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Dr Lachlan Soper on The Benefits of Participating in Multiple Sports | Sydney, Australia

When you’re looking to become more active, one of the best things that you can do is to play a number of different sports. Becoming an active participant in a number of sports has many benefits, including motor control, patience, teamwork, and an understanding of hard work. Today, we’re going to talk about some of the benefits of playing multiple sports.

MUSCLE CONTROL

When someone plays a number of different sports, it naturally improves their overall coordination and muscle control. As different sports, like soccer, athletics (track and field), and tennis, all use different skills, it can be an incredible outlet to help people gain the necessary skills to become better athletes. These skills that you acquire can even provide prevention against injury. 

NEUROMUSCULAR BENEFITS

Playing multiple sports can lead to improved development of control throughout your neuromuscular system. This can include things such as endurance, power, strength, agility, speed, flexibility, and stability. 

Kicking, running, jumping, even throwing and hitting all use your body’s muscles, allowing your muscles to become stronger. Ever notice that the more you practice your throwing and catching, the more powerful your throws become? Or how about going on a run. Keeping your endurance up can ensure that you blow everyone away at your next game. 

OVERUSE OF MUSCLES

Playing different sports can actually ensure that you don’t overuse one muscle group. If you’re playing hockey, you’re using different muscles than when you’re playing football or baseball. If you were to focus on one aspect of one sport only you are more likely to develop an overuse injury. One way swimmers try to ‘balance’ their muscles out is competing and training in different strokes – freestyle develops your chest (as well as arms, legs etc), whereas training backstroke as well develops your back and compliments the strength in your chest from the freestyle and butterfly strokes. 

You can rest certain muscles while playing one sport, and activate them when playing a different one. Think of baseball pitchers, the incredible forces they place through one shoulder and their risk of injury. It can be incredibly easy to wear out your arm when throwing a baseball day in and day out, but if you play soccer alongside baseball, you have the ability to get a nice workout and not have to worry about overusing your arms. This is incredibly important when looking at the potential for injury. Rest and diversification of muscle use and muscle stimulus is so important.

This article was originally published on LachlanSoper.net.au

Published by lachlansoper

Lachlan Soper lives in Mosman, Sydney, Australia as a caring general practitioner to his patients, a committed cyclist to his biking companions, and, most importantly, a father to his three beautiful children. With over two decades of experience as a doctor, he is continuously fascinated by medicine and the human body. Infusing a bit of his parenting style into his work, he takes the time to listen to his patients so that he can make informed and comprehensive management plans that link into their lifestyle and personal preferences.

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