Easily one of the most common comments I hear is that college coaches/scouts love multi-sport athletes. And for the most part that is absolutely true.
However, do you know what they love more than multi-sport athletes?
Playing multiple sports (especially at the older ages) doesn’t necessarily make you a better player or make you more attractive to colleges/scouts and here’s why…
Baseball is a very strange sport with very sport specific skills that don’t necessarily have carry over from other sports. I would argue that the two most important skills (and in demand skills) are the ability to hit and the ability to throw hard. If you can’t do one of those two things really well, in general, coaches and scouts won’t even know who you are so the multi-sport checkmark on your resume is moot.
If you aren’t a good hitter, playing basketball is not going to help you improve your swing.
If you have a weak arm, playing soccer is not going to help you gain MPH on your fastball.
So am I saying you should focus on just playing baseball at a young age. NO x 1,000,000. I am 100% absolutely not saying that at all. Until at least high school (and it’s certainly different for each player-this is just a general suggestion), players should play multiple sports.
This will help improve their overall athleticism, reduce risk of overuse injuries, and decrease the chance of burnout. All of these are researched backed benefits of playing multiple sports at a young age.
Instead of trying to be the best baseball player at 11U by playing a thousand baseball games this year, play a couple sports. They don’t even have to be organized! Grab a football and some buddies and play a pick up game.
Focus on becoming a great athlete and great competitor at the younger ages THEN work on really fine tuning your baseball skills as you progress in the game. Be obsessed.
Director of Baseball
Maplezone Sports Institute