The best advice we can offer young athletes is to be as versatile as possible. Simply put, the more positions and sports you play, the more interesting you’ll be in the eyes of coaches, scouts and analysts.
Some of the greatest athletes of all time thrived playing multiple sports, including Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders. Others, like Michael Jordan, dominated one sport but never really caught on in others. Still, it’s difficult to overstate the value of having a multi-sport background for any athlete.
In many cases, a skillset from one sport can easily translate to another. To name just a few examples, route running for a receiver can be refined by moving without the ball while playing hoops, throwing accurately from shortstop to first base can help quarterbacks and boxing out opponents for rebounds can help tight ends learn to high-point catches in the end zone. There’s also evidence to suggest that playing multiple sports could help reduce injuries related to overuse.
Few in the business know all of that better than Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, who has a long history of drafting players who have experience playing more than one sport.
Speaking earlier this week at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Carroll called having a multi-sport background “vitally important” for draft prospects – a lesson that applies to any and all high school athletes. Watch.
Seahawks HC Pete Carroll was asked about multi-sport backgrounds and how that plays into their scouting evaluations:
“It’s one of the first things I’m interested in… Were you a slasher or an assist guy? Did you play center field? It’s vitally important to me” pic.twitter.com/55fnHVS1Jo
— Trevor Sikkema (@TampaBayTre) February 28, 2023
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