Insight from Local ODP Coach Jim Winslow

In response to the many requests for a BLOG post on the recent interview with local ODP Soccer Coach Jim Winslow, here are a couple highlights (as paraphrased by Aspire). 

What are the challenges and advantages of multiple- sporting?

The benefits of multiple sporting include happier and healthier athletes. A rest from the “grind” of one sport can have a psychological advantage as well as a physical advantage. Multiple sport athletes often have fewer overuse injuries as most sports require different groups of muscles and motion.  These athletes also tend to “grow more” in their sporting season than athletes that play year around. Some sports – like cross country running and soccer – require similar motions. These sports are less complimentary than others and are more likely to result in overuse injuries. Lastly, changing and expanding social groups is often welcome during the high school years when cliques can form and cause problems. Female athletes struggle more in this area.

The disadvantages of multiple sporting may include “schedule stress”, pressure from coaches, and exhaustion as athletes shuttle from event to event. Limits must be set to ensure athletes get proper rest and downtime. Some athletes see slowed athletic progress when they get “too thin” from juggling excessive demands. Adding additional work-outs to overextended athletes is inadvisable. Psychologically, the multiple sport athletes can suffer from anxiety with little free time for friends and enjoyment. Additionally, pressure from coaches can be oppressive for an athlete that is trying to please many people and teams. Overuse directly contributes to injuries.

Finding the right athletic and scholastic balance for an athlete starts with a frank discussion between the player and coaches. Athletes need downtime for physical and emotional recovery. High school athletes are students first. Parents must deftly protect dreams and guard priorities.

For athletes that hope to play a collegiate sport, when would you suggest they narrow their sporting choices to be competitive in college?

There are a variety of competitive levels in college. After freshman year in high school, athletes should consider paring down their choices to no more than 2 sports. Athletes hoping to compete at the D1 level generally choose to single-sport after 9 grade.

Further discussion on the types of injuries male and female athletes are experiencing and the best practices for prevention was excellent as were the ODP insights.  Thank you Coach Winslow for your time and willingness to talk to our local athletes! 

About Coach Jim Winslow – Coach Winslow’s knowledge and expertise as Strength and Conditioning Coach at D1 University of Utah and his process understanding from a lifetime of athletic involvement has contributed to the success of his players. A multiple sport athlete himself playing 4 year of high school soccer and 4 years of basketball while also participating in track and volleyball. Coach Winslow played soccer at Miami of Ohio where he earned his degree in Exercise Science. He was Assistant Head Coachat Iowa State and also worked as State ODP Coach in 3 different state (Iowa, Utah, and Illinois). Coach Jim Winslow is currently Regional ODP Staff, Club Coach at Strikers FV, and Head Coach of St FrancisHigh School. St Francis claimed a State Championship Title in 2012 during his inaugural year.

Aspire was formed to advocate for student athletes and their families seeking advice and personal direction throughout the daunting recruitment process. The old adage “you don’t know what you don’t know” is valid. How do I advance the recruitment process without derailing it? 

We measure our success by the individual care we provide to every young student athlete. Our mission is to build the team that will build your dream of playing college soccer. Athletes need guidance and wise counsel to make informed decisions about the right major, the right school, the right opportunity, and the right soccer program. Everyone wins when strategic planning places athletes on a trajectory for success on the pitch and in life.

Warm Regards,

Deanna Gage
President and Founder
Aspire Soccer Consulting and Resources
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