Multisport Athletes – The Viking Magazine
What makes multisport athletes truly special is the balance they play every season. Pursuing academic and athletic success is a difficult process, but one that countless Paly students complete each year. Here we have a few students describing their eventful life as a multi-sport athlete.
Being a multi-sport athlete creates issues for athletes around the world, like balancing schoolwork and constant competition. However, being a multi-sport athlete has its perks.
Playing multiple sports is very beneficial in helping athletes avoid burnout; Thinking about, doing, and playing the same sport all your life can be great for some, but for others it can lead to boredom or a lack of enthusiasm for the sport they loved. Athletes who master a variety of sports also limit their risk of overuse injuries because their bodies move in new and unique ways as their seasons and sports change. Minimizing injuries ensures more playing time overall and is crucial for the mental health of athletes. Being a multisport athlete helps develop necessary life skills and the multisport environment can create good habits of time management and coach-player communication.
Natalie Neumman, although a freshman, has already dominated the court, the pool and the track. She played JV water polo in the fall, varsity basketball in the winter, and is currently finishing her freshman track season, where she was brought to college for championships. Basketball, in which she was one of only three freshmen to make the varsity team, is her favorite sport of her three. It’s because she’s been playing it the longest and enjoying it the most. In addition to sports, Neumann follows several difficult courses which she must balance with training and training. She gets bio honors and advanced geometry that require her to plan her homework and study time.
“I’m a multi-sport athlete because I like to be active, and I grew up playing sports, so I love being part of a team and learning new skills – being a multi-sport athlete has really helped me no only to make new friends, but also to teach me important leadership skills and the importance of communication and teamwork,” Neumann said.
Thea Enache was a multi-sport athlete throughout her high school career, playing both basketball and volleyball in Paly. Although she started basketball first, she loves basketball as much as volleyball. In addition to school sports, Enache plays club volleyball and trains on his own – in the form of lifting, cross-training and technical skills – during and after seasons. Because the Paly Championship volleyball season overlaps with the start of the basketball season, Enache must balance the two sports with his homework load. Although it’s incredibly difficult, it’s also very rewarding. It helped her grow and learn as a person and she would continue her athletic journey playing Division I volleyball at San Diego State University.
“During the dual season I spent about 35 hours in total per week training and it was extremely challenging but also extremely rewarding,” Anache said.
Brody Simison is one of many multi-sport seniors here at Paly. Simison, a two-way star on the football pitch, can also be found dribbling on the pitch in the winter and breaking public relations in the 100 yards. Simison’s favorite sport was basketball, but as high school continued and the number of touchdowns he scored increased, football became his best runner. In the fall of his senior year, Brody scored over fifteen touchdowns and eight interceptions. Simison will likely continue his academic and athletic career with football and credits much of his success in sports and happiness in life to his athletic balancing act.
“I would say playing multiple sports is hard work,” Simison said. “However, you learn great time management skills and become a very well-rounded athlete, which I think will give me an edge over my competition as I compete at higher levels.”
Jorell Clark is a multi-sport freshman who rides cross country in the fall, basketball in the winter, and track in the spring. Basketball is his favorite sport of the three and he can often be found using the hoop in his backyard, perfecting his shooting and dribbling skills. Clark spends about twenty hours a week training for athletics and basketball in addition to the ten hours allotted to homework and study. He balances his schoolwork and athletics by being productive with his free time, early mornings, prep periods and bonuses. Playing several sports brings not only excitement but also joy in his life and he couldn’t imagine anything else.
“I’m a multi-sport athlete because I love sports but also each sport helps improve your performance for other sports. For example, cross-country improves endurance, which means I can stay in the field longer than everyone else,” Clark said.