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Volleyball Training Journal issue 056
April 22, 2014



Do the best of the best get there by playing only one sport?

Or do they develop athleticism across multiple sports?

Tiger Woods has focused on his sport since he was a 2 year old.

Andre Agassi was practicing against the pros at age 5.

But is Woods and Agassi the exception or the norm?

The fact is most professional athletes played more than one sport while growing up.

Kobe Bryant and Roger Federer played soccer.

Lebron James played football.

Alex Rodriguez played basketball, football, and soccer.

Tom Brady played baseball.

Steve Nash played soccer.

Olympic Gold Medalist and beach volleyball legend Todd Rogers also played soccer.

Rogers believes the footwork and balance he developed from playing soccer correlated really well to playing defense on the beach.

Phil Dalhausser played tennis for three years, baseball for two and volleyball for one year in high school.

Misty May-Treanor played soccer and tennis.

Kerri Walsh-Jennings led her high school team to a state championship in basketball in 1995.

You can probably tell I'm a big believer in playing multiple sports.

Different sports develop different skills, muscles, abilities, and even mindsets. This all leads to becoming a better and more complete competitor.

It's especially important for younger athletes.

Many experts believe that early specialization can lead to peaking too early.

For example, a 10 year old that plays only basketball will develop skills such as dribbling and shooting. And more experience play leads to a better understanding of the game.

This young athlete develops sport specific skills faster while his peers are developing other athletic skills playing multiple sports.

If his peers also play soccer they develop vision, agility, and footwork. If they play football they improve acceleration and power.

By the time these multi-sport kids reach 15 years old, they have a broad base of athletic skills.

These young athletes have an advantage over the player that specialized too early.

At an earlier age movement skill hasn't yet been ingrained as permanent.

So it's important to introduce coordination training during adolescents.

Visit the following page for exercises important for young athletes.

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