Are high school sports more important than school itself? Many students view high school sports as the door to becoming a professional athlete. Is this ok?
The pressure on high school athletes can be immense. Sports like football and baseball are scouted heavily by colleges and universities. Kids dreams are being made and broken on the high school sports fields and diamonds. There can be great for some athletes, but devastating for others.
Here we will examine the Pros and Cons of high pressure "high school sports".
The Odds Are Against Every Player
The players don't know it, because every one of them thinks that they are getting a scholarship. But the truth is, most major sports in high school, such as baseball, football and basketball would be lucky to have even 1 player get a scholarship each year.
There are 26,727 high school in the U.S. today. There are only 3,982 universities in the U.S. That means there are almost 7 times more high school. So one might think that every 7th high school player might make a University team.
That might seem logical, but remember, Universities have many more students and still have only 1 varsity team in every sport. As well, there are 4 or 5 years worth of students. Older students tend to be bigger, stronger, faster, and more mature than the high school student who thinks that they will earn a position on the University team in the form of a scholarship.
The Odds Get Even Lower of Making it to the Pros
After those long odds of making it onto a University varsity football, baseball or basketball team, then the odds of making it to the pros get even smaller. In football, for example, less than 2% of the players will get to play even 1 game in the NFL.
So, why is this all important? Because we must let our students know that even though we hope they each make it to the Pros, they must be mentality prepared to fall short of even obtaining an athletic scholarship. If they do, great, but if they don't, they are still great!
There are many other ways to succeed, academically and career. The important thing is that they reach their potential, whatever that potential may be.
"Less than 2% of all college football players will make it to the NFL." – Sport Stat
Take The Pressure OFF Our Students
So, the story here is that we must allow our athletes to dream, to succeed at the high school level, and to have fun. But we must also let them know the odds, and prepare them mentally for the world after high school sports.
I'm sure that for every athlete we hear about that "made it on a scholarship", there are many more that didn't and are devastated.
Tell Us Your Story of Your Students
Please comment and tell us of a story of an athlete that you know of, or actually taught, who fell short and how it affected them. Did they pivot and go on to succeed in another field? Or were they devastated and went down the wrong path. Either way, we can all learn from your story, so thank you in advance for sharing it in the comments below.