By Sam Cortes, Communications Coordinator
Today, Brigette Lacquette is devoted to the sport of ice hockey. Playing since she was five years old, Brigette now plays in the PWHPA in Calgary. In 2018, she won a silver medal playing for Team Canada at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang and was the first First Nations woman to play on the Canadian Women’s Olympic Team.
But Brigette, who was born in Mallard, Manitoba, didn’t just stick to hockey growing up. She enjoyed playing lots of different sports.
“I feel like I played every sport growing up,” said Brigette. “I loved just playing sports and being active. But my main sports were hockey in the winter and softball in the summer – but again, I played pretty much every sport. I was on the high school volleyball team for a couple years, and I picked up golf actually about six years ago.”
So how did playing a variety of sports play a role in the athlete she is today?
The skills gained from playing a range of sports only enhanced her game on the ice.
“It helped a lot with just being athletic and being able to adapt to different types of sports. I know with softball and baseball, it helps with hand-eye coordination,” said Brigette. “There’s different parts of sports that help you adapt.”
Brigette also played soccer, volleyball, basketball and badminton in school and recalls some of her teammates having a history of playing different sports, too.
“I feel like a lot of the girls on the national team were multi-sport athletes, like soccer, basketball, or lacrosse,” said Brigette. “Many of the hockey players that I knew or that I know played some sort of basketball or hard ball growing up.”
When it comes to the benefits of multi-sport, there’s more than just those transferable skills – there’s also avoiding burnout and injuries that come with doing the same repetitive movements over and over.
Brigette said she’s noticed an overall athleticism that can be seen in multi-sport athletes, too, such as when it comes to demonstrating a skill like throwing a ball.
“I don’t know what it is, you can just tell that yeah, they’re athletic, or yeah, they can be good at pretty much any sport, because they probably played it growing up.”
Developing an All-Around Athlete
Not specializing in one sport as a child can develop a well-rounded athlete, which can allow them to excel in a chosen sport down the line.
“Sport, in general, teaches you the importance of team work and discipline. I think you can find that with any sport, really. To be a multi-sport athlete, I find it just brings that athleticism,” said Brigette. “A lot of the high performance hockey players or baseball players, they played every sport growing up and you can definitely see that it’s easy for them to adapt to change.”
Making Sport & Physical Activity Fun
Getting involved in a variety of sports and physical activity also goes back to something quite simple for kids: it’s enjoyable.
“I always found it so much fun to go to gym class and I loved playing different types of sports. I play hockey all the time, but it’s nice to go out there and throw a ball or a football, or play softball,” said Brigette.
And still to this day, she doesn’t pass up the opportunity to get into a game.
“Obviously I’m focused on hockey so much, this is what I do full time right now, but when I have a chance to play spikeball or something like that, I’m all over it.”
Brigette said she would encourage young kids to have fun with trying different sports that bring them joy. And that every activity a kid plays doesn’t need to be about being the best.
“When I first started, I wasn’t very good at soccer, for example. I loved running and playing, but I couldn’t say I was very good at it, but I kind of just love being out there. I also love competing, I’m very competitive. I just love to go out there and compete.”
To learn more about the dangers of early sport specialization and the benefits of kids playing multiple sports, visit our website and check out the #PlayMoreBeMore campaign.