A Dying Breed
What happened to all the three sport athletes?
March 1, 2017
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At Monument and across the nation as a whole we have seen a major decline in the number of high school athletes who participate in three different sports. With many high school athletes now specializing in one sport year round, one has to wonder where have all the three sport athletes gone?
Throughout the years there has been an increased amount of pressure from college coaches for athletes all across the nation to specialize in one single sport just to receive playing time at the varsity level. Because of this, three sport athletes have begun to dwindle while there has been a significant increase in the number of specialized athletes. Nevertheless, for Nicholas Gray and Matthew Weston, this type of pressure has not deterred them from playing three sports.
“I’ve been swimming all year round since a very young age,” said Gray who has been swimming for as long as he can remember. “When I got to high school I felt burned out, so I gave cross country and baseball a try as well as the swimming. I can say that my love for all three sports has grown and now I can’t imagine specializing in just one single sport,” he added. Playing three separate sports has allowed Nick to refuel and find his drive to continue swimming even after all these years. Gray is still very familiar with the hard work of training year round as he finds himself in the pool at least a couple times each week to practice the sport he has always loved. Just because Even though Nick has chosen not to direct all of his effort and time towards one sport, he still finds himself excelling at all three. Nick has found his way onto the varsity baseball team, into the top three rank on his cross country team and in the water for the States championship for his Swim team.
With colleges these days charging tens of thousands of dollars for tuition, there is a larger number of students attempting to land athletic scholarships to help pay for their education. “With colleges now charging enough money to buy a house just to receive an education, I have definitely felt the stress and the urge to specialize in a single sport,” stated Weston, a senior who participates in soccer, skiing and track. “Yes it does worry me to think that I could end up with thousands in student loans, but I’ve found that my love for these three sports has made it impossible to choose just one,” he added. Weston is one of the few who are able to actually overcome the pressure and pursue what he loves.
These two seniors seem like a rarity in today’s society. With only the best athletes receiving scholarships, the pressure is always there to excel in a single sport. Becoming a three sport athlete helps to prevent against the burnout that so many athletes feel after years of training, allows for students to express their love for sports year round and provides students the opportunity to grow as people and as athletes.