Triple Threat Programs

March 9, 2019

Athletic departments and associations around the country are taking steps to fight to trend of sport specialization among high school athletes.

Prescott High School in Arizona created a program in which any student-athlete who participates in a sport in all three seasons of the school year will receive a T-shirt and a pass for all the school’s athletic events for next season. An article detailing the program in the Prescott Daily Courier.

Prescott Athletic Director Missy Townsend wrote an article for Athletic Management on the importance of implementing such programs at high school to encourage multi-sport participation. Here are some of the key points from that article:

Research has shown that multi-sport athletes earn higher GPA’s on average, have fewer behavioral problems, have better attendance rates, benefit from increased speed, agility, and flexibility, and see a decrease in recovery time, muscle pain, and stiffness. On the other hand, research has shown that students who specialize in one-sport year-round develop an increase in injuries due to overuse of the same joints and tissues for an extended time, as well as higher rates of burnout. Yet the trend has continued.

Here are some ideas I’ve had success using at my high school:

Education: Educate parents, coaches, and student-athletes on the benefits of multi-sport participation as well as the risks of specialization through preseason meetings and by working with youth leagues and organizations.

Culture: Hire coaches who embrace multi-sport participation to help build a culture where coaches share athletes. One of the keys to building this type of culture comes down to how your coaches perceive and promote the multi-sport experience.

Communication: Communication between coaches will allow for different programs to share athletes, communication between student-athletes and coaches is also key to managing time commitments and to prevent misunderstandings.

Flexibility: When coaches, parents, and student-athletes are flexible and willing to allow for compromise, we see increased multi-sport participation. 

Incentives: Offering rewards or recognition can be a strong motivator. For example, recognition of multi-sport athletes in the local media, and through plaques, patches, shirts, or sports passes is effective.

Here's a look at two other “Triple Threat” initiatives that have been created recently.

Barnegat High School

The idea originated from a coaches’ round-table meeting, a novel idea evolved—and one of the goals of the school's Triple Threat program was to elevate participation at the junior varsity level. The phrase JV was dropped and replaced with Sub-Varsity, and recognition for athletes playing Varsity and Sub-Varsity was treated the same. Coaches are instructed to post articles and accomplishments on social media for both sub-varsity and varsity teams.

The school throws an end-of-the-year picnic for the Triple Threat Athletes, T-Shirts are distributed to the student-athletes who have earned Barnegat Triple Threat status. Click here to read an article on the Barnegat program.

Kentucky High School Athletic Association

The KHSAA created the "Triple Threat Award" program to honor athletes who play sports for their school during each of the the three seasons (fall/winter/spring). Click here to read an article on their program.

SEARCH for Products
SEARCH for Vendors

Lockers That Work

Looking for lockers for your team rooms? All-Star sport lockers from List Industries have raised the bar with their quality, functionality, and durability. All-Star locker feature List’s exclusive Hollow-T framing system that has ½” 13-gauge flattened expanded metal sides for maximum ventilation, safety, and rigidity. Plus, interlocking body components create a sturdy sports locker that … CLICK TO READ MORE...

Moving Up to the Pros

After years of success serving the college athletic market, G2L Window Systems got the call up to the pros. A G2L system was installed in one of the suites at Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Philadelphia Eagles. G2L Window Systems feature frameless, open-air design that allows fans to enjoy the sounds and smells of … CLICK TO READ MORE...

Record Boards Suited for the Diamond

Baseball and softball season is just around the corner, so this a perfect time to think about the best way celebrate the accomplishments of these teams. Austin Plastics & Supply offers a large variety of record display boards designed specifically for baseball and softball. Most focus on individual season and career records for pitching and … CLICK TO READ MORE...