Catching Up With Quade: Cross Training Creates Champions (Extended Version)


Cross training can significantly reduced the risk of injury for all athletes

Laʻakea Aiu , Director of Online

Athletic recruiting for college sports, worldwide, is increasingly becoming more competitive every day. Due to this abrupt increase of competitive athletic recruiting, student athletes feel they should focus on one sport to fulfill their greatest potential. With a lot of athletes pursuing the option to focus on one sport year round, they put themselves in a position that causes a higher risk of injury and athletic burnout.

By playing one sport year-round, student athletes feel that they will increase their chances of getting recruited for college athletics (whether it be DI, DII, DIII, NAIA, or JC) in the sport of their focus. There is both a positive and negative to this theory that most student athletes nation-wide follow. On the positive side, with student athletes intensively “focal-sporting” year round, they will develop more experience and have a better understanding of that one sport compared to multiple sport athletes. On the negative side, however, focal-sporting causes a significant rise in the risk for injury, burnout (loss of interest or passion), and it only makes those student athletes experienced in one sport. An article, written by Lem Satterfield of ESPN, asked Division I Lacrosse college coaches about the importance of being a multiple sport athlete in high school. “There’s a huge cross-training benefit to an athlete playing more than one sport. Playing in more than one season helps simulate the amount of time and commitment you’ll have to spend as a college athlete. But most importantly, it gives athletes more chances to compete. We prefer athletes who have a burning desire to compete as much as possible,” said coach John Paul of the University of Michigan.

In order to appear the most competitive toward college coaches, student athletes worldwide should really consider becoming a multiple sport athlete. By comparison, a multi-sport varsity athlete looks a lot more marketable when compared to a student athlete that participates in one sport year-round, and only has one varsity letter. Bill Tierney, a lacrosse coach at the University of Denver, said “I continuously recommend to young men to play more than just one sport in high school. First of all, any sport, including lacrosse, can become boring if obsessed over for 12 months a year. Secondly, other sports help young men develop a skill set not available when working out on his own.” (ESPN)

Multiple sport athletes also will have a lower risk toward injury since they constantly use different muscles when participating in different sports. In other words, to be the most noticeable on a college coach’s radar, cross training is the way to go.

What is cross training? According to Jessica Matthews of the American Council on Exercise Fitness (ACE), cross training is typically defined as a form a training with several different modes of training to train for something specific or achieve a specific component of fitness. Cross training, used by many professional athletes, helps athletes work different muscles to get physically stronger. Athletes can use cross-training to their advantage, and target different parts of their body that they would like to get better. Cross training is the most logical option for athletes training because it will reduce the risk of injury, helps athletes get into shape faster and safer, and improves an athlete’s total fitness (ACE). For example, a cross country runner could pair their training with swimming to work on endurance and strengthen different muscles in their legs and body. By doing this, the cross country runner will have a greater VO2 max, be in outstanding shape, and prevent injury due to the strengthening of all leg muscles.

“Sacrifice for the team, teamwork, conditioning, confidence, handling defeat and victory, and time management are among the many things that can be gained by playing another sport. Strength, speed, agility and toughness can be enhanced by playing other sports as well,” said Tierney.


I agree!