Chances of Going Pro – By the Numbers

Kids Playing Today
High School
Division 1


            These are the numbers. The harsh reality of the long odds of your child making it to the pros. In 2006, over 4 and 1/2 million American kids, aged 6-12, were playing youth soccer.  Only about 10% (or 450k) will go onto play in high school.  Of those, only about 2500 or .05% will receive a Div 1 scholarship.  And less than .02% will go onto play pro (78).  The numbers for other sports are not much better. 

Do parents understand the long odds?  Based on the seemingly unrealistic expectations of the  athlete-parents I know and coach, I’m afraid many don’t.   Any parent, confronted with those long odds, would surely understand that just playing high school soccer (or any high school sport) would prove to be an achievement, right? Unfortunately, for many, the answer is no. 

The pressure to play at a level higher than high school weighs on the hearts and minds of many of our youth athletes.  The rising cost of college along with parent’s  lack of preparedness are common reasons kids are pressured to play at the highest level. 

The long odds and added parental pressure become a recipe for  stress.  And failure can lead to toxic environments where children choose to quit

So what do you think? 

Do the parents of competitive youth athletes understand the long odds that face their kids?

Does the parent’s lack of preparation for the rising cost of college add to the stress of athletes?

Leave a comment below and let’s discuss!

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