Over the course of my two-plus years at the Miner, I have had many conversations about the state of athletics at Kingman High. Usually, these take place immediately after the football season, and most comments center around the administration and the coaching staff.
Though fault can be found with anyone at any time, I'm still under the impression that the problems with KHS athletics are to be found long before an athlete arrives on the KHS campus. The coaches and administrators don't get to choose who comes to their school.
Athletes and their parents and/or guardians need to take control of their own future, especially when it comes to wanting to play at the next level. The closest one can get to that is to become a one-sport athlete.
There's a lot of competition around the country for the few slots offered on college teams. Focusing on one sport, by no later then immediately following the freshman year, will give the athlete an advantage by best utilizing his or her time.
That's three years completely devoted to one sport. Three years to learn the small intricacies of the chosen game that will lead to a better understanding of how it's played. The kids from other schools are doing it, so should ours.
For those supporters of these kids, the bottom line comes down to dollars. College education isn't getting cheaper, and any funds in the form of a scholarship will make the athletes' future an easier road to travel for success.
There's a lot of money out there in the form of loans for someone to attend college. But that also puts a 21- or 22-year-old in debt for many years to come. The responsibility is to give the kids a leg up, not burden them with outrageous debt at the start of their adult life.
Sure, cons to the single-sport theory can be found. One argument is that several KHS teams would suffer because the size of the rosters would shrink.
That could very well be true, but I think it would only be for the short run. As more kids lean toward a single sport, more slots in other sports would open up. This would give those kids on the cusp of playing varsity sports a chance to succeed in their chosen sport.
Multi-sport athletes gain the tools of many sports and, therefore, enhance their athleticism. Other sports can be used to enhance a favorite sport, but too much time spent on a secondary sport takes away from the improvement on the focused sport.
This athlete could reach, say on a scale of 1-5, a Level 4 in three sports. But if a college coach is looking for Level 5 players, this athlete has to find other means in which to attend college. This happens to more high school athletes than not. You can see them playing in the intramural leagues at your college campus of choice.
Focusing on one sport could turn into a job or a chore. This is where the athlete's supporters have to be active. There are areas of sports training that are boring, no doubt. But the concepts and theories have to be driven into the athlete and fun has to be found. It may not be easy, but it is necessary.
If the athletes, coaches and administrators all would get on the same page, not only KHS, but also Kingman as a whole, would see more of its athletes shine. There are ways here in Kingman to better our kids, and it's about everyone working together.