Patrick Mahomes’ high school coach credits multisport participation for rise

January 22, 2020 / Coaching
Patrick Mahomes is a rare breed of athlete, and the coaches at his Texas high school knew it.

Photo: Jeffrey Beall, Wikimedia Commons

In addition to his performance on the gridiron, Mahomes was an elite pitcher for the Whitehouse High School baseball team. In 2014, his senior year, he threw a no-hitter with 16 strikeouts and finished 3-for-4 from the plate with a home run. His fastball hit 95 mph and, had he not chosen to play football in college, he likely would have been an early-round pick in the MLB Draft.

Mahomes also shined on the basketball court. Though he’s since given up the sport — the Chiefs would prefer that he don’t risk injury — his high school football coach still sees flashes of his basketball skills from the Kansas City quarterback.

   » RELATED: SportsMed: The dangers of early sport specialization

Yahoo Sports columnist Dan Wetzel wrote a piece this week that examines Mahomes’ versatility. In the column, Wetzel quotes Adam Cook, who was Mahomes’ football coach and is now the Whitehouse athletic director.

From the column:

“Because he played multiple sports, the overlay of all of those experiences and skills are there in the NFL,” Cook said. “It’s all just one game for Patrick. It’s always been just one big game, just on different playing surfaces. In high school football you are guaranteed just 10 games. Instead Patrick was always playing something and learning how to win along the way.”

There’s much more from Cook in Wetzel’s column, which is a good read. It echoes what many other professional athletes have said about playing multiple sports. That includes Drew Brees, J.J. Watt, Christian McCaffrey, Tony Gonzalez and a bevy of New England Patriots players before last year’s Super Bowl. MLB managers like Joe Maddon and Joe Girardi also have spoken out against specialization.

Read Dan Wetzel’s full column. Also, read tips from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association on reducing specialization-related injuries.

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