Success Outside of the Sports World

Sports can define a person. They provide common ground and conversation starters between strangers and mold athletes’ lifestyles and passions. Competitors live for the game and spend hundreds of hours preparing for their time under the bright lights. I love watching the overcoming of impossible odds, incredible determination of athletes, passionate teamwork and unparalleled competitive drive, but let’s have a reality check. According to Tony Manfred in his column “Here are the Odds that Your Kid Becomes a Professional Athlete,” the chances of accomplishing one’s dream of going pro are very rare.

•Baseball
High school 471, 025
College 31, 264
Draftees 806
Percent of college athletes who play professionally: 11.6%
High school players: 0.6%
•Football
High school 1, 108, 441
College 67, 887 Draftees 255
Percent of college athletes who play professionally: 1.7%
High school players: 0.08%
•Men’s ice hockey
High school 36, 912
College 3, 944
Draftees 11
Percent of college athletes who play professionally: 1.3%
High school players: 0.1%
•Men’s basketball
High school 545, 844
College 17, 500
Draftees 48
Percent of college athletes who play professionally: 1.2%
High school players: 0.03%
•Men’s soccer
High school 398, 351
College 22, 573
Draftees 49
Percent of college athletes who play professionally: 1%
High school players: 0.04%
•Woman’s basketball
High school 438, 933
College 15, 708
Draftees 32
Percent of college athletes who play professionally: 0.9%
High school players: 0.03%

Sports should never become the primary purpose of one’s existence; instead, they should only be one facet of an individual. An athlete should work with all their strength, practice each day and always strive to win games. These are necessities in order to be a beneficial part of an organization. However, a person is defined by more than what he or she accomplishes in a competition. Becoming a professional athlete should not be the only plan for one’s future. Every student–athlete must also have a winning mindset in the classroom, so that he or she is prepared for life after sports. Athletics grant access to exceptional education opportunities through scholarships. Athletes should dedicate time to earning a diploma as well as sports honors. If an athlete spends as much time studying his chemistry textbook as he does the playbook, he sets himself up for more than touchdowns. He prepares himself for a career. Even after the lights turn off and an athlete’s lifelong goal is unattainable, sports can be viewed as an incredible part of one’s past and a hobby for the future. Undrafted players are not failures. They are not athletes who didn’t make it; they are competitors who should be praised for putting their entire determination and passion into a game that they love. They should be recognized as those who succeeded in completing many amazing feats. Athletes should always use the lessons and morals learned on the field or court in real life to move ahead. They should be never satisfied with less than 110%, never settle for average and never quit.

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About alexa_burke96

Owensboro, Kentucky --> University of Louisville Isaiah 44:22
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