The Benefits of Playing Multiple Sports in High School
For many young men, the most memorable moments of their high school careers take place on the field. Playing sports helps forge unbreakable bonds between teammates and teaches the importance of teamwork. At Kiski, we require all of our students to participate in at least one athletic activity and in fact, many of our students join multiple teams. Playing multiple sports at a young age is more beneficial than you think.
Athletes who don’t specialize in one sport at an early age will have an advantage later on in their athletic careers. David Epstein, author of The Sports Gene, studied the lives of elite athletes to see how many hours they logged in their sport throughout their lives. While they had the most hours logged with their particular sport overall, this was different in their youths. Many of the elite athletes he studied didn’t start specializing in their sport until after grade school or later.
He cites Olympic gold medalist in swimming, Breeja Larson, as an example of the benefits of playing different sports. Larson didn’t specialize in swimming until college and it helped her avoid feeling the burn-out other swimmers experienced with the sport. Because she didn’t devote herself to swimming exclusively until later, Larson still felt like a fresh athlete in the sport.
In addition to the physical benefits, joining different teams allows students to test their strengths and find the right sport for them. Sampling various sports also gives students more opportunities to reach their full potential in sports. Maybe a soccer player discovers that they would make a good kicker for the football team or a basketball player realizes they are better at tending goal in soccer. At Kiski, we encourage our students to try any of the 12 varsity sports we offer and we’ve had significant success in sending our students on to play at the college level.
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Established in 1888, The Kiski School is one of the oldest, independent, all-boys, college preparatory boarding schools in Pennsylvania and the United States. Home to 200 boys, Kiski offers an academically rigorous curriculum that includes Advanced and Honors courses, 12 varsity sports, and a community that allows boys to thrive through project-based learning and self-discovery. Kiski's beautiful, 350-acre campus is located in Saltsburg, Pennsylvania, 30 miles east of Pittsburgh, PA.