Steve Spurrier says 'Let the kids play' multiple sports
These days, many young athletes specialize in one sport even before they reach high school.
Early specialization has been a hot topic among sport psychologists and coaches at all levels recently, with the
But, speaking at his induction ceremony for the 2016 National Federation of State High School Associations Hall of Fame class in Reno, Nevada, former Florida and South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier encouraged young athletes to play multiple sports, according to a post on gridironnow.com:
“Not once did any of (my) three coaches say, ‘Steve, you ought to stick with baseball. You ought to stick with basketball,’” Spurrier said. “They let us play all their sports, and I wish the high schools would do that now. Let the kids play.”
Spurrier said he probably wouldn’t be where he is today if he had been forced to choose only one sport during his high school years:
“I wasn’t very good at football until my senior year and we started throwing the ball a little bit,” Spurrier said. “I couldn’t run very fast, wasn’t very big, but I could shoot and throw and hit and stuff like that. But I just kept playing them all, and eventually football seemed to be my sport, so I’m thankful for that. I’m appreciative.”
In today’s collegiate landscape, SEC fans need to look no further than Alabama’s Tony Brown for an example of someone who has excelled at playing multiple sports.
Brown earned All-American honors as a member of the Alabama track team last season and, though he’s currently suspended from the football team, figures to be a big part of the Crimson Tide defense if he can get on the field in 2016.
Spurrier, one of 12 people inducted into the NFHS Hall of Fame this weekend, played basketball, baseball and football in high school before going on to win the 1966 Heisman Trophy with the Florida Gators.