The commitment of time preparing forces sports year round multisport athletes to specialize – Republic Mitchell

Sports and summer have long been a happy marriage for children in South Dakota.

But now there is a sports overload that attracts young athletes in multiple directions. Overtime commitments driven by rising expectations, coupled with a host of summer jobs and activities have led some children to file for divorce.

National participation in high school sports fell for the first time in 30 years, according to a 2019 National Federation of State High School Associations, while the number of children ages 6 to 12 participating in sports increased. declined for more than a decade.

A desire to achieve more athletic scholarships led to the specialization of increased sports throughout the year. In return, the high school sports teams across South Dakota have created programs throughout the year to try to recover the losses of specialists and remain competitive during the season.

Simply put: Many young athletes in South Dakota aren’t freely moving from one sport affluent to another, despite coaches encouraging them to do so. The reason? It’s just easier to focus on one sport while being overburdened with technology, education and training sessions.

“Hopefully as they get older they have the mentality that they want to be two- or three-sport athletes and they’re going to try to balance the summer schedule,” Mitchell’s baseball coach said, Luke Norden. “A guy do not allow sports program, because even athletes in a sport long discovered, he probably did not enjoy them that much. Work to become an athlete is what children should do.

The majority of the baseball team of the Mitchell Post 18 Legion consisted of multi-sport athletes, but playing 42 games in two months already limits the time that can be allocated elsewhere. Many children have to choose between summer and sports jobs – teenagers also spend an average of nine hours a day on social networks, according to the Pew Research Center – but add the summer training required in other sports and there is little time for anything else.

Mitchell after 18 Gillette hosted Wednesday, July 7 at Cadwell Park. (Matt Gade / Republic)

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While the number of Mitchell baseball largely remained intact, other sports were affected. Nuclei have graduated six seniors three seasons on the basketball team, which played a major role in the decline in production until this season.

“They feel like they’re falling behind in a sport, so they feel like they have to choose,” Mitchell Boys basketball coach Ryker Kreutzfeldt said. “I think it depends on us as coaches. We need to find different ways of doing things to make it easier to be a multi-sport athlete, because we can’t afford to lose as many kids in every sport as we are now.

Helping children to balance their sport can be the most crucial aspect in the development of multi-sport athletes, but it is also the most difficult.

Sanford Health’s senior performance psychology specialist Andy Gillham says there’s often a disconnect between players and coaches, who sometimes don’t understand – rightly or wrongly – what kids want. If teenagers already spend between seven and nine hours per day consuming media, this further reduces their time.

When children have the opportunity to participate in a growing number of non-sport activities with friends or make money at work, spend an hour in a gym, an hour at the gym, then several hours to a match baseball is not always cumulative. during summer.

It compares with university athletes, who are limited to 20 hours of athletics times per week by the NCAA to create a balance.

“If the college athlete who is obviously older, a little more cultured, mature, can only compete for 20 hours a week, we have to be a little more careful about the 15-year-old high school athlete who is under time available because of the school day,” Gillham said. “Also, their prep sport takes 23 to 25 hours a week. That’s more time than college kids who have more time available are spending. This, to me, is as much of a blip on stress athletes than anything else “.

Gillham, however, also points out that it is ultimately the parents who pay for equipment, registration fees, travel and camps and that they must be more in tune with the wishes of their children. Although high school coaches also tend to be more concerned with the personal well-being of students than coaches in college and professional sports, they must manage entire rosters and winning is still imperative to keep their jobs.

“The entity that is there for financial gain, even if it is to pay the salary of the coach, it will not necessarily do what is best and right for the individual athlete,” Gillham said. “For me, it all comes back to education. We need to understand what is best for the athlete and how we can help coaches and administrators to keep this in mind and what resources can we provide parents to navigate those conversations.

Thus, parents become makers of what is in the best interest of the mental and physical health of their children. The negative elements they are worth being driven recklessly when 2% of 8 million high school athletes receive a scholarship?

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Platte-Geddes against Winner / Colome during a tournament match Region 7 Thursday in Gregory. (Matt Gade / Republic)

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Studies have shown that children who spend more hours per week than their age playing sports are 70% more likely to suffer an injury due to overuse. In addition, children who play a sport for eight months of the year are three times more likely to suffer overuse injuries to the hip or knee.

“If we’re talking about the stress of an individual athlete and an individual family, we need to help parents stand up for that individual athlete and that individual family,” Gillham said. “He can not just fall on the coach, who has a much wider responsibility – his own family and the entire list of athletes. »

For combat specialization and the consumption of the time of athletes and trainers, Bon Homme has a unique resistance and conditioning program open to all boys and girls. Since the strength and conditioning applies to all sports, coaches have all been able to jump on board with the plan.

Cavalier longtime football coach Byron Pudwill compared the program to learn how to read and write support in all aspects of life. Be stronger, faster and more agile is applicable to all sports offered at school.

“With the advent of 7 against 7 (football camp), camp team – Choose a sport, there is a camp for that – it’s a bit like following the Jones” Pudwill said. “We have 44 boys (in the strength program) and the girls do their own thing and this will apply to anything. … We welcome non-football players and there is no sport where the coach wants you to be stronger.

Regardless of the turnout trend, Pudwill believes the days of summers being dominated by pick-ups from basketball games or Sandlot football and baseball are gone for good. Structured practices and camps seem to be the permanent replacement, and despite the positives that arise, he doesn’t think consistent structure is always good.

“Everything is so supportive now,” Pudwill said. “… When we played there was never adults around and there were life lessons learned well. When you do not have your mom and dad there to protect you, you’ve got to hurry. There were some things you can say and do and some things you could not say and do. These life skills have helped.

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