Multiple sports or specialize?

Sports

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Sports) – The High School football season is over and some of the players have moved on to different sports.

There is a growing trend among high school athletes to focus on just one sport, hoping to improve their chances at getting a scholarship. But according to some former athletes and coaches, that might not be the way to go.

Vance Law played multiple sports in high school and started in both baseball and basketball at BYU. He believes others should do the same.

“I would recommend that anyone watching this that has a high school student to keep them playing,” said Law.

Vance is not alone in that thinking. College football coaches often look for athletes who play other sports.

“That’s a plus in recruiting. One of the first questions we ask is what other sports do you play,” said Utes head coach Kyle Whittingham. “I wouldn’t say it’s a red flag but when you hear a guy plays just football, the first thing you ask is why?”

“I like multi-sport athletes,” said BYU head coach Kalani Sitake. “If we’re about development here and trying guys at different positions then I like to see them do things a little bit different on the basketball court, on the wrestling mat, whatever it could be.”

“I just think there’s value in learning how to play another sport and becoming more athletic by doing so,” Law said.

The coaches agree and they tell that to their recruits.

“I encourage all our players in high school to go out there and give it their best,” said Sitake. “Even if they’re not starting on the basketball team, go and show me that you’re a good teammate, being part of a team is really special.”

“I think as a high school player you should play everything that you possibly can, I know there’s a lot of guys who will disagree and parents who will disagree, but if you’re truly a great athlete then you should be a multi-sport guy,” Whittingham said. “We put a premium on that in recruiting and that’s on the positive side on the ledger when making our evaluation.”

As Vance Law points out, it’s a lot to give up, when you’re only young once.

“The chances of you playing in the MLB or any professional sport is so slim,” said Law. “You’re missing out on all of that fun that you can have in high school, for the very slim chance that you might get a college scholarship let alone play professionally?”

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