SportsEvents Magazine

AUG 2016

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August 2016 18 Kalei Oliver participates in tennis and softball and was active in t-ball as a child. SPECIAL FEATURE: SPECIALIZE OR NOT TO SPECIALIZE? Youth Athletes Face A Tough Decision BY JOHN REZELL alei Oliver spent years working her way up the ranks of youth softball in ultra-competitive Southern California while managing to keep tennis as a secondary sport. Then she tried out for a new travel team for softball in her freshman year of high school. "I told the coach that I would only be able to practice after 5 (p.m.) on weekdays because my varsity tennis matches ended at that time," said Oliver, who graduated from Rancho Buena Vista High School in Vista, CA, last spring. "Without any hesitation, he told me that I would have to quit tennis if I was going to play for him. I've been playing softball for years, but tennis was a fun hobby and I really didn't want to give it up." Oliver faced a moment of truth that many youth coaches force upon athletes. K TO Photos by Robert Oliver

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