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Is Your Coach Crazy?

There are varying opinions on the value of playing multiple sports in High School. No doubt, there has been more talk in recent years of ‘specializing’ in one sport.

I was watching the local news last night when WSBT TV (CBS) Mishawaka, IN ran a story on a LaPorte (IN) 12th grade athlete named Dustin Demuth who had received a scholarship to play baseball in the Big Ten at Indiana University starting this fall. The story indicated he had been all conference in football, basketball and baseball in one of the toughest conferences in his state, the Duneland Conference.

LaPorte baseball coach Scott Upp, who leads a baseball program that has been ranked as high as number one in America, had this to say about the growing trend of ‘specialization.’

“If there are coaches out there that are telling kids to play one sport, I think they’re crazy,” Upp said. “Because while you’re working on drills and everything else like that, he’s out competing against Crown Points and Merrillvilles and things like that, running from 6’2”, 280-pound linemen. He’s trying to get away and make plays. So he’s competing, and you can’t really substitute that. And basketball, with time winding down, he’s got the ball in his hands, he’s learning how to compete. And all those things that happen in other sports just make him that much better in baseball.”

Dustin told the station, “I love competition. I love being out there with my team and making plays, and I’m just fortunate enough to play three sports”

If you would like to view the story

What are your thoughts?

About the author
Charlie Adams

2 Comments

  • Keith A Beringer Jr wrote this to me about this subject: “Cross training is fantastic in so many ways. It helps athletes really become more athletic and not just “mission specific” muscle memory athletes. It helps avoid injuries like tennis elbow and other repetitive sport injuries. It helps kids enjoy sports more because of the variety. It helps them mentally in that they think about the different strategies.”.

  • Jenny Newman Hall wrote this to me about the subject of this blog: “I agree with him whole-heartedly for kids in small schools. That’s why we moved to Edwardsburg so the boys could play 3 sports, and be in band, choir, and plays. They blossomed in that environment. We moved away from a large HS because it seems that you don’t get on a team there unless you specialize. (I’m sure there are exceptions.)”