can also tear your pec bench pressing or tear your Achilles when sprinting.

I probably wouldn't recommend playing football in your senior year for a potential first round draft pick but you can't stop living for the next two years just because you have committed to college.

Last edited by Dominik85

For me, it's this:

If you are a legitimate multiple sports stud who has sincere potential to excel and play sports beyond high school in a few different sports, by all means, play multiple sports in high school.

Or, if you're the kid who played multiple sports as a youngster because you loved them all, and, you have no intention to play sports after high school for whatever reason, then, by all means, play multiple sports in high school.

But, if your desire is to play only one particular sport after high school, and, your athletic skill set and physical attributes align with that same particular sport, then focus on that one sport after the 7th or 8th grade, and don't take chances with other sporting activities that are high risk of injury.

And, just to clarify. It's those sports with high risk of serious injury that should be avoided. If you want to be on the baseball team and the swimming team, that's not the same as playing baseball and football.  Or, if you want to do baseball and bowling, who cares? It's the sports where 11 large people are trying to hit you as hard as possible and knock you to the ground where there's risk. There's plenty of second sports options where that's not happening if you really want to do something other than baseball to break it up.

The best you can do is live your life the way you choose. Stuff happens! If athletes could avoid injuries they would.

We didn’t let our son play football until middle school. He stepped right in and quickly advanced beyond most of the kids who had been playing Pop Warner for a few years. The varsity coach wanted to prime him to become the varsity QB junior year.

My son decided summer before freshman year he didn’t want to play football anymore. He was concerned he would get injured and miss basketball and baseball.

Even though soccer was always his best sport he was going to give up soccer. He figured he needed the fall for fall ball and “optional” basketball work.

By the end of the first week of September he was bored not playing a fall sport. He begged the varsity soccer coach to put him in the program. He went from JV to starting varsity goalie by the end of freshman year.

Soph year he was cut from the basketball program despite being the starting freshman point guard. There were knowledgeable basketball people who thought he would be in the varsity rotation soph year. He was cut for not playing summer league basketball and missing all optional workouts. The basketball coach preferred one sport athletes. His only two sport athletes tended to be 6’5” to 6’7”. My son was playing three sports.

So, now he’s a soccer player and a baseball player. He never got hurt playing football. He never got hurt playing basketball. He was momentarily paralyzed (a minute seemed like hours) playing soccer when he took a knee into his neck making a headlong, diving save. He tore his MCL and PCL on a fluke baseball collision at the plate scoring on a short blocked wild pitch. He fell and separated his shoulder requiring surgery during rehab.

His baseball injuries caused him to miss the most crucial recruiting summer and soccer that fall.

The moral of the story? Have no fear. Live your life. If you want something badly enough it will all work out. It did for him.

I played football, basketball and baseball in high school and baseball in college. I never got injured. I never broke a bone. I didn’t break a bone until my sixties when I got flipped off my bike and broke my hand landing on it. Biking isn’t a non contact sport when you’re around Massachusetts drivers.

Last edited by RJM

Woke has nothing to do it. Encouraging 10, 11 and 12 year old kids to play other sports is healthy.

Son played basketball until his senior year. As an oversized position player, it kept him agile, fast, athletic and hungry for baseball season. Baseball overuse injuries on his first HS team (shoulders, backs, elbows) were proportionally as common as basketball injuries. He chose not to play basketball his senior year and we were absolutely supportive of that decision but overall I think the benefits outweighed the risk for him.

I think @Dominik85 nailed it. Injuries happen. So Each kid and family has to make their own decision and own it.

Last edited by PTWood

We got to know the HS basketball pretty well - he encouraged and hoped his players would play football in the fall. Did kids get injured - yep, sh*t happens, but beyond the different muscles used - other sports create/cause certain team dynamics and reliance to allow players to realize they're not "it" at everything. A few may be, but it's hard to be the best at 3 sports unless you play all 3 year round which as most parents probably realize means you have no time for anything else. In the long run it's about building up a certain mental toughness that coaches like. Future employers like former athletes too - personally driven and understanding of team dynamics. I think the NCAA runs a commercial series on that - some find it annoying, but there is truth to it! ;-)...



When my kids grew up we "competed" against the s sport in the spring for baseball players. Drove me nuts to see them require 8-12 year olds to play 3 seasons in order to stay on some travel team. I feel they were using the "status" of travel for some parents minds as the primary motivator. When we started Fall baseball I would tell kids/parents - the s sport is the in season sport, choose that and then be a fill-in at baseball. That is if you're not playing s, then come to the baseball field - we'll treat it like a pickup game and put your kid out there. We ran our rosters with 10 players (small town).

fwiw: Son#1 did play hs football, he did get injured (broken jaw) in Soph year, but still continued to play football & baseball. He gave up hoops after 1 season (hard to get a spot after missing soph season - he tried though)... He switched to the other side and was one of the leaders in the student section... His Sr year for baseball a new coach made it clear that he was going to "play" the Jr's... None of the Sr's came out and my son got into a bit of trouble writing a letter to the editor detailing why the group of 8 Sr's chose not to play. In college, he played 1 year of football at a D3 high academic, ended up being the treasurer, then president of the baseball/football fraternity, and a leader in the greek council. In my mind, all his sports activities helped shape him and understand interpersonal dynamics that one may not see playing just 1 sport and are considered the best.

Of course kids should be exposed to all the sports or activities they are interested in doing.   Part of being a kid is learning what you like to do and what you are good at.   Sometimes that includes doing some things that you don't like or aren't good at.   I played high school football in MA as a freshman and sophomore until we moved to CT half way through my junior year..still haven't forgiven my parents for that situation.  I liked football, but there was absolutely no future there as I was built like Doug Flutie with absolutely none of his talent.  I knew it.   My only opportunity to play a sport (not football or baseball)  at the next level was to work hard on that sport and skillset, and try to walk on.  I did and I was a fixture for 4 years.

I think kids are more self aware than we give them credit for, and that is why I think some make the decision to continue playing football or not.  It is a mindset, and I think some kids are aware of their limitations and instinctively know to play multiple sports or to just focus on baseball or any particular sport.  My oldest son is a very logical thinker.   In his mind, I can see him thinking to himself that football provides no value in terms of time invested or exposure in his college baseball dreams.   The best thing for him to do is focus on baseball in the Fall and Spring.

JMO.

Last edited by fenwaysouth

You give up time to develop sport specific skills by being a multi sport athlete.  You also give up your off-season to a different sport and loose recovery time, both mentally and physically.  Competing year round can accelerate burn out.  Injuries are also a concern.

Conversely, playing other sports can rest specific muscles and hone complementary skills.  It can yield a fresh perspective and enhance drive.

It depends on the player and the situation.   There isn't a cookie cutter answer.  Frequently specializing is required to advance to the next level.  When to specialize depends on the player.

I would say to play as many sports early on as possible and keep playing them as long as possible until the player picks a sport that he wants to specialize in.  For most having to pick a single sport may never come as they will not play past high school or college and will have the lifetime memories of playing multiple sports in high school.

In my opinion, playing multiple sports (especially football) builds the competitiveness and grit that is needed to succeed at the highest levels.  It also develops overall athleticism because of the different athletic movements required with each sport.

My son stopped playing football after his freshman year on his own and still has some level of regret for missing out on playing on that big stage on Friday nights with his friends and classmates.   Even though he has played on some huge stages already in baseball(18U team USA, D1 baseball) that may not have been possible if he had continued to play both sports.  Either way it needs to be the kids decision as it is their life and parents need to allow them to make these type of decisions.

 

My kiddo loves football he’s actually good at it. Basketball is also a love but he can’t play it to save his life. 10 years playing basketball ball and he look like he never played it. In HS we explain how football is amazing and he’s super talented but his love is baseball. He decided (we suggested in a nice way) he wanted to skip football and focus on baseball only. He didn’t want to miss baseball class! The risk of injury was huge for football. Being a LHP with power, command and location in the making/works it was too hard to play football just for fun. He justify it by saying the team really is not good actually very bad!
when football games roll around my heart yearn seeing him on the field. Basketball is now and he have no desire to play.
At first I felt horrible to suggest giving up football but looking at it now - it worked out better with him focus on one sports.
one day every one has to make a decision to hang up the cleats. For our child he played 4 sports until he walked into high school. Now it’s 💯 baseball.
He knew baseball would be his ultimate sports since he was 3.
Let the kid make his decision! They are smarter than what we give them credit for. Even tho we suggested it’s time - deep down he wanted it to be time.
Now his whole world is focus on his only love! Baseball!

I agree that Football, with it's 2 a days and tough culture is great for raising a gritty athlete.  I have a 2025 LHP who is 6ft 175lbs and wants to play high school tackle football (for the first time!; flag only before!) next season.   I told him flat out "No.  No discussion".   This is a kid who is the 1 or 2 LHP in state.  While he hasn't verbally committed yet like a few of his teammates (crazy people), he's certainly getting a lot of interest.   As much as I like some of the benefits of football, one has to be practical.   While you could get a knee, back, head, clavicle, hand injury just randomly in life, a sport like football in the sophomore year has to exponentially increase the risk.  I feel a little like a helicopter parent but you gotta just do the best you can as a parent.  That one didn't pass my sniff test.

My experience is that many college baseball coaches really like kids who played football in high school. I think it likely has to do with some of the mental and physical toughness that comes with football. I bet many college coaches would say one of their biggest challenges is kids who are soft or entitled. Baseball players who also excel in football, maybe in general are not so much like that.

My son played football mostly to be hanging with the guys, I think. We talked about it but I totally left it up to him. He had no real passion or great talent for it. On the other hand he was a pitcher with great potential. It was obvious he could play in college and he loved it. I would watch him play football and I'd find myself thinking to myself "please don't let him get hurt, please don't let him get hurt". And guess what. He got hurt. A bad knee injury. His junior year of baseball was mostly wiped out. Thankfully he had a tremendous senior year of high school and got to play in college.

My son ended up on the football team even though he played soccer and almost never went to football practice. The football coach saw him punt a soccer ball (he was a goalie) the length of the soccer field. He had him try it with a football. He became the punter for the football team. He tried place kicking. But he didn’t have time to spend on learning to elevate the ball. The previous soccer/kicker went to kicking camp and kicked for a college in D1. The football players didn’t tease him much (it was all in good fun except one kid) since they knew he could have played football.

First off - and I’ll probably get pelted for this - I’d argue the “college baseball coaches prefer multi sport athletes” deal is WAY overrated, if not a myth. What coaches truly prefer are players who show up ready to mash and rock on day 1. If being a multi sport athlete in high school helps makes that happen, so be it. But lots here have already gone through the recruiting process and my guess is that almost no one would say their kid ended up with something better because they were multi sport. Raise your hand if your kid was getting 25% offers but they turned into 33%+ offers once the coach found out they’re were multi sport. I won’t argue that being multi sport can’t be a very good thing. It absolutely can. But are coaches factoring it into recruiting and offers? I’ll be almost never. What’s the end result for the recruit? Did playing multiple make him better? Did it cause injuries they need to be concerned about?  You were multi sport, you weren’t multiple sport. What are you today right now when I need you? That’s the bottom line.

My 2021 JUCO son was playing 4 different sports by the time he was 8. By middle school, he was down to 3. By high school, he was playing baseball and football and did intramural basketball for 9th and 10th grade. Covid killed 11th grade and that was it for basketball. My son actually had a few D2 football offers (that came to HIM - boy, football is nice!) but he dropped football his senior year. THAT was very difficult for him to do. But he did it to put more time into baseball, not to increase his odds of not getting injured.

Long story short, I don’t think football is a great idea for juniors and seniors in high school who are sure college baseball is the destination. I hate to see kids lose things they love, but with all they have working against them as college baseball players?  Why lower your already crappy odds?

I had 2 kids on my travel team from 9-12u that were great athletes. Both started playing football for the first time as freshman. Both are now 4* football recruits as sophomores (one is a WR, the other is a CB/KR/PR). Both could likely play D1 baseball. Not sure which direction they’ll choose, I just pray they both stay healthy and get their shots.

I believe a lot gets misconstrued in the multi athlete versus specialized athlete debate. Sometimes you will hear college baseball coaches attribute the athleticism of players to their having been multi sport athletes. But more than anything the college baseball coaches care who can help him win baseball games regardless of background.

My son’s best sport wasn’t baseball. It was soccer. His favorite sport wasn’t baseball. It was basketball. But he loved them all plus football. Baseball was the best fit for college. Had he been 6’6” I believe his focus sport would have been basketball.

My daughter played college softball. Her favorite sport was basketball. She’s 5’10”. But she didn’t have D1 college prospect basketball quickness. She also played volleyball. Her real favorite sport was two man beach volleyball. But it’s not a school sport. Softball was the best fit to continue.

Last edited by RJM
@DanJ posted:

First off - and I’ll probably get pelted for this - I’d argue the “college baseball coaches prefer multi sport athletes” deal is WAY overrated, if not a myth. What coaches truly prefer are players who show up ready to mash and rock on day 1. If being a multi sport athlete in high school helps makes that happen, so be it. But lots here have already gone through the recruiting process and my guess is that almost no one would say their kid ended up with something better because they were multi sport. Raise your hand if your kid was getting 25% offers but they turned into 33%+ offers once the coach found out they’re were multi sport. I won’t argue that being multi sport can’t be a very good thing. It absolutely can. But are coaches factoring it into recruiting and offers? I’ll be almost never. What’s the end result for the recruit? Did playing multiple make him better? Did it cause injuries they need to be concerned about?  You were multi sport, you weren’t multiple sport. What are you today right now when I need you? That’s the bottom line.

My 2021 JUCO son was playing 4 different sports by the time he was 8. By middle school, he was down to 3. By high school, he was playing baseball and football and did intramural basketball for 9th and 10th grade. Covid killed 11th grade and that was it for basketball. My son actually had a few D2 football offers (that came to HIM - boy, football is nice!) but he dropped football his senior year. THAT was very difficult for him to do. But he did it to put more time into baseball, not to increase his odds of not getting injured.

Long story short, I don’t think football is a great idea for juniors and seniors in high school who are sure college baseball is the destination. I hate to see kids lose things they love, but with all they have working against them as college baseball players?  Why lower your already crappy odds?

No pelting here, only .  100% agreement, especially your last paragraph.  I would add wrestling to the mix especially if the kid is a pitcher.   I've seen that situation play out, and it didn't end well.     

Middle and youngest son were three sport athletes.  football and basketball.  Middle son's biggest regret may be turning down dual sport offer from Kentucky in football and baseball.  His problem was football would have been the primary so anytime football was doing anything it was priority in fall or spring.  Thought he had a chance to be drafted so walked away from it.

Youngest son played all three until senior year.  We moved after his football season junior year so he would have had to learn a new offense as QB for one year and our line was really bad.  His best friend had been QB previous 4 years and told him it was not much fun running for his life every play.

His senior basketball season he met with the coach and told him he would play but would not be as aggressive as he had been in the past.  He transitioned from an attack guard who always was going full speed and driving the ball to a set up shooter.  Made all-region his senior year and led the team in scoring.

I don't think college coaches care whether you play dual sports but they want players who could play dual sports.  But I did look at our P5 roster from last year and of the guys who started or had significant innings only 2 were baseball only in HS.  The rest played dual sports and almost all played three sports.

@PitchingFan Wow, that's shocking compared to around here.  I just looked at the top 15 players (according to PBR) here for 21s and 22s.  26 of the 30 were baseball-only guys in high school.  25 went D1, 2 to D2 and 3 Jucos.  This is far from scientific or holistic, but what it's not, is an advertisement to play multi sports in HS.

One thing I don't believe anyone has touched on yet, is the brand-building aspect of this.  When you don't have a second sport to split time with, you're in a much better position to do more baseball stuff like camps, clinics, specialty instruction, indoor/online hitting leagues, hop on planes to play ball where it's always warm, etc.  More tweets.  More exposure.  More coaches, instructors, scouts, RCs, etc. seeing you and talking about you.  Right or wrong, those things factor in.  The 2-sport guys I see - especially football players - largely ghost all things baseball during football season.  Basketball too.  For lots of reasons, that is a good thing.  But branding-building?  Nope.  Around here, I'd argue that dual sport guys are somewhat thought of as guys who are less serious about baseball.  Even if it's just a little, I don't think it's a label that any kid necessarily wants.  Not that I am bitter about it, but my 2021 Juco player was a D1 recruit according to every measurable.  Very successful on the field as well.  While a couple D1s got close to offering, they never did.  Because of playing football 9th-11th grade (which essentially runs June-November here), my son simply had less time to build his baseball brand.  Without football, I think there's at least an argument that he'd be at a D1 right now.  But neither he nor I have any regrets about it.  He's VERY likely where he's supposed to be right now.  Just my 2 cents ($0.00 when adjusted for inflation).

I would disagree.  My son was in the midwest his freshman and sophomore years and he played every weekend in the fall on a high level while playing football on Friday nights.  My middle son went to Jupiter and pitched the first game and was back for Friday night football.  Guys who are serious about baseball make it work.  Both of my sons were QB's and played defense.  During the summer, they were 95% baseball and the football coaches understood it.  They both did not start the first game of each year because they did not do most of the summer stuff but were the starting QB's after the first game.  Football coaches may not like it but they will do what it takes to win games.

I can't speak for your state but I know in SC, the top 5 baseball players my son's senior year were all 2 or 3 sport athletes.  It was the same in TN my middle son's senior year.  The #1 quit the other 2 sports his senior year but had played 3 sports up until that point.

I think that a big part of this is that coaches like kids that remind them of themselves...and most coaches are of an age when playing multiple sports was much easier than it is today.  It is probably also the case that coaches perceive that kids who haven't focused on baseball might have more untapped potential than kids who have.

@DanJ just playing devil's advocate, these are from the bios of last year's roster where my son committed:

Player 1: Also lettered four times in basketball; Player 3: Also lettered in football; Player 4: Lettered three times in football...Started three years at quarterback; Player 5: Also lettered once in basketball; Player 6: Also lettered twice in football; Player 7: Also lettered five times in basketball; Player 10: Also lettered three times in football...Tabbed honorable mention all-district at quarterback at a senior; Player 17: Also lettered twice in football; Player 18: Also lettered three times in football...Two-time first-team all-region and all-county performer in football; Player 20: Also lettered four times in football and three times in track and field...Two-time all-state selection in football...Three-time state finalist in the 100-meter dash...Two-time regional and district 100-meter dash champion...Owns school record in 100-meter dash; Player 21: Also lettered four times in track and field, three times in football and once in basketball; Player 24: Earned four letters in football...Was named team offensive MVP in football as a senior; Player 26: Also lettered four times in basketball, football and soccer; Player 28: Also lettered twice in football...Helped East Central to a 13-1 record, a South State title and an appearance in the 4A MHSAA Championship Game as a senior...Amassed 66 receptions for 1,359 yards and 15 touchdowns as a tight end/wide receiver in two seasons. He's also a  tight end on the college football team; Player 29: Missed his freshman and sophomore seasons due to a torn ACL each year...Also lettered twice in football This one represents the risks; Player 30: Also lettered twice in football; Player 31: Also competed in hockey and volleyball...Drafted in the eighth round of the 2016 Ontario Hockey League Draft by the Owen Sound Attack; Player 32: Also lettered twice in bowling I did not make this up; Player 33: Also lettered twice in football...Earned all-county honors as a quarterback; Player 36: Also lettered twice in football; Player 38: Also lettered three times in basketball and once in football.

That's 21 out of 38 of a CWS roster played other sports for at least one year in HS.

Some of these guys suffered with their HS baseball rankings because they played football or other sports. Many of them did not (just a reminder that PBR and PG rankings don't matter as much as people think). And showing up on day 1 mashing is important but so is development over time. Player 28's playing time and production has gradually increased over time until he was the starting LF (who ironically shared innings with Player 30). I may have messed up the numbers a little bit but the descriptions are pulled straight from their published bios.

The reason I am so passionate about this is because my son and others were strongly encouraged NOT to play basketball by the baseball coach at his first school. Most of them would not have made varsity and they would have quit on their own anyway but they lost a year of enjoyment, comraderie and fun and I can promise you it did not improve their baseball future at all. The ones playing baseball at the next level still would have even if they had played an extra year of basketball. One poor guy gave up basketball and was still cut from the HS baseball team the next year.,

I would never tell a parent/player they had to play another sport but I also believe no one has the right to tell a player NOT to play another sport either because there are proven benefits to both. The older you get, the closer you are to your end goal, the harder the decision...

Last edited by PTWood

@PitchingFan & @PTWood Then clearly geography is a factor.  We're in Nebraska which is in almost no way comparable to the hot bed and/or SEC areas you are pulling from.  The top 15 here and the top 15 in your neck of the woods are apples and oranges.  When you're good enough to play for an SEC team, you're good enough not to suffer when playing other sports right up until graduation.  Kids around here have to be MUCH more active/louder to get noticed and build a brand.

I fully appreciate that kids lose a lot when dropping sports.  It totally sucks.  But playing a college sport is so rare that I think giving up some things in high school is worth it for most.  You lose a lot, but if it means you get to keep playing any GAME past HS, I'd argue it's worth it.  For many - outside of hyper elite athletes where the SEC is dying to have you - the gains associated with whittling sports down as you get closer to graduating HS, is the smartest choice if you want to keep playing.  For every kid that is a shoe in to play a college sport, there are a lot more who have to fight tooth and nail just to make it happen and can't afford to leave any stone unturned.

@DanJ posted:

@PitchingFan & @PTWood Then clearly geography is a factor.  We're in Nebraska which is in almost no way comparable to the hot bed and/or SEC areas you are pulling from.  The top 15 here and the top 15 in your neck of the woods are apples and oranges.  When you're good enough to play for an SEC team, you're good enough not to suffer when playing other sports right up until graduation. Kids around here have to be MUCH more active/louder to get noticed and build a brand.

I fully appreciate that kids lose a lot when dropping sports.  It totally sucks.  But playing a college sport is so rare that I think giving up some things in high school is worth it for most.  You lose a lot, but if it means you get to keep playing any GAME past HS, I'd argue it's worth it.  For many - outside of hyper elite athletes where the SEC is dying to have you - the gains associated with whittling sports down as you get closer to graduating HS, is the smartest choice if you want to keep playing. For every kid that is a shoe in to play a college sport, there are a lot more who have to fight tooth and nail just to make it happen and can't afford to leave any stone unturned.

FWIW - here in GA, in the top 20 22's according to PG, only 4 of them are still playing another sport (all of them playing football). One is a 4 star QB and will probably not be playing baseball in college, I think.

But that's just for their senior year. Nearly all of them played football or basketball at least through their freshman year, if not longer. Whether they quit playing due to requests from college coaches or to focus on baseball or for whatever reason, I can't say. But they were/are elite athletes.

@DanJ, I agree (same as Fenway) especially with your last paragraph. But I can tell you that a big reason that many college baseball HCs want 2 sport athletes (especially football players) is because of the mentality involved in playing those other sports (especially football). It’s well known that HS football players are used to being coached hard, being yelled at, and being pushed physically. Same can be said for HS basketball players plus they are even more athletic - which is relevant if a change in position comes into play and it often does in college. Besides looking for good players, college HCs want to recruit players that will not crumble under pressure from coaches.

@DanJ

Since we are from Maryland, I looked up a local D3 (St. Mary's College). They have 8 players from the conference my son used to play in. Fun side story: It's also where my daughter's teammate pitched and played women's basketball (my son's first HS AB was in a scrimmage facing his sister's teammate--she walked him). Here's what I found:

Player 1: Played baseball, basketball, and football; Player 9: Two-sport athlete (basketball, baseball); Player 10:  Two-sport athlete (basketball, baseball) I double checked this to make sure I didn't double count, Player 9 and 10 are different players; Player 11: Played baseball and basketball for the Generals; Player 12: Played baseball and soccer for the Saints; Player 15: Member of the baseball and golf teams for the Scorpions; Player 21: Played baseball and basketball for the Hawks; Player 22: Member of the baseball, football, and wrestling teams for the Griffins; Player 29: Played baseball and football for Kent County High School

So out of roster of 31, 9 played other sports (there were some incomplete bios... so it could feasibly be a few more). I also looked up two local mid-majors and one other D3 but could not find HS bios in them. The St. Mary's bios clearly don't say how many years or how successful they were in their second sport in HS. It also shows less players playing more than baseball than in my first example but it is statistically significant (anything above the Mendoza line LOL).  Also, this is HS sports we are talking about when a lot of us know the travel coaches who won't let kids play other sports as early as 11 or 12 (I hear soccer is awful with this at higher levels).

I hope you know that I am not challenging the decision you or anyone else has made to specialize because I am not your kid's parent and I do not know your whole situation. It may1000% (extra zero intentional) be the best decision for your kid to specialize and my son may have benefitted from quitting basketball sooner. I just want to make sure that any kid/parent who is considering playing multiple sports knows that it is possible. At any level. As with everything, listen to your kid, figure out what he wants, help him weigh the pros and cons, and make the best decision for his overall future knowing that both paths have been successful. Interestingly, sometimes the cons are the same no matter which way you go so you have to decide which one you want to live with (e.g. injury: from playing another sport or from repetitive use; burn out: from always being "in season" or from never getting a break from baseball).

Sorry if I'm being annoying but I do think this is an important discussion and I do think some of the responses in favor and against multi sports have become gimmicky and not very thoughtful. I love that we can have real discussions about it on HSBBW!

Last edited by PTWood

My son played HS football and baseball and is now playing D1 baseball.  He's a terrific athlete and really wanted to play football, and he was good at it.  As worried as I was about injury, how could I say no?  The back story...

When he was in 7th grade his HS Freshman brother was diagnosed with cancer.  Stage 4 lymphoma.  It was bad.  Real bad.  I couldn't go on Google for months because I couldn't handle what I might learn.  He spent 7 months in the hospital with my wife at his side enduring multiple surgeries and loads of toxins being injected into his body, with all the side effects.  I pray no one else I know has to go through this.  My ball playing 7th grader and I went to see them every night at the hospital after school and practice or cage sessions, where he did his homework.  I did my best to keep things as normal as possible for him.  After 7 months my son was released and spent the summer recovering and catching up on school.  He did his entire freshman year of school in 10 weeks during the summer (...and ended up Valedictorian and going to Princeton).  Needless to say, these things have a way of giving perspective and making the old saying "you only live once" pretty real.

That fall my younger son asked if he could play HS football the following year.  Honestly, worrying about a knee injury or such seemed so trivial compared to pursuing a passion and making the most out of life.  It still does 8 years later.  I said ok, but you have to play Pop Warner in 8th grade so you can learn how to hit, be hit, tackle, etc (no way flag football comes close to preparing a kid).  And that's what he did.  And he excelled, had a most awesome experience, and is now preparing to be an officer in the Marines.  I am so happy I did not get in the way of him becoming who he is today.

Oh, and to add to Paula's point, most of his college teammates played HS football or basketball or other sport.

I think I must have come off looking black and white or one dimensional.  That's not it at all.  My son only became a one sport athlete his senior year of HS.  In my son's case, I think dropping down to just baseball 1-2 years earlier might have helped him with his baseball recruiting process.  He could have played fall travel ball and he could have attended more camps, clinics and showcases.  All told, he could have gotten a lot more exposure.  And when all the highest exposure events require players from here to get on planes, you're at a disadvantage in terms of exposure.  We also got to a point where attending a camp/clinic/showcase only happened when my son was in PEAK BASEBALL shape.  He either went to dazzle or didn't go.  Some might have kids that take exception, but when my kid was practicing and playing football 6 days a week (and going to school), being in peak baseball shape was impossible.  In every case, he would have been tasked with trying to stand out among a large group of kids that were all playing baseball year round, so constantly in peak baseball shape.  My kid is pretty good, but not that good.  He can compete with the dawgs, but not when they're getting 3000 swings in a week and seeing live pitching and the like while my son is wearing shoulder pads 6 days a week. 

And I also didn't mean to argue that those 25 (of 30) players were only baseball their whole lives.  Not at all.  Some of them played multi sports through their sophomore years of HS.  Others went to one sport in 7th, 8th, and 9th grades.  I am certainly not suggesting a kid should be one sport his whole life.  Only that as they get closer to college, it can be a benefit for some to whittle down.

During the 17 years of the Area Code games I was successful in creating "new" solutions to selecting talent. Our pro scout committee agreed that "multi sport" HS athletics was a special talent for the AC games.

Nike was our sponsor and I arranged to receive a list of the players invited to the Nike Camps.

From this list, I invited the Nike football players to one of the 6 AC tryouts.

Bob

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