About 50% of my own training is currently focused on sprinting. 'Why?' I hear you ask.
I have spent a large percentage of my training life developing my squat, bench press and deadlift, at the cost of a lot of other physical qualities.
As things tend to do, my training has come full circle. Where maximal strength was once the only thing I cared about, I now have the desire to become a more well-rounded athlete.
That means that in conjunction with my lifting, I now jump, throw, sprint, and work on gymnastic skills. Playing multiple sports, or becoming proficient at multiple disciplines, is not only a great way to continually challenge yourself and break up the monotony of training, but it can also significantly increase your chances of being successful in your chosen sport.
Playing multiple sports appears to increase your chances of being a top 10 player in the NFL, NBA, NHL or MLB by quite a margin.
This article by Elsbeth Vaino shows that 82% (not a typo) of the top 10 players in the top 4 sports in the USA were multiple sport athletes in their developing years.
Playing multiple sports
- Develops a larger pool of motor qualities (overall athleticism)
- Breaks up monotony of single sport training (keeps training and playing fun)
- Challenges athletes to become a beginner again (white-belt mentality)
- Breaks up repetitive motions (high causative factor in injury)
- Increases athletes sociability and network (get them out of their small box)
The benefits are clear, specialising in sport is often not the best path, and can in fact be detrimental to longevity and high level performance.
Try something new, you might just like it.