This is coming from a mom of a kid currently applying, who has always been a really solid multi-sport athlete but never had a passion for any particular one. His passion is stem. And we live in a sports-crazy/college-crazy community. Lots of parents spend lots of money to get an edge on college, pretty much from when kids are old enough to kick a soccer ball. Rec sports are great for kids. But it is very easy to lose perspective when it seems most people share an irrational dream of college recruitment. That leads to a mindset that the other kids are the competition, and no expense should be spared in getting an advantage.
By middle school, kids had a chosen sport and played it year round. Rec level, dad-coached sports was all but abandoned. My kid still wanted to play rec sports. But his friends had committed to a club sport and dropped casual sports. Weekends were about out of town tournaments and I can’t imagine how much families spent on the lifestyle. The parents were intense, and there was no doubt it was about college and keeping up with the Joneses. We didn’t do it, but that was only because my kid was very clear that he didn’t want that life. I had drunk the kool-aid enough to worry about the impact on his college options if he opted out, but he didn’t have the passion for a sport that justified the sacrifices.
Now he has friends who, because of injuries or talent level, aren’t recruitable. I am not aware of many that are. One of his friends who has been devoted to basketball all his life didn’t have the grades (despite being very smart - his hard work and focus was just elsewhere) to get into a UC when he graduated last year, and wasn’t recruited. He is going to a community college (which is fine, but not what the goal was).
I can’t say for certain since he is applying now, but I don’t think that any of his sporty friends are in a better position than my son is for admissions.
Tldr: keep focused on what makes sense for your kid. Find what makes your kid tick, and go with that. Your family’s mental health will thank you. The down side is that you end up losing touch with families that you hung out with when the kids were little. But sometimes that isn’t so bad.