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Thread: 2 Sports At The Same Time

  1. #1
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    2 Sports At The Same Time

    How many of you let your kids play 2 sports at the same time?

    My 9YO son has played every sport available to him so far, but seems to have narrowed it down to baseball and soccer right now. He has been offered a roster spot on a travel club soccer team for the spring, which he wants to do if for no other reason than to just play/practice more often. The club also has a very good reputation for developing the players skills, so it would be good for him as a player. However the soccer season overlaps the baseball season. Soccer runs March-mid May and our rec league baseball begins practice around April 1st with games beginning around May 1st. Soccer games are usually on weekends while baseball games are usually on weekdays. The games only overlap for 3 weeks or so, but there could be practice conflicts. As a coach, I hate when kids miss practice, but i also know how much my son practices at home and I know he will not fall behind in baseball. If I coach again, I will also have some influence over practice schedules and can try to avoid practice conflicts.

    We have not made a decision yet, but need to tell the soccer club yes or no by Dec 31. If we only allow one, it will be baseball.

    Does anyone have any wisdom on allowing a kid to play overlapping sports or advice on how to handle the overlapping sports?

  2. #2
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    I deal with this with both my boys who are around the same age (8 & 10). One plays baseball, soccer, and basketball, the other soccer and baseball. Soccer and basketball are both inhouse rec leagues.

    I've found that as long as I've been up front with the coaches as early as possible everything has worked out. For example our soccer season starts in Sept, but registration is in June. My son was asked to play in a fall baseball league over the summer after signing up for soccer. I made it clear to the baseball coach that he had committed to playing soccer and would play on the baseball team when it didn't conflict. The coach accepted this.

    As the season went on there were a few conflicts, and even days where a soccer game conflicted with a playoff baseball game, but I felt it was important to have my son know that he to fulfill his commitments.

  3. #3
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    One of the overlapping sports must have priority for games. Ex- My middleschooler runs track for his school in the spring, but the coaches understand that he will leave early or miss on certain days for baseball team practice. Also, any baseball game trumps anything track, except for a couple of really big, important Invitationals/Meets. Many coaches are agreeable to multi-sport situations, ime.

  4. #4
    Fall sports should take priority for both practices and games and most coaches in my experience get that. Mine plays football and misses every fall field baseball practice and Saturday tournament games. He shows up on Sunday and hits on his own. But for the last couple of years there has been no throwing between early November and early February, and seldom pitches in fall games. Hopefully that's enough rest.

  5. #5
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    Flush ... When a player misses practice but practices on his own he's still having a negative effect on the team. the player is placing himself above the team. Special rules are being made for that player. There are things you can't practice with your son that he can practice with the team. That said, I've come to recognize self indulgence over the team has become the new normal. Coaches put up with it. I never did. When my 13U team turned 14U there were some upset players and parents when I didn't invite the practice skippers (due to other teams or sports) to remain on the team. My son played football in middle school along with travel soccer. There was never overlap.

  6. #6
    TG there are some coaches who still think that way, and regionally if there is no overlap that's well within their prerogatives. Every situation is different, and for a lot of teams fall baseball is nothing more than staying sharp, and in states like CA, Fla, Tx and Ga a lot of athletes play football in the fall..Saturday in tourney baseball is made of the players who only play baseball and fill ins from other teams. Many teams combine in the fall. Sunday is when the spring lineups play. Now if its spring and a kid is missing baseball for another sport, that's a different story.

  7. #7
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    Here in the Peach State my seven year old plays baseball, wrestles and does Brazillian Jiu Jitsu. Baseball does not really interfere with wrestling and BJJ for him but many of the other kids in his 8-12 class play football and it almost kills the latter two sports for the season. This year he has even had to train with the High School wrestling team just to keep fresh.
    And as much as I hate to admit it baseball may become secondary to BJJ this spring. He has had a few very strong tournament performances so far with another coming up in January. I'd hate to break the momentum.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tg643 View Post
    Flush ... When a player misses practice but practices on his own he's still having a negative effect on the team. the player is placing himself above the team. Special rules are being made for that player. There are things you can't practice with your son that he can practice with the team. That said, I've come to recognize self indulgence over the team has become the new normal. Coaches put up with it. I never did. When my 13U team turned 14U there were some upset players and parents when I didn't invite the practice skippers (due to other teams or sports) to remain on the team. My son played football in middle school along with travel soccer. There was never overlap.
    We seldom allowed the boys to play more than one sport at a time. Also, I agree with TG... in that once a player committs to a team he should be doing that and that only... Making special arrangements teaches him little and does affect the other team members. The only exception we made to this was when our boys played school basketball we allowed rec basketball Sat am. or when they played soccer we allowed weekend tourny teams.

    Last, I know as a HS coach I would not allow a player to be playing multiple teams/sports unless it was the end of the season when a few days of overlap between HS and Legion were .possible, but all the coaches understood this and we worked together to protect players.. Those who played other sports such as AAU basketball during baseball season had to make a choice.
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  9. #9
    When I coached and had players playing multiple sports at the same time I let them know up front that missing my practices for the other sports' games or practices would result in diminished playing time in our games. I couldn't allow players who came to every practice to have to split time with kids who only showed up to games.

  10. #10
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    My son and many of his friends play soccer 10 months of the year. There is about one month of overlap in the spring. The general rule of thumb is that games trump practices for both sports. Each team practices twice a week, so he tries to make at least one practice a week. We don't do tournaments until soccer season is over in May.

  11. #11
    My kid is playing basketball, but the travel baseball team is still doing winter workouts/practices. The coach fully understands that basketball, since it's a "winter" sport, will take priority over the baseball practices, especially since baseball is out of season. Around here soccer is much more of a year round sport so I do wonder how that'd work with baseball/softball. Seems like you'd have to choose or make one a priority.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by clayadams View Post
    My kid is playing basketball, but the travel baseball team is still doing winter workouts/practices. The coach fully understands that basketball, since it's a "winter" sport, will take priority over the baseball practices, especially since baseball is out of season. Around here soccer is much more of a year round sport so I do wonder how that'd work with baseball/softball. Seems like you'd have to choose or make one a priority.
    Seems reasonable!
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by raptor View Post
    TG there are some coaches who still think that way, and regionally if there is no overlap that's well within their prerogatives. Every situation is different, and for a lot of teams fall baseball is nothing more than staying sharp, and in states like CA, Fla, Tx and Ga a lot of athletes play football in the fall..Saturday in tourney baseball is made of the players who only play baseball and fill ins from other teams. Many teams combine in the fall. Sunday is when the spring lineups play. Now if its spring and a kid is missing baseball for another sport, that's a different story.
    I don't consider fall baseball to be a season. If a regular season team has an offseason team I consider that to be optional play. Or if an offseason only team labels play as optional it's ok to miss time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by clayadams View Post
    My kid is playing basketball, but the travel baseball team is still doing winter workouts/practices. The coach fully understands that basketball, since it's a "winter" sport, will take priority over the baseball practices, especially since baseball is out of season. Around here soccer is much more of a year round sport so I do wonder how that'd work with baseball/softball. Seems like you'd have to choose or make one a priority.
    When my son was asked to play for one of the top soccer clubs in the country the expectation was he would quit every other sport. I thought that was foolishness at age twelve. They tried to mislead me by saying all their players get college scholarships. I asked if all the U13 players get rides or is it all the U18 players. When the coach fessed up it was the U18 team, I asked how many of the U18 players were in the program at U13. That was when the hemming, hawing tap dance started.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Patterson View Post
    We seldom allowed the boys to play more than one sport at a time. Also, I agree with TG... in that once a player committs to a team he should be doing that and that only... Making special arrangements teaches him little and does affect the other team members. The only exception we made to this was when our boys played school basketball we allowed rec basketball Sat am. or when they played soccer we allowed weekend tourny teams.

    Last, I know as a HS coach I would not allow a player to be playing multiple teams/sports unless it was the end of the season when a few days of overlap between HS and Legion were .possible, but all the coaches understood this and we worked together to protect players.. Those who played other sports such as AAU basketball during baseball season had to make a choice.
    In Pa a player can't even practice with the next seasons team until the first season ends. When Tyrelle Pryor was a senior making it to the state championship in football cost him the first two weeks of the basketball season. His football team won states on Saturday. On Monday he scored 27 with 16 rebounds on no practice with the team. He had to go to the park to shoot. He wasn't allowed to use the high school gym.

  16. #16
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    Everyone brings up a lot of good points. Around here soccer is fall only at the high school level, so I consider any spring soccer play to be "out-of-season" even at the u10 level. While no decision has been made yet, if we do decide to do both sports baseball will be the primary spring sport and will receive game and practice priority. I would talk to the soccer club before accepting the invitation to make sure they understand the priorities. Knowing our baseball league, I really only see 4 weeks of potential practice conflicts because there is unfortunately no field availablity for practices once the games start. And if I coach baseball again this year, I can probably chose practice days that avoid conflicts with the soccer practices. Soccer games are mostly on weekends while baseball games are mostly weedays, so there should not be a lot of conflicts with games. If we decide against doing both, he will have to tryout again for the club soccer team for fall.

  17. #17
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    As soon as you start talking "club/travel" anything, is when problems arise. I've never been a big believer in "specialized" anything for preteens.

    I'd much rather see kids play any sport that even holds the slightest interest for them, and if that means football, basketball, soccer, baseball, whatever all in the same year, so be it.

    Most are doable in a "season", as at least in my experience, most rec leagues don't overlap the other sports, and if they do, it's only for a week or two in the closing of one, and the "preseason" of another......but as soon as you get into "club/travel" anything, all bets are off wrt the time requirements of a particular "select" coach.

    IMO, there's no reason to make any sport a "priority" over another....especially for a 9/10 year old. All we're teaching kids is that they're wants/needs are more important than that of a "team". Not something that I think serves them well when they get older.

    "Life is a matter of tough choices", and "you can't always get what you want".....the earlier one learns that the better.

    Never thought I'd quote Joe Biden and Mick Jagger in the same sentence, but "Whoomp There It Is.


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  18. #18
    Most kids, parents, and coaches are at some point or another going to face overlapping sports seasons. HS baseball workouts start today. The basketball season just started. Basketball summer league will start about half way through the HS baseball summer season. Football workouts will start about the same time as the summer basketball season and right in the middle of summer baseball.

    In our minds we think that these seasons don't conflict. Kids are encouraged to participate in multiple sports. The HS baseball coach encourages a kid to play football. First of all the coach may be part of the football staff, but even if they're not they like the strength and conditioning and toughness football provides. The football coach would like to see the same kid run track which is during baseball season.

    My kids, a boy and a girl, have juggled some brutal sports schedules. Then you throw in other interests like band or choir, plus the homework, time to hang out with friends, keep their room clean, pick up the dog crap in the backyard, playing xBox, etc., etc. ---- they figure it out.

    Maybe Dad's got to pick up the dog doo, or Mom's got to clean their room once in awhile, or Sis whose schedule is easier cleans the kitchen after dinner so her brother (whose isn't) can spend a little time out with friends even though it's his turn. Grandma helps run them around to practices. I didn't see a situation where the logistics couldn't be somehow worked out.

    Youth coaches that make kids do time for having other activities going on or throw out warnings are tools. The HS coach can live with it, but the plumber coaching a 12U rec basketball team thinks he's Pat Reilly.
    There are two kinds of losers.....Those that don't do what they are told, and those that do only what they are told.

  19. #19
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    It's an easy question to answer, Flush. For me, I allowed my kids to decide on their own what sports they wanted to do. My son played soccer when he was 6 or 7, enjoyed it, but really wasn't enthralled with it. Played basketball at age 7 or 8 and liked it well enough, but wasn't hooked. Started baseball at age 5 and I can't get him away from it. His decision on prioritizing was made by him. We offer him the opportunity to try anything he wants, but he simply enjoys baseball much more than any other sport. My 14 year old daughter has gone the soccer route, then softball and now field hockey. She hated soccer, loves softball and lettered as a Freshman in Field Hockey this year. She has the FH bug, but will still be trying out for the softball team this year.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by shake-n-bake View Post
    My kids, a boy and a girl, have juggled some brutal sports schedules. Then you throw in other interests like band or choir, plus the homework, time to hang out with friends, keep their room clean, pick up the dog crap in the backyard, playing xBox, etc., etc. ---- they figure it out.

    Maybe Dad's got to pick up the dog doo, or Mom's got to clean their room once in awhile, or Sis whose schedule is easier cleans the kitchen after dinner so her brother (whose isn't) can spend a little time out with friends even though it's his turn. Grandma helps run them around to practices. I didn't see a situation where the logistics couldn't be somehow worked out.
    Some very interesting family dynamics there "shake", good that you all have found a way to make things work out like that.....but that definitely wouldn't happen in our household.

    I would never allow someone to "spend a little time out with friends", at the expense his/her household responsibilities being picked up by someone else.

    If my son(s) want to do something extra, they had better find time in their schedule to do it. If that means they set their alarm to wake up 30 minutes early "to pick up the dog doo", so be it.....but I'll be damned if I'm going to do it, just so they can run off and do something that they want to do, or think is more important.


    Not criticizing what works for your family, just "different strokes"....that's all,
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  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by mudvnine View Post
    Some very interesting family dynamics there "shake", good that you all have found a way to make things work out like that.....but that definitely wouldn't happen in our household.

    I would never allow someone to "spend a little time out with friends", at the expense his/her household responsibilities being picked up by someone else.

    If my son(s) want to do something extra, they had better find time in their schedule to do it. If that means they set their alarm to wake up 30 minutes early "to pick up the dog doo", so be it.....but I'll be damned if I'm going to do it, just so they can run off and do something that they want to do, or think is more important.


    Not criticizing what works for your family, just "different strokes"....that's all,
    mud -
    Goes both ways. A couple weeks ago my Sciatica was acting up. I was on a stay-cation vacation and had a lot of projects planned. One thing I really wanted to do was change the heater core in my wife's SUV. Not much of a mechanic, but the lowest estimate I got was around $500. The part costs $34.50. I was determined to do it and save the money even if my back fell off in the process. My son had plans to go up to the mountains with a couple of his friends. He saw me struggling, called his friends and cancelled, put on some overalls, and helped me out. I love it when he does stuff like that. You know he wasn't in a pissy mood about it either. Actually, much the opposite. It's a miserable PITA job, but he did most of it and was really happy about helping me out. Though I did hear some language that I had never heard from him before.
    There are two kinds of losers.....Those that don't do what they are told, and those that do only what they are told.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by shake-n-bake View Post
    Goes both ways. A couple weeks ago my Sciatica was acting up. I was on a stay-cation vacation and had a lot of projects planned. One thing I really wanted to do was change the heater core in my wife's SUV. Not much of a mechanic, but the lowest estimate I got was around $500. The part costs $34.50. I was determined to do it and save the money even if my back fell off in the process. My son had plans to go up to the mountains with a couple of his friends. He saw me struggling, called his friends and cancelled, put on some overalls, and helped me out. I love it when he does stuff like that. You know he wasn't in a pissy mood about it either. Actually, much the opposite. It's a miserable PITA job, but he did most of it and was really happy about helping me out. Though I did hear some language that I had never heard from him before.
    And why I wasn't criticizing, just stating the obvious, that what works for one is not always the best for another. Sounds like your son is a fine young man who makes some excellent, thoughtful decisions....you should definitely be proud.


    Here's to a speedy recovery and happy holiday season,
    mud -
    In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

  23. #23
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    Many of the baseball club teams around here including San Fernando Valley, Santa Clarita Valley, Ventura County, etc., allow for Fall sports such as football or soccer for their core players. They tone down the tourney schedule and usually play Sundays only. Many of the coaches keep their pitchers at 2 or 3 innings per week max during the fall. Soccer "club" teams can be more militant in their approach. They've told players to choose one sport or bye.
    Last edited by Baseball gLove; 12-17-2012 at 02:33 PM.

  24. #24
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    My son (9yo) has decided that he wants to play both soccer and baseball this spring. He even said he likes soccer a little bit more than baseball, but I think that could be because he has been playing it more recently than baseball. We went to the club soccer spring parents meeting last night and I really like what I heard. This club really wants to focus on skill development of all players with winning the games being secondary to development. All the coaches are licensed by either USSF or USSCA. This club also is willing to work around the schedules of the players as much as possible. The majority of the games will be on Sundays, which is almost never used for baseball in our town. I don't think there will be too many schedule conflicts between the 2 sports to force him to choose one over the other. One of his coaches even said he has a son that plays both soccer and baseball as well.

    The new wrinkle is that just as we walked in the door from the soccer meeting, a friend whose son played baseball with my son last season in the rec league called to ask if my son wanted to play in a nearby "select" baseball league on his son's team. There are a lot of pros and cons between the 2 baseball leagues, and they are further complicated by the decision to play both sports. My first decision is whether or not to even tell him that he has been invited to join this select team. Right now all he knows if that he has been invited to batting practice on Saturday. I doubt I can really keep it from him though since his friend whose father invited him sits next to him in school. No matter what, it will be my son’s (and my wife’s) decision after we discuss all the pros and cons.

    The coaches for this select team are better youth coaches than anyone in the rec league including me (unless there are new rec league coaches that I don't know). The select league will practice more often than the rec league and in fact starts this week compared to rec league which won't start practicing until April. I believe that more (and more well run) practices in the select league will help my son develop more than in the rec league. However, more practices mean more opportunities for conflicts between soccer and baseball.

    In our small town rec league, my son is usually one of the best players. In the select league, he might only be average. He will face better competition in the select league which should be more fun, allow (or is it force) him to play more than just pitcher, catcher, or SS, and hopefully there will be fewer boring walkfests. I think playing outfield would be good for him, but in the rec league he has always been needed at one of the “more important” positions. The select team can stay together as the move up in age, whereas the rec league redrafts every year. Neither this select baseball league or the club soccer league are super elite, but both are a step up from the rec leagues.

    The select league (and the soccer club) is in the town where I work, which is 20 miles away from where we live. I am not sure how much the possible extra commuting will affect us if we do both. It appears that we have plenty of car pool opportunities for both sports though. A coach or teammate is willing to bring him to practice for both sports and I can bring them all home afterwards. The fact that both the select baseball and club soccer are in the same town might make it easier to get from one event to the other whereas the rec league would require more commuting between the 2 events.

    The select team would have at least 2 of his friends on it, but there would be a lot of other kids on the team that he does not know yet. Not playing with the rest of his friends is the biggest con against the select team. However, making new friends can be a good thing too. The other big con is that I like the idea of community baseball and this would take us away from our community league (there are no select or travel teams in our small town). I think he would miss being on the rec league all-star team, which is really the only time he gets to be on the same team as his closer friends since it is rare that they can get drafted to the same team. If he goes to the select team, I assume he would be back in our town by junior high school.

    I am just thinking out loud as we prepare to make the next decision.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Flush View Post
    Does anyone have any wisdom on allowing a kid to play overlapping sports or advice on how to handle the overlapping sports?
    The first sport trumps the 2nd. The 2nd must know about issues with the first sport.
    Last edited by songtitle; 01-31-2013 at 12:56 PM.

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