Jordy Nelson: ‘Don’t specialize in one sport’

Green Bay Packers wideout Jordy Nelson wants kids to step away from the video games and take up multiple sports.

Green Bay Packers wideout Jordy Nelson. | Photo: Mike Morbeck

The Pro Bowl receiver this week spoke with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, discussing his childhood, youth sports and how they contributed to the player he is today. One piece of advice he shares for kids is to play multiple sports.

“Whenever I go to football camps, that’s one thing I always encourage the kids and the parents: Don’t specialize in one sport,” he told the Journal Sentinel. “If I did that, honestly, I would have probably never played football — because at first I was very small. I finally grew my junior, senior year. If, at that age, I had to pick one sport, well, I was gifted at track, I loved basketball more than any of it, and football would obviously end up being my best sport.”

Players and coaches are becoming more outspoken about sport specialization, encouraging kids to participate in a variety of sports. J.J. Watt, Joe Maddon, Dave Winfield, Joe Girardi and John Smoltz are just a few who have voiced their concerns.

Here are a couple of Nelson’s comments from the article:

I used to go speak at schools for the Wisconsin Dairy Association, for a program trying to get kids to be active and eat healthy, and the first thing I’d ask was: How many of you play video games? And all the kids would get all excited and raise their hands. And I say … that is the incorrect answer.

Get off the video games and go play outside.

My oldest plays baseball in the summer and the greatest thing for him was finally getting old enough where when he got out at first, he actually got out. No more tee-ball rules of, keep running. You could see the competitive vibe kick in. You could see him think, “I want to get on base – I don’t want to get out.” If he gets out and has to go to the dugout, he is disappointed. I think that’s great. We all have to learn how to deal with that stuff.

I still don’t have video games in my house. Never will. I think they can just become addicting.

Click here to read the full article from the Journal Sentinel.

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