Have You Considered Being a Three-Sport Athlete? Maybe You Should!


Representing school colors

Andrew Chiritescu, Contributing Writer

Seeing teens gathered to play a sport in a neighborhood, or to gather at a nearby field for impromptu ball game is not as common as it once was. Many adults will tell you that these informal games was how some teenagers used to have fun decades ago.

Many of us – casual athletes or single sport competitors, would really enjoy doing exactly that when taking a break from our main sport, when injured, or when simply bored. Informal play would give us the opportunity to socialize and play a variety of sports, without the pressure of additional organized training and competition.

Instead of the informal gatherings common years ago, some students choose to take on the challenge of competing in more than one sport. Some even choose to play a different sport every single season: the three-season athletes.

Being committed every season to a different sport takes a special athletic and moral fiber, but it also takes a strong sense of purpose and determination, a great deal of physical and mental endurance, flexibility and great time management.

According to many experts, participating in multiple sports has many proven health advantages. It builds different muscles and decreases the risk of overuse injury; it prevents the mental fatigue and the burnout from playing the same sport year round; and it equips the player with agility and power that is best acquired through cross training.

Many studies show that early participation in multiple sports, rather than early specialization leads to better overall motor and athletic development, longer playing careers, increased motivation, confidence and joy.

According to ODA Athletic Director, Kippie Crouch, spreading oneself over several sports training and play leads to a better skilled, healthier and happier athlete all around. In fact, in recent years many college coaches have also acknowledged their preference toward picking multiple-sport athletes for various reasons. They have better crossover skills and learn better from different coaching styles, they are more adaptable and are less likely to burnout. They also show better teamwork and less concern with being a star.

“The key to their success is learning time management.  The busier one is, the more efficiently one has to utilize the time available to them, such as study halls and free periods,” says Crouch. 

“Three-season athletes have to plan everything ahead, they need structure and a grind-it-out mentality,” says ODA football coach and “Director of Fun,” Tim Brewer.

“Playing in all three seasons helps me manage my time and also stay in good shape all year round,” says ODA athlete and rising senior Tomas Giacinti. His goal is to play lacrosse and football at the collegiate level.

This year there were 14 three-season athletes. They have all played their sports with dignity and made a huge impact on their teams, yet never lost focus of their academics and other school activities.  

“Of 14 3-season varsity athletes, the GPA’s average is 3.95. That speaks highly of the use of time and devoted study! Time management is a skill that can help one find success and carry throughout one’s lifetime,” says Crouch. 

So as you set goals for next year, consider taking on the challenge of the three sport athlete. Your body and mind may thank you.