Student opinion: The benefits of specialization


Junior Kennedy Andrews practices at her previous school, Millard West, last season. Andrews played for the Wildcats her freshman and sophomore year.

Throughout my childhood, I’ve participated in what feels like almost every sport. Basketball, softball, soccer, swimming, cheer, dance, golf and volleyball are all on the list of activities I’ve tried, but only one sport really brought me true happiness: basketball. 

I began officially playing basketball at the age of five, but I’ve had a basketball close by for as long as I can remember. For me, basketball is a year-round sport. I play for my high school team and a club team during the summer.

I believe that finding that one specific activity that someone truly loves is so important. Discovering a single sport to put all of your focus in will lead to great success. There’s no room for stress or distractions caused by the other sports you participate in. 

Coaches are so crucial to how an athlete feels about the sport they are playing. They truly can make or break the feelings that you have towards your sport.

My coaches throughout the years have been some of the most supportive people for me. My former high school coach and current club coach Casey Hall believes that being a one-sport athlete is the way to go.           

“Being able to find one sport that you truly love and have a passion for is something that I wish for every high school athlete,” Hall said. “Being a multi-sport athlete definitely has its benefits, but if you can make the decision to commit to one specific sport, success will come out of it.”

Playing multiple sports is time consuming and a lot of stress on your body. It can easily be this way with one sport athletes too. But the difference is that the majority of the time you only have one practice a day. Rather than going from one sport to another, you can go home and give your body rest.

Personally, last year I suffered many injuries and barely got a season. The positive of only playing basketball was that I could focus on rehab specifically for that sport and be able to come back sooner. Furthermore, I didn’t have to worry about missing out on another sport but instead could focus on healing and getting right back on the court.

If you want to play a sport in college, there is a choice to make on what sport you want to play. Focusing on your fundamentals in one sport, compared to multiple, will help you a lot in your college sport.

I believe that having to decide what sport you want to put all of your focus in can be difficult. I also believe that no one should feel guilty about putting their effort into one area. Bettering yourself at one specific sport, compared to having to break up your energy across multiple sports, will give you true satisfaction.