We’ve written plenty about the benefits of being a multi-sport athlete, but the other side of the coin often goes unexplored: What do players lose when they drop their “other” sports to focus on their “main” sport?

Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell said his staff targets multi-sport athletes in the recruiting process and there’s a recruiting-specific reason why they do that: They want to see their recruits in a competitive environment as often as possible. Obviously, that starts with seeing the player compete for his high school football team, but there are only so many times to do that. If they can’t swing by the stadium on a Friday night, they want to see a hypothetical future Cyclone compete on the hardwood, on the diamond or on the track.

Really, they want to see if their kids can compete, a 1-on-1 setting at a combine doesn’t really count.

“The greatest ingredient you lose is, you lose competition and how to compete,” Campbell said. “You can’t compete in the weight room, you can’t go compete with a trainer, even though everybody’s selling you to go do that. When you compete is when you’re winning or you’re losing and you’re figuring out a way to win.

“I think that’s what track teaches you, I think that’s what wrestling teaches you. That’s what basketball teaches you, that’s what baseball teaches you.”

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National columnist - Zach joined the staff in 2012...and has been attempting to improve Doug and Scott's writing ability ever since (to little avail). Outside of football season, you can find him watching the San Antonio Spurs reading Game of Thrones fan theories.