Take FIVE with Amanda Chidester of USA Softball

By Steven Embree | June 23, 2014, 12 a.m. (ET)

It's exciting to watch our children excel at the sports they love. Working hard toward a personal best or perfecting a specific technique are critical to success, but let’s also remember that playing multiple sports can be tremendously beneficial in the long run – and a lot of fun for our kids.

Branching out from just one sport offers youth athletes both physical and mental benefits, from enhancing current skills to learning to appreciate the new skills required by a different sport.

Liberty Mutual Insurance Responsible Sports sat down with USA Softball standout Amanda Chidester to get her thoughts on playing multiple sports.

In our exclusive TAKE 5 interview, Amanda told us that growing up, she played not just softball, but also volleyball and basketball. In fact, basketball was once her favorite sport.

“I started playing all three sports in fifth grade,” remembered Amanda. “In middle school, I played travel basketball and softball. I loved basketball! All I wanted to do in middle school was play basketball.”

Amanda said that playing three different sports helped her not only stay in shape, but also use and build “different and new sets of muscles.” Additionally, her cross-training experience provided Amanda with new opportunities for friendships, travel, learning and growing – both as an athlete and as a person.

“I loved having a new challenge with teammates and the game,” said Amanda. “The mental game was a challenge in all sports. It kept me learning all year round – learning in different ways.”  

Amanda also shared her story of how, when and why she decided to specialize in softball in this exclusive interview. She added that she still retains a love for basketball, and still plays a good bit on the side.

“It’s important to enjoy other sports and let your competitive side out,” said Amanda. “When I’m done with softball, I’m looking forward to doing more outdoor sports that I have never tried.”

To read the full TAKE 5 interview with Amanda, visit ResponsibleSports.com. And come back next month for another exclusive TAKE 5 interview!

At Liberty Mutual Insurance, we constantly look for ways to celebrate the countless acts of responsibility and integrity shown by people every day. We created Responsible Sports, powered by Positive Coaching Alliance, as part of this belief to help ensure that our kids experience the best that sports have to offer in environments that promote and display good sportsmanship. We believe kids can learn valuable life lessons when coaches and parents come together to support winning on and off the field.

©2014 Liberty Mutual Insurance Company