Friday, April 26, 2019

Why Every Kid Should Play Multiple Sports

If you’ve been paying attention to youth sports over the last few decades, you’ve probably noticed a similar trend. Winter rolls around, and Little Johnny, age 11, signs up for peewee hockey. He recently hit a growth spurt and is a solid six inches taller than most of his friends.

Thanks to his size, Johnny dominates in his first season. The coach tells Johnny’s parents he has a bright future ahead of him on the ice. He urges them to forego the spring season of baseball (and basketball in the fall) to concentrate on skating.

Over the next few years, Johnny continues to shine. His parents thrust him onto the ice more and more until he’s playing competitively year-round. At age 15, Johnny starts complaining of hip pain. His doctor recommends physical therapy and time off from hockey.

When Johnny returns to the ice a few months later, his peers all seem to have caught up to him in stature. He can no longer use his size to dominate opponents. Johnny has his worst season to date and loses some of his love for the game.

To regain his previous form, Johnny signs up for extra power skating clinics on top of his regular competitive seasons. Lo and behold, due to these added rigors Johnny’s hip flares again.

For the next three years, the pattern repeats over and over again until Johnny is finally forced to undergo career-ending surgery at the age of 18.

What went wrong? Johnny had so much promise as a youngster. Or did he?