“If I’m serious about playing college baseball, should I quit the other sport(s) I play in order to focus on baseball year round?”
I was speaking to a team with their parents and coaches, and a player asked me this exact question. Without hesitation I started going into all my reasoning for encouraging those players to play multiple sports and how NOT playing baseball year-round can actually make you more attractive to college coaches. When I got done the room was awkwardly silent. I noticed some of the players sneaking peeks at the head coach in the corner. Finally, I said, “What?”
Well, evidently the day before, the summer ball coach gave the team a big speech about the importance of playing baseball year-round and not “wasting time” on other sports. Whoops!! I politely said that I disagree with him based on my conversations with college baseball coaches around the country. One of which answered this same question in the video below.
So here is the logic behind most college baseball coaches’ desire for high school prospects to play multiple sports – they must be athletic!!! When I talk to top college coaches around the country about what they look for while recruiting, almost everyone says they are looking for ATHLETES. You know what happens when you play multiple sports? You become a better athlete. You movement is more fluid. I’m not saying to force yourself to play other sports if you don’t enjoy them. I am suggesting that you don’t quit a sport you enjoy so that you can get a few extra swings in a watered-down fall baseball league.
I’ve had seniors who start on their football or basketball teams ask me if they should quit their senior year to concentrate on baseball. My answer is “no”, and clearly University of Cincinnati Bearcat’s baseball coach JD Heilmann agrees.
Is it possible to play too much baseball? I don’t know the answer to that, but I do know that playing other sports translates to being a better athlete, and being a better athlete translates to being a better baseball player.