Performing the balancing act
March 6, 2023
Whether it’s the smooth, polished court underneath her feet or the grassy terrain of a course, Senior Grace Davisson pushes herself in the two sports she competes in, while obtaining the captain title for both.
For Davisson, being involved in multiple sports is nothing new.
“I have [run] cross country since freshman year…and I’ve played [basketball] for Wando since eighth grade,” Davisson said.
Both cross country and basketball consist of different practices and skills needed. For cross country, Davisson and her team would go off campus for either a workout or long run. Basketball practices, however, looked a little different.
“So [for basketball] practice…this year, I lead stretches, and then we’ll do one fast warm up, and then we’ll get into just drills and shooting and plays,” Davisson said.
As a multisport athlete, similarities and differences can be found between the two sports. Throughout the years that Davisson has raced and competed in, she says that she has found many differences between the two.
“I would definitely say the culture is different. Cross country it’s like everyone’s on your side…other teams will root for you, the parents will root for you,” Davisson said. “Basketball it’s definitely you versus the world.”
Even with both sports involving running, Davisson says the type of running required is completely different from one another.
“People always think it’s the athletic point of view, like, ‘oh you’re so in shape’, but honestly I don’t think [the running] is that related when it comes to being in shape. One is long distance and one is sprinting,” Davisson said.
Despite Davisson finding more differences than similarities between cross country and basketball, she says that she has been able to learn from both sports.
“[I’ve] learned that you don’t always have to be the best, but you should trust others,” Davisson said. “I think a lot of times, teachers and coaches will be like ‘oh, don’t do that’, like they will try and shy away from it. But definitely at Wando it’s possible.”
Davisson isn’t the only student who competes in two widely different sports. For junior Chrissy Mallon, she competes in both competitive cheer and lacrosse for Wando.
“This was my first season during cheer..I was on competition and sideline,” Mallon said.
While having a background with gymnastics, Mallon still had to relearn most of the tumbling required for competition cheer. However, practices combine both competition and sideline cheer.
“They were all kind of tied in…before we got into competition season we learned all of our sideline cheers and then once competition season rolled around, you had to practice [sideline cheers] on your own,” Mallon said.
Despite this being Mallons first season on cheer, she said the atmosphere of the team was really positive.
“We all were extremely competitive, and just wanted to do really well in all of our competitions. Everyone wanted to push each other. But for the most part, it was really positive,” Mallon said.
After Mallon competes and cheers in the fall, she prepares for her spring lacrosse season.
“We will run, stretch, and then warm up stick skills. We’ll either do drills or seven v. sevens the whole practice,” Mallon said.
In lacrosse, Mallon plays midfield, and is responsible for taking the draws, or starting off the play of the game.
“Middies will take the draw and then if we get the ball, then we go and play on offense. If we lose the ball, then we go and play on defense. So we’re playing all sides of the field,” Mallon said.
Despite the two sports seemingly having no similarities, Mallon found the importance of endurance and strength in both.
“We’re doing weight rooms for lacrosse so that will help with cheer,” Mallon said. “ When you’re doing full outs, you have to be in full out shape and just like lacrosse, you have to be in shape.”
Athletic trainer Katie Parker is in her fourth year of being a trainer for high school athletes. Parker helps athletes with rehab from past and current injuries, along with staying for games for hydration and injury prevention. However, she finds athletes who compete in multiple sports experience less chronic injuries.
“In my opinion, I’m a huge believer that athletes should play multiple sports instead of playing the same sport year round, which unfortunately is what a lot of kids do now,” Parker said. “We do actually see a lot more chronic overuse injuries developing earlier in age in people that are doing only one sport.”
With sports, it is a given that injuries will occur. However, by competing in different sports in different seasons may help to prevent more injuries.
“Injuries always depend on the person but I would say it definitely places less strain on individual joint or muscle groups,” Parker said. “That way we have more of a whole body conditioning stance if we are doing multiple sports. A lot of times you’ll see those athletes..not having…those…beginning of the season overuse injuries.”
Parker says that because no two sports are exactly alike, starting multiple at a young age is very beneficial.
“The good thing about young kids is that it’s a lot more based off of fun and learning the basic fundamentals than it is the major competition,” Parker said. “So having kids in multiple sports when they are younger, it’s beneficial for them to find out which ones they love… and then from there kind of choosing two sports.”