Multi Sport Athlete

Multi Sport Athlete

Growing up I swam and played soccer. I loved both sports, in fact, I am a HUGE advocate for young athletes participating in multiple sports until they hit a certain level. I played soccer and swam until I was 16. I set goals in both sports and told myself that I would pick the sport that I reached my goal first. In swimming, my goal was to get my first Olympic Trials cut. In soccer, my goal was to make the national ODP team. I chose to pursue swimming the day I got my first OT cut when I was 16. Looking back on my journey as a young multi-sport athlete, I recognize three HUGE benefits in competing in more than one sport growing up. Competing in multiple sports provides perfectly balanced cross-training, eliminates potential burnout and establishes discipline. 


In soccer I played left outside mid, arguably the position that requires the most endurance on the field. My training schedule looked like this:

  • Swimming and dryland every day after school and Saturday mornings
  • Soccer two to three days a week

Without realizing it at the time, I was curating the PERFECTLY balanced cross-training. On the field I felt like I could run for days because of my swim training. In the pool, my kick felt the strongest it ever felt because of my soccer training. Even though my training schedule above seems like a lot, I never felt like I was overtraining because the training styles were so different. 

Lack of Burnout

In swimming specifically, I watched a lot of my friends burn out at a very young age. They started doing doubles when they were 10, 11, 12 years old. They were solely focused on swimming and burned out before they were 16, 17, 18 years old. I personally experienced burnout in college, but never before. I fully believe that is because I was able to transition my focus from sport to sport and keep my love and passion for both. 

My coaches were both extremely supportive growing up, which I now feel very fortunate looking back. My swim coach, Fred Lewis, didn't push doubles on me until I quit soccer because he knew the amount of training I was doing outside the pool. He worked with me to find the perfect balance between my swim training and soccer training. He knew I had a passion for both and let me explore both sports until I reached the Olympic Trials level. I am so extremely grateful for that because I don't know if my swim career would have taken the same path had I been fully focused on swimming at a very young age. 


Let's talk about my schedule on days that I had swim practice and soccer practice. 

  • 7am- 2pm School
  • 3pm- 5pm Swim Practice
  • 6pm- 8pm Soccer Practice
  • 8pm-9/10pm Homework

I had to be dialed in, focused and disciplined every day in order to keep up with school and athletics. I learned time management skills at a young age because I knew that I had a 1-2 hour time slot after practices to get my homework done for the next day. I graduated high school with a 4.2 GPA because I was able to manage my time effectively and efficiently. Looking back now, I appreciate this schedule so much because it is now so easy for me to figure out how to manage my adult life. Times get crazy, but I always feel like I can take a step back, create a game plan and execute. 

If you or your child is a multi-sport athlete, keep it going. It was one of the greatest parts of my life growing up. 


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