The Three-Sport Athlete

Although specialization is the current prevailing trend in American high school athletics, St. Andrew's encourages its student-athletes to pursue a different path: that of the multi-sport or three sport athlete. In leaving home to attend our all-boarding school, St. Andrew's student-athletes forego playing a single sport year-round on their local club or travel teams, but gain the opportunity to become more complete athletes—and we believe the benefits of pursuing this "road less traveled by" makes all the difference for our student athletes. And, thanks to our coaches' extensive network, committed St. Andrew's athletes are also able to compete with local club, travel, AAU, or U.S. National teams if they choose.

Greater opportunities for leadership development & personal growth

As a three-sport athlete, every four months, our students start over: they begin a new sport, on a new team, with new teammates, all of whom have new levels of talent. The best player on the soccer team in the fall may find that he is not the best basketball player or swimmer in the winter. This differential creates an opportunity to grow, both physically, and mentally. Athletes learn to display leadership within different teams and different context, and to work within differing social dynamics to build connections with teammates and coaches. This growth opportunity is not as present in the club or travel team environment, in which athletes in the same age group routinely play together, with the same coaches, year-round, and year after year. As they develop as adolescents, high school athletes need opportunities to challenge themselves within their zone of proximal development, break out of the set role or expectations coaches and teammates may have assigned to her within a given sport, and define and re-define themselves on their own terms. Multi-sport participation gives our students such opportunities.

Lower rates of injury

Multi-sport athletes display improved overall health and wellness, and have much lower rates of repetitive overuse injury. Changing up her sport each season gives the student athlete an opportunity for "active recovery," that is, a space in which she can heal and recover from any aches and pains incurred during the previous season, while still being challenged physically and competitively. Specialized athletes participating in year-round single-sport competition cannot access this space of active recovery, and thus routinely develop repetitive overuse injuries as a result.

More fun!

Many of our student-athletes note that participation in a variety of sports is simply more fun. St. Andrew's athletes are not just challenged and developed by their multi-sport play—they're inspired and energized, too. Each season, our athletes embrace their new teammates, coaches, challenges, and opportunities, dive into new experiences, and breathe energy and life into the School community.