1.Mental Toughness gained through adversity
When an athlete goes from being the best on the team in one sport to a role player in another sport they get to learn how to deal with adversity. Adversity and learning new skills develops mental toughness. When they go back to their primary sport where they are the best they are a better leader because they had to become a follower. This skill translates very well in the adult world.
2.Physical maturation of the whole body
Parents, your child has a better chance of playing sports in college if they are an athlete with 10,000 hours of athleticism. College recruiters don’t want someone with only one set of skills. Skills can be taught, but athleticism is earned through years of acceleration, deceleration, rotational power, read and react and all the other things an athlete learns by participating in multiple sports. There is no single sport that develops all of these skills alone, and therefore no child should only participate in one sport alone.
According to Michael Pfahl, executive director of the National Youth Sports Coaches Association, “The number one reason (why they quit) is that it stopped being fun.” Kids experience burnout on the sport, and with the pressure to always be the best, then missing out on childhood. Not only does the athlete get burned out, but the parent exhausts themselves physically and financially unnecessarily.
James Leath is a mental toughness coach with over 20 years experience coaching young athletes. He writes a weekly note to athletes, coaches and parents on subjects that pertain to sport psychology, youth sports, and personal development. He is currently finishing his masters of Performance Psychology and lives in San Luis Obispo, CA. You can sign-up for his weekly note here, find him on twitter at @jamesleath or visit his website jamesleath.com.