Generally in the high school world, the year is set up so you can play multiple sports. During the summer you can be on a travel swimming and diving team, during the fall you’re playing football, during the winter you’re synchronized skating, and during the spring you’re playing lacrosse. With collegiate athletics almost always year-round, when you think about having to choose between sports as you move into college, it is heart breaking.
Love of the game
A close friend of mine recently went through dealing with that decision. She was a completely dedicated soccer player in the fall and lacrosse player in the spring. If you asked her what she saw herself playing in the future, she would always say soccer, as it was the game she had been involved with since she was very young; it was definitely her passion.
Getting chosen to play
When it came to the recruitment process, she knew that she was being looked at by a few schools for each sport and was very excited about her future prospects. Her top choice school was in the mix as well, so when she found out that both coaches at that school were very interested in her, she was ecstatic. The soccer coach told my friend that she had seen a few players play both sports since it was a Division III school (less rules apply in this division). It was a total dream come true for her to have the possibility to play both sports.
A change in plans
Time went on and my friend had meetings with both coaches; the soccer coach, however, was starting to become more distant and seemed less interested in her. My friend reached out to the coach, but nothing happened. Her dreams of playing soccer at that school were now gone, but the lacrosse coach was still very interested in having her play for him. He however, was not encouraging playing more than one sport as the soccer coach had previously told my friend she could. It was either find a new school that was interested in my friend for both sports, find one that wants her to play just soccer, or head down the lacrosse route.
Working it out
In the end, my friend couldn’t pass up going to her dream school. She received an incredible scholarship for lacrosse and was recruited to be on the team this fall. Not being able to play soccer was devastating for her, but she could have left the process completely empty handed, not playing a sport at all. She’s now completely devoted to playing lacrosse and talks to the coach as often as she can to get ready for next year. Playing lacrosse year round for the next four years wasn’t something that she had imagined she would be doing, but she could not be more excited.
The end game
Sometimes you just have to go with the flow and weigh your choices, you know? If you had to choose a sport to play, which would it be? Which sport can you really not live without? Which sport is worth fighting for? Is your favorite sport worth not going to your dream school? Take some time with these questions, and think about your overall athletic world. Maybe it means walking away from your perfect college to play the sport of your dreams instead. Maybe it means discontinuing to play intercollegiate sports altogether just to attend that school you love. Who knows? But, if you ever end up in a situation like my friend’s, you’ll know what to do because it feels right for you.