I’m an assistant principal and an athletic director. Before that I was a teacher and a coach. Before that I was a multi-sport athlete. My best sport was soccer, but I played basketball and baseball and even gave track a try one year. I bring this up to emphasize the importance of being more than just one thing. In my day-to-day job I work two full-time positions that are very different from one another. The experience that I gained as a multi-sport athlete in high school helped me to develop into the type of person that could handle multiple roles simultaneously.
The tweets above really caught my attention for a couple of reasons. As the AD of a small school, the vast majority of the athletes in my building are multi-sport athletes; they have to be for our programs to survive. While every one of those athletes has a “best” sport, it is the act of participating in a variety of activities that creates the well-rounded competitors that we have. The tweets above also clearly make the point that participating in multiple sports does not detract from being able to EXCEL in one as is the point that I hear made by some athletes.
Athletics teach lessons that cannot be learned from any book. Coaches provide structure and guidance to student-athletes and help shape them into the men and women that they will become. It is important that we as educators prepare our students for roles that may not yet be determined. While it is important to be really good at something in the work force, it is also valuable to be flexible and competent in many different areas. We should encourage our sons/daughters/grandchildren/etc. to participate in a number of activities and create a well-rounded future adult. I’ve certainly experienced this first hand and as a parent have put it into practice with my own daughters who are in both gymnastics and soccer.