Student-athletes specializing in certain sports - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Student-athletes specializing in certain sports

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Student-athletes prepare for football practice at Foothill High School. (Mike Doria/FOX5) Student-athletes prepare for football practice at Foothill High School. (Mike Doria/FOX5)

Some student-athletes have a big decision to make as they consider their futures: play a few sports through high school or focus on just one?  

Choosing just one sport is becoming an even more popular answer. It's called sports specializing and the theory is that all attention on one sport increases the chances grabbing a college scholarship or securing a lucrative contract and position on a pro or major league team. 

When you consider the rising cost of a college education and the affordability, a scholarship could mean everything to an athlete who might otherwise not be able to pull the funds together for a secondary education. It would also relieve worries parents who might otherwise come up empty handed with funds.  

Side note: parent encouragement of a kid to specialize is another reason for its gaining popularity.  

And if you're wondering why a pro-career is such an important goal for a kid when the chances of making it are so slim; the answer is social media.  It's a direct view into the luxurious lives of players.

Stan Stolte, UNLV's Head Baseball Coach, says he enjoys recruiting athletes who play a few sports claiming they are more well-rounded and not anti-specializing.  But he sees the pressure it can put on a kid.

"I think a lot of it too is the coaches demanding them to just play my sport. I understand that. But for me personally, I think they should play everything they can," said Stolte.

Sports specializing has its share of cons among the pros. The chances of getting injury increases with specializing. The body's balance is favoring one set of motions and play patterns.  And what if a scholarship or professional contract doesn't materialize? That's a reality and potential devastation for an athlete with all his or her eggs in one basket.

Sports specializing and a big pay off aren't mutually exclusive.  

At Liberty High School's varsity football practice Wednesday morning, quarterback Kenyon Oblad mentioned he is heading to college on a football scholarship and he also plays volleyball.

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