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Why The Cleveland Indians Prefer Multi-Sport Athletes

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Matt Kata (@MattK8A) is a former Major League Baseball player and the Cleveland Indians Manager of Youth Baseball Development & Initiatives. Kata graduated from St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland, Ohio. In this video from PCA-Cleveland’s August Breakfast with the Indians, Kata joined President of Baseball Operations Chris Antonetti (@IndiansGM) and Director of Player Development, Carter Hawkins to discuss the importance of playing multiple sports.

Here, both Kata and Carter discuss why athletes who play multiple sports at a young age are more attractive as players later on. To each of them, playing multiple sports can unlock ability, build confidence, increase desire to play, and add varied athleticism that isn't there if players specialize in one sport early on. Despite the call from certain coaches to specialize early, playing several sports can help athletes become more well-rounded in their sport of choice later on.

Carter even argues that specialization can be a detriment to athletic success as it doesn't allow you to gain the athleticism necessry to perform at the highest level. Obviously, at some point it is important to specialize but when there are so many positive attributes and skills you still must learn early on, it is crucial not to miss out those by learning only one narrow skill set in one sport.