Article by: Tim Turk Hockey
For a lot of kids that play minor hockey, hockey wasn’t the first sport they had ever tried. Many get a taste for various sports in their childhood, such as soccer, baseball, and basketball to name a few of the more common ones. And even for all the kids that ended up settling with hockey, some of them still play other sports at the same time.
Although any two sports may seem very different on the surface, a lot of them require the same skills to be able to perform well. Most sports require agility, hand-eye coordination, quick decision making, strength, etc. So, in a way, if a hockey player decides to go out and have a game of soccer, they are still training for hockey! And this isn’t the only benefit of playing multiple sports at the same time.
Of course, playing any single sport will increase your athleticism. You’re getting exercise and training your muscles, and thus becoming stronger, faster, and more dexterous. Therefore, playing multiple sports at the same time and all year round will help speed up that process. You’ll be able to sharpen your athletic skills more consistently, which will be beneficial in every sport you play. Not only will you be playing more sports than the other players in your divisions, you’ll be getting better at your sports faster than your opponents as well!
Keeps the Body Conditioned
Have you ever found that you can’t quite last the entire hockey game without tiring out? Those longer shifts where you can be on the ice for upwards of 2 minutes can be especially taxing. But fear not; this is a problem that can be handled by picking up other sports throughout the year.
In addition to improving athleticism, playing more sports will keep your body conditioned. If you’re more active more often, you’ll soon find you have more stamina than your opponents and will be able to last longer in your practices and games. This will certainly allow you to play better, especially at the later stages in the game when everyone else is tiring out, which can ultimately mean the difference between winning and losing.
Reduces Risk of Injury
People who only play one sport have a higher risk of injury than those who play multiple sports. If you only play one sport, you get used to using your muscles only in one specific way, which increases your chances of injury if you exercise your body in a way it’s not used to. But if you play more sports more often, you’re diversifying your exercise and movement, and your body will be used to a much wider range of physical applications. This will ultimately lower your risk of injury because your body will be able to adapt to however you need it to move.
Develops Social Skills
The skill gain from playing sports isn’t only physical. All sports, and team sports especially, give you the opportunity to socialize and work with others. They teach skills like teamwork, grace (in losing andwinning), humility, and respect. If you participate in more than one sport at once, these skills will develop even faster, and you’ll be even more socially adept. This will not only help you out in sports, but will be beneficial for the rest of your life as well!
A lot of hockey players will find that they are not only interested in at least one sport other than hockey, but they will be pretty good at their other sport of choice too. On top of all the benefits mentioned above, playing multiple sports can also lower the chance of “burning out,” or in other words, getting tired of hockey. If there is some diversity in the sports that you play, you’ll be able to appreciate and look forward to each one a little bit more.
However, this doesn’t mean that playing more and more sports is necessarily better. Playing eight sports at a time won’t benefit you because your time won’t be properly balanced. You should try to make sure you still have enough time for the other important things in your life. So long as you do, then playing multiple sports can make a big difference to your personal development.