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When to force an athlete to pick two sports?

posted Jan 2, 2012, 2:16 PM by Dante Sabatucci   [ updated Jan 2, 2012, 2:18 PM ]
Q:  Coach Dante, My 10U travel baseball son also plays travel basketball, and lacrosse (and football/tennis).  The 3 I first named b/c he does miss the whole month of December Travel Baseball practices and will be impacted in Jan-Feb.  He loves and excels in all 3 sports or I would make a parental decision on his behalf.
When do you think we have to force him to pick 2?  He does commit to hitting off a tee in the basement a few times a week since he is missing baseball practice and he does that with no disagreement or issues.  Thoughts?

A:  I will answer this question the same way I answer parents who ask me when is the right time tom consider travel baseball.......it depends on the athlete.  I think that if the kid is into all of the activities and there is time in the day to do all of them, I don't see any problem with him being in so many activities.  However, here are some things to consider:  1)  How is it affecting the other kids on the team if he is missing all of the practices?  2)  Is he able to get all of his schoolwork done without seeming to be burned out?  3)  Is it a problem to get him to the various activities without burning out the parents?

If he continues to excel in 3 sports, I don't see a reason why he should be forced to pick any time soon....certainly not before high school.  At some point, you may want to have him concentrate on one or two sports that he excels in and that he may have a future in.  For instance, if he only grows to 5' 10", his basketball future may be limited.  But, if he is an exceptional tennis or baseball player, he may have a future at one of those sports at the collegiate level.  I wish I could give you a better, more definitive answer but I think that every situation is different.  Finally, I want you to know that I have heard directly from professional baseball scouts that some organizations will not even consider drafting a player UNLESS he plays multiple sports.  I hope this helps.

Coach Dante