The experience of being a sports parent can be exhilarating and frustrating - often these are competing emotions we might experience all in one game! As a parent, it is natural to have big dreams and great expectations for your child. In a parent's desire to seek excellence for our children, we can sometimes get carried away in our hopes and become unrealistic in our expectations. One of the pitfalls of sports parents is what we term "Stardom or Bust." We are all very aware of the lure of a collegiate athletic scholarship. Research reveals that about 30-50 percent of parents think their child will play sports at the collegiate level. Furthermore, 26 percent of parents who have a child participating in high school sports hope their child will become a professional athlete. What is the reality?
According to the NFHS, over 7.5 million students participated in high school sports last year. Nationally, about 2 percent of high school athletesare awarded athletics scholarships to compete in college. Even if your child is one of the fortunate ones that does obtain a college scholarship, the percentage of full tuition scholarships is very slim. The average athletic scholarship amounts to about $15,000 at the D1 level and $6,000 at D2. While about half of Division I and II athletes receive some amount of scholarship money for athletics, this means that the other half of collegiate athletes are playing without any athletic scholarship assistance.
The statistics on the probability of going pro are even more sobering. Of those student-athletes who are lucky enough to play in the NCAA, only an estimated 2 percent will ever get the chance to play at a professional level. This number includes both major and minor professional sports teams, as well as international opportunities.
These statistics show that student-athletes and their parents need to have realistic expectations about the purpose of youth sport. If your child gets an athletic scholarship one day, or gets a chance to go pro that should be the icing on the cake, not the sole reason for participating. Remember all the important life lessons and opportunities to develop an athlete's character that sports provide. When asked why they play sports, youth overwhelming reply that the number one reason is to have fun. This is the real joy and beauty of youth sports. This is what your child will remember. Enjoy your child's athletic journey for the good it provides them today in their physical skill growth, the chance to be part of a team, and the opportunity to learn life lessons through the experience.
Play Like a Champion offers a workshop for our high school partners that helps parents and student-athletes to discern whether playing at the collegiate level is the right plan for their future. If you are interested in this workshop for your high school community, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"What is my end goal in raising each of the children God has entrusted to me, and then how will I parent them with that end in mind?"
Play Like a Champion Today University of Notre Dame 107 Carole Sandner Hall Notre Dame IN 46556