At Providence we delight in kids who love to play sports. Some students will pick one sport and dedicate themselves to that one sport. We applaud student athletes who are committed to one sport and push themselves to excellence in it. The best example we have at Providence this year is senior Joe Moisant. Joe has dedicated himself to soccer. He loves it, he puts a ton of time into it, and he excels at it. Since about fourth grade, Joe has put all of his athletic energy into playing soccer. And he is very good at it. Joe has been the NW District 1 MVP for two years in a row. This year he was the leading point scorer and leading goal scorer in the state of Washington for 1B and 2B schools. He is arguably the best soccer player in the state of Washington for 1B and 2B schools.
But, quite honestly, Joe Moisant’s experience is uncommon. He is a phenomenal soccer player, but it is a rare exception that a one-sport player continues to love the game so much.
Many reports show that most student athletes excel when they play multiple sports. These reports show that the single-sport kids are more likely to get injured, more likely to lose interest in sports, and less likely to get recruited by colleges than peers who play multiple sports.
However, I have an even better reason for playing multiple sports: community. This is the main reason that we do sports at Providence. Having students play and compete together goes a long way in developing community and developing long-lasting relationships and friendships. It also provides an opportunity for the boys to encourage the girls’ teams and the girls to encourage the boys’ teams. It is a wonderful thing to see students working and playing in an athletic setting–building camaraderie and school spirit–over the course of two or three seasons in a year.
Secondly, when they play a diversity of sports, students make valuable memories of their school life. This may be the last opportunity they have to compete on an organized athletic team with a dedicated Christian coach. It is a fabulous opportunity to make such memories. Honestly, I love to teach and I love the subjects that I teach in high school, but the kids will remember much more about their sports teams, debate, and drama than they will about my math and science classes.
So, encourage your kids to play multiple sports. Even if they want to specialize in middle school. One of my kids (Ryan Morris) was SURE that he wanted to play just one sport when he was in 7th grade. Then he switched to a different sport in 8th grade. Now, as a graduate, he is genuinely glad that I prompted him to play multiple sports and that he did this all through high school.