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The Multi-Sport Decision


Brandon Hall
North Carolina Director of Scouting

Everyone is looking for athletes.  Athletes will typically have a higher ceiling than non-athletes.  They will continue to get better, especially when they begin to specialize in their preferred sport.  As we are on the road watching games and running PBR events, one of the questions that continues to come up is “Should I (my player) continue to play football (or basketball) or should he just concentrate on baseball?”

The topic of a dual sport athletes has become a national topic with studies by orthopedic institutions, professional sports, and the NCAA.  There are solid points on each side of the discussion.  There may, or may not, be a correct answer for players wrestling with the decision to play another sport or just concentrate on baseball. 

Dual Sport Development

The movement patterns in the game of baseball can wear down an athlete.  It is important that baseball players take some down time from the field, each year.  It is also important that they work to train the body to overcome some of the overuse patterns.  Players playing multiple sports can get some of this training from other sports.  The actions in basketball and football can help the movements of a baseball player.

With basketball players, the cardio conditioning players need is far superior to that of baseball players, to compete in a single game.  The basketball cardio can assist baseball players in their recovery and their ability to play multiple games in multiple days.  Basketball players also develop the ability to move laterally and position their feet in small areas.  A defensive player working to move side-to-side, changing directions, and closing out shooters, can simulate an infielder reacting to a ground ball, creating angles, and playing with speed but under control.  A shooter that has to catch and shoot, or rip through, maintaining balance, prior to firing a jump shot may simulate a catcher blocking and recovering, or an infielder handling a hot-shot with a drop step.

The physicality of football definitely transfers to today’s baseball player.  The ability to drive the baseball offensively… The ability to create velocity on the mound have both become very physical, aggressive actions.  Defensive players on the gridiron, move with angles, drop steps, and change direction as they cover ground, much like an outfielder, or infielder on balls in the air. 

The ability for an athlete to play multiple sports can help the development of the complete athlete.  A baseball player that has the ability to play in other arenas will see some payoff on the baseball field.

Reaching a Player’s Ceiling

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