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Specializing in One Sport Versus Playing Multiple Sports

What do you do when your child wants to play more than one sport? Should you make them choose? Or perhaps, let them explore their options?

These questions come with mixed responses. Some moms want their kids to focus on one sport and excel at it so they have a better chance of scholarships for college. Other parents want their kids to explore all of the different sports out there. While the decision is one you’ll have to make as a family, here are some pros and cons of focusing on one sport versus playing multiple sports.

Playing One Sport

When your child plays one sport, life revolves around that sport. Financially, you’ll only have to buy equipment and gear for one sport. You’ll only have to pay for one season of your child’s chosen sport. And, us parents will only have to purchase supportive wear for one sport.

If your child decides to play one sport, however, you’ll probably want to invest in specialized training, and this can be pricey. Paying for private lessons, camps, and select teams can add up to more than you would spend on playing some multiple sports.

Beyond finances, playing one sport can be a result of a parent’s dream. You played football in college so you want your kids to play football. Sometimes, kids have the same aspirations and interests as their parents and that makes it easy. But, what if your kids don’t have an interest in the same sport you did? It’s important that whatever sport your child wants to play is of their own choice. Be careful not to force your dreams on your kids. They have their very own dreams.

Playing Multiple Sports

When your child plays multiple sports, your schedule might fill up a bit faster. You will have to attend year-round practices and games. You will spend more on equipment, uniforms and specialized shoes and spirit wear.

These aren’t necessarily pros or cons. To some families, the go-go-go of life is what keeps the peace. Other families yearn for off-season calm. For some, the love of sports runs deep. Going to sporting events—any sport, every sport—is fun and exciting. For others, it’s a chore.

Playing multiple sports allows your kids to meet new people, learn social skills, and use different muscle groups. But, it also means they might not be playing for scholarships. When you play multiple sports, you reduce the time commitment to specialize and that may mean less exposure to college recruiters.

For some families, playing multiple sports is the best option, other families prefer to focus on one sport. There’s no right or wrong answer, it depends on what’s best for your kids, for your schedule, for your family dynamic and for your finances.