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Kerri Walsh Jennings on Kids Playing Multiple Sports

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Kerri Walsh Jennings (@KerriLeeWalsh) is a professional beach volleyball player on Team USA. Walsh Jennings attended Stanford on a volleyball scholarship before playing professionally, and is now a five time Olympian, entering her first Games on the USA indoor volleyball team, and four time Olympic champion. She is the most decorated beach volleyball Olympian of all time, having won three gold and one bronze medal in beach volleyball. She has also had major success in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships and World Tour, with 24 FIVB awards and honors under her belt since 2002.

Walsh Jennings speaks to her belief that kids should play multiple sports while growing up. She says that the value of playing multiple sports is “physical, mental, and spiritual”, as it pushes athletes to grow and develop across different platforms. She states three main reasons why being a single sport athlete is bad:

Single sport athletes: - Have a higher chance of burning out

  • Have a higher chance of developing over-use injuries

  • Will never learn the full potential of their body

She speaks to her experience playing multiple sports growing up, until high school where she only played volleyball and basketball—the latter because, although she did not enjoy it as much, she knew the cross training of it would make her better mentally and physically.

Walsh Jennings recommends that parents encourage their kids to try multiple sports while growing up, so as to allow them to have a wide range of experiences and grow in multiple ways.