How much is too much for a multi-sport athlete in June?

Joseph Fuqua II, Cincinnati Enquirer

How much is too much for a multi-sport athlete in June?


How much is too much for a multi-sport athlete in June?


There was a time when June meant school was out and you didn’t have a care in the world. You could sleep in, then go run around the neighborhood and maybe you would have a baseball game or two to play during the week. If you played football, maybe there was some organized lifting. If you played basketball and football, well if you shot a little after your lifting, you were good. If you played baseball, that was just a few nights a week, so you could make it work. The rest of the time (as a guy) we would try to find what girls were at what pools. Or, just where they were in general.

No time for hammocks or swimming

June has now become all but a month-long triathlon if you’re trying to be a multi-sport athlete. For the purposes of explanation, let’s assume we’re dealing with a football, basketball, baseball player (and I’ve covered many at various local high schools)  First off, high school baseball just ended and summer baseball, where top-notch kids are often noticed and flourish, goes from Memorial Day to at least mid-July. If you’re playing beyond that, you’re probably not a three-sport guy as your football coach will be sending you unflattering texts.

So, you’re playing baseball and there’s probably some weekend tournaments and three-to-five games a week. Now, football guy has lifting and conditioning in the morning. This is where they take the baseball players and work their legs so they’re not worth squat in that night’s ballgame or they’re pushing tires to the point of exhaustion. Somewhere in there, they may find a ball and chuck it around some which is productive but deceiving in that no muscle-bound defenders are chasing them around in full pads.

Football does a lot of team-building and I support it. Every team has a mantra and there are tremendous life lessons to be learned. However, all of the “rope holding, wood chopping, next man in representing, etc.” won’t sink in if the athlete is not mentally dialed in and devoted.

For the heck of it, let’s throw some basketball in there. June is a team month, where high schools can take groups to tournaments and play other teams. This is in addition to individual work that is supervised throughout the summer.  Let’s say Mad Max Multisport can fire in three-pointers with regularity and has mastered the Eurostep (known in my day as traveling). If he’s been power-lifting all morning and replicating Sylvester Stallone’s training methods in Rocky IV (where Drago falls), what kind of touch are we going to have on those trey-balls with wobbly arms and no legs?

Read the rest of the story in The Cincinnati Enquirer


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