I Love Sports What Should I Major In latest 2023

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Specializing at a Young Age Will Stunt Your Growth, Not Improve It

According to USA Hockey, colleges and universities across the country recruit talented and skilled ice hockey players before they even start high school. Verbal commitments are made between prospects and perennial powers like the University of Wisconsin. Talented players who don’t want to go the collegiate route opt for the major junior system in Canada, then turn professional at the age of 18 or 19. There are more and more very young players in the National Hockey League, with a handful of them being named captains of their professional teams like Jonathan Toews and Sidney Crosby. The emergence of young athletes taking on key roles in elite circles in Division 1 and professional sports makes it seem to young players that specialization is the way to go. Ice hockey is not the only sport to identify talent at exceptionally young ages. Top football colleges find players who are just starting high school. Much can be said about the physical and mental development of an athlete in high school and college. Schools like Yale University will not consider a young recruit for their varsity sports because they realize how mentally changing it can be for a teenager aged 14-18. For them, academic integrity is as important as athletic performance. Therefore, making a four-year guarantee in advance is not attractive to them. They want to see where this candidate will be down the road before making any commitments. What happened to waiting and buying the best? We don’t elect presidents 4 years before they are sworn in, why should we choose which shirt an athlete will wear before they get there? If you keep the competition to play close to the actual time it will, the road to getting there will be more process and development related.

Ten years ago it was thought that athletes needed more time to develop and gain a competitive edge. In ice hockey, graduate programs (PG years) in prep schools and junior teams were common staples for getting noticed by competitive college hockey programs. It was believed that to have the edge, it took time to develop physically and mentally as well as gaining the experience of playing with other like-minded athletes. When you knew you had a long way to go to reach the college and professional ranks, specializing in your sport at 12 wasn’t the smartest thing. Parents, coaches and experts feared that applying too much pressure at a young age to perform and excel would cause players to burn out prematurely.

Performance development coaches like me believe that while players should focus primarily on two sports, their programs should incorporate the skills and abilities required to perform well in no less than 10 other sports or activities. Even if you don’t play baseball, ice hockey players have the ability to go into a batting cage and hit a high percentage of pitches. Hockey players who can play baseball well will have better reaction times on the ice and will be better able to react to pucks in flight from a high shot or on a bad pass. Likewise, playing football is excellent for the development of a budding ice hockey player, as many very talented players are very good at carrying and handling the puck with their feet. Whether your main sport is baseball or ice hockey, you can learn a lot by playing other sports like tennis, soccer, football, etc.

The spectrum is wide when it comes to what parents think their children should be doing. Some want their kids to look like Sidney Crosby and force them to major at age 8 and some want their kids to have fun and do whatever they want for as long as they want. Both approaches are wrong. To specialize or to be left out is bad. The key is to maintain high intensity, attention, encouragement and vigor with low expectation and pressure. Young athletes should learn discipline, passion, love of training and sport, and heart. The road to intercollegiate and professional sport is long. The people who make it and stay there are the ones who like the unglamorous aspects, the long car rides, the sweat, the low pay (most professional athletes’ pay isn’t like ARod), the unforgiving schedule, and the inherent uncertainty that comes from such a fluid trade – where one day the best team wants you and the day the other team looking at you is the worst team’s firm club.

Success comes from a love for whatever you do. The day it becomes a job is the day you know it might be time to consider a new path. Athletes playing for glory will be in store for a rude awakening. Athletes who can face adversity and overcome it through hard work and staying focused are the ones you know really love what they do. The Tampa Bay Rays baseball team turnaround shows exceptional determination, drive and passion to improve and improve. They didn’t care about playing as well as perennial teams like the Boston Red Sox. They played the game the way they knew best and set their path to the World Series in their own way and on their terms. How they went from the worst major league professional baseball team to World Series runner-up is an example of how individual athletes should approach their development. You can’t go out there and just be in for the win. Unfortunately, raw desire isn’t enough to get you there. You must be willing and able to do unappreciated and undervalued hard work. By doing so, you put yourself in a better position to start doing well.

As an athletic development coach, I’m useless for the person who just wants to play in a recreational league and get the fanfare when they score. When someone is ready to work hard, put in long hours and sweat, I’m the perfect person for them. I will help them get where they want. What I do has no glamour, other than the satisfaction in myself, knowing that I played a role in helping an athlete demonstrate his abilities to an audience. I do what I do because I have a love and passion for sport.

The key to professional happiness is to specialize in a commitment to hard work. Everything else you do to move forward will come later. Don’t worry about the nods you get at 14 for playing college sports. Keep your head down and focus on improving yourself. A lot can happen in high school. If you keep your options open at 14, you’ll have more resources to lean on at 18.

If you major at 14 in football and it doesn’t work out for you, you won’t have anything to fall back on. If you play multiple sports and do well in a few of them, if one doesn’t lead to a paycheck or stardom, maybe the other will. The more options you have, the less pressure you’ll feel to excel at one, which will make it more enjoyable. Nobody wants to think that everything depends on how you do something.

Keep your options open and have fun, but remember that you won’t improve without hard work. So decide what your priorities are and go from there. If you don’t want to sweat or do the things necessary to improve your game, then don’t expect to play to the next level. There is nothing wrong with playing pickup games. You need to be honest with yourself about your skill level and your willingness to put in the time to do it. Sidney Crosby, Eli Manning, Tom, Brady, Michael Jordan and others didn’t get where they got to just by walking through life. They assessed their abilities and decided accordingly where they wanted to go. Once they did that, they worked tirelessly to make sure they got there. This due diligence is why they have all become stars in the professional field.

The key takeaway from this article is that you need more determination than skill. And more importantly, you need more love than determination. Therefore, you need more love than skill. If you don’t like what you’re doing, it doesn’t matter how good you are, because you won’t want to do it anymore. Being focused is different from specializing. Exercise a lot. Stay active in lots of different things. Do it because you love it. You can decide later which one will allow you to do this in college or professionally. You will benefit more from playing other sports and training for those sports than spending all that time training for one sport. My program is so effective because despite your concentration, I expose you to movements and exercises common to other activities, thus making you a more complete and balanced athlete.

Stay tuned for more articles by DSWAthletes, owned and managed by Derrick Wong. We write about everything related to sports. We want to help you get where you want to go and enjoy both the process and the result. We’ll help you stay focused and in top shape.

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