Hey Friends ... sign up for my newsletter and get my

FREE Practice Checklist

Join Now

Multi-sports: Playing Baseball and Football. Should Athletes Specialize in one Sport?

by Concerned Parents

Should a 14 year old baseball player, who loves baseball, play football as well? Currently, a top player, is being asked to go out for football. His concern is getting hurt and not being able to play baseball. He's a fast runner with a great arm.

Response by Skip

First, there is a risk for injury in anything we do. We could fall off a bicycle, or a skateboard any day or time. I remember smashing my finger severely on the fence while playing whiffle ball in the backyard as a kid.

So, I would not let the risk of injury stop one from playing football. Yes, football is a contact sport and the risk of a knee or ankle getting clobbered is there.

Having said that, I always counsel young athletes to play as many sports as possible. It is not really important to specialize on one sport. It takes athletic ability to play a variety of sports well.

Football can help players develop stronger bodies, more competitive demeanor and confidence. Traits that can certainly be a benefit for playing baseball better.

Second, there is not really a lot of baseball going on in the Fall so this is a good time to try another sport and not miss that much baseball time. You could probably find a travel team to play baseball on the weekends during the Fall, too.

Third, most college coaches like multi-sport athletes. This tells them that the player might be a more well rounded athletic competitor.

Fourth, do not forget about the classroom. The large majority of

scholarship money comes from the academic arena. Baseball scholarships are rare and almost nobody gets a full-ride for a college baseball scholarship anymore.

Young athletes would benefit greatly by making sure they take the most rigorous class load and score the highest GPA and SAT scores as possible. This will open the maximum amount of options for higher education possibilities.

And last, keep the second sport in perspective. I have watched many athletes get caught up in the hoop-la and glamour of Friday night lights. They put all their time, effort and money into summer football camps, passing leagues and conditioning for football and forget baseball over the summer. This can be fatal for a baseball player's career.

One has to be a phenomenal athlete or a very large lineman to go on to play college football. Baseball is much kinder to more average sized players especially if they can run, throw and hit.

So, don't put all your eggs in the football basket. Play the sport but keep the focus of your time and energy on baseball. Go to a good summer baseball camp or get polished up with a professional baseball instructor rather than going to football camp. If you have a conflict with scheduling both football and baseball on the same night in the summer take the baseball game over football. The football coach will not like it but you have to look out for what is in your best interest.

Ask yourself...what sport gives me the best opportunity to play past high school? Answer: most of the time it is baseball.

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Ask the Pro here at Coach and Play Baseball.

Baseball Impossible: Player Development Make-Over

Build Your Own Culture of Player Development
Increase Your Players FUN Level

6-DVD Video Set Building Your Complete Player Development System

Click to Order

Audio CD Format Click Here

Coaching 6-DVD Box Set

Yes Dave, I Want to Help My Players Enjoy the GAME

Coaching little league baseball & youth baseball can be a blast or could be a  Tough Gig.

Who in their right mind would come back year after year and have teasing baseball practice and never improve their baseball skills? and get welled at by adults?

Baseball Coaching Videos:  Watch over 6 hours of tips on coaching approach, style, philosophy, and my unique player development system. 

Youth baseball carers are short-lived so lets make it count for our players. What do players really want out of playing baseball?

I want to find out more about the 6 DVD Player Development System

Share this page:

What's this?

Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.
var l = window.location.href, d = document; document.write('<form action="#"><div style="text-align:center"><textarea cols="50" rows="2" onclick="this.select();"><a href="'+l+'">'+d.title+'</a></textarea></div></form>');

How to
Jump-Start Your Coaching Skills

"5 Steps to Ultimate Baseball Coaching Excellence"

Who: All baseball & softball coaching age levels

What: Teaches approach, philosophy, practice planning, drills, game management, communication skills, player development methods, and more. No other course compares.

5 Steps to Ultimate Baseball Coaching Excellence

Order Now

High Tempo© Baseball Development Systems

New innovative, accelerated youth baseball practice and competitive game format made to increase player development and the kids have a blast.

High Tempo© Baseball Development Systems

Phase I: High Tempo© Team Practice System

Phase II High Tempo© Competitive Game Modification System

Order Now

3 Course Bundle...Best Value

Downloadable eBooks

Check out these vitally important eBooks to include in your coaching library.

"Time to Shine: My Baseball Coaches Practice System 7 Year Plan to Help Kids Reach HS Baseball

"Build Your Ultimate Culture of Hitting"

Take a look at all the coaching products that will make your coaching experience top of the line and help bring your player's enjoyment level much higher.

Baseball Coaches Product Library

Product Order Page