The Top 5 Signs Your Child Might Have a Shot at Making it in Sports
While it is but just a small number of athletes who actually make it to the pros in their sport, a few do, prompting the big question of what exactly does it take to reach the highest level of success in one’s sport? Does talent alone decide? Work ethic? Luck? All of the above?? This week I delve into the factors most responsible for favorable sport outcomes, including the variables that most directly effect the odds of one day playing as a professional athlete.
The top 5 signs your child might have a chance of one day becoming a pro athlete
Roughly only about 2% of all college athletes will make it to the pros, and while that’s a small percentage, it’s interesting to delve deeper into the characteristics that helped them beat out the other 98%. From my vantage point I often see the following:
- Amazing talent. Sure, this might be an obvious one, but it’s important to note that simply being ‘good’ is not enough! Having above-average talent certainly helps, but if the talent is not used properly and improved upon athletes will eventually deselect well before pro sports. It’s also important to note that when I say “amazing,” I mean amazing talent! This means simply being the best kid on the team, or even the conference, may not be enough — we’re talking young athletes who are state- and national-caliber athletes.
- Tremendous interest and passion for playing. Loving what you do makes skill acquisition and mastery a lot easier to do — are you the first to practice and the last to leave?
- Training opportunities. While there might be a baseball diamond in most communities, what if you play a sport that requires water, or ice? Aspiring athletes need not only venues to compete, but also good coaches and instructors to help them play at their highest level.
- Active in self-marketing. Waiting for opportunities is a reactive process, but why do that when you can be proactive and possibly create opportunities? Attending sport camps, networking, and sending letters directly to coaches can never hurt your chances, but could open new doors that lead to great things.
- Luck. Some people are simply lucky to be tall, strong, fast, or amazingly coordinated. Others are lucky that another player’s injury created an opportunity for them, or that a teammate transferred and left an opening in the lineup. While luck isn’t something you can create or count on, being a little lucky is often found to be a factor when looking at why some athletes make while others don’t.
Kids who aspire to one day become professional athletes should be made fully aware of just how difficult that is to do (only about 5% of all high school athletes make it to the college level, and only about 2% of college athletes ever play pro sports). At the same time, there are things kids can do to improve their chances of playing at their highest level — maybe even the pros one day.