Some high school athletes are talented enough in more than one sport that they have the option, if they choose, to play both (or three!) in college. However, athletes must first understand what it takes to be a multi-sport athlete and the additional challenges they will face before making that commitment.
Communication and Understanding
First and foremost, the athlete needs to make sure that their coaches understand the situation and are willing to cooperate and be supportive. Communication is key. For instance, the athlete must be even more open about how their body is feeling and the coach may need to adjust workouts to avoid over-training, especially if there are parts of the year when seasons overlap.
Organization and Time Management
Perhaps most important is that the athlete is able to stay on top of her schoolwork despite the schedules of two sports and classes. The athlete playing two sports will have to be even more disciplined and make sure she is allocating time correctly between practices, competitions and travel schedules.
Love and Passion
Before making this commitment, the athlete must take some time to really be honest with herself. If there isn’t a sustainable love and passion for both sports, at the end of the day the athlete most likely will not have the drive to make the situation a successful and enjoyable one.
There is a reason that only a small percentage of college athletes play more than one sport – because it is very hard! However, if that is your goal and you just can’t imagine life without one or the other, go for it! The key is be sure you are prepared: you understand what the impact will be, you communicate clearly with your coaches and other supporters, and you are ready to put in the extra work and make the commitment.