According to Jay Coakley, a sociology Professor who specializes in the sociology of sports and the National Alliance for Youth Sports, parents need to have realistic expectations when it comes to youth sports. Here are a few sobering points:
- Less than one percent of high school athletes are offered a division one scholarship or receive any money at all.
- Only one in about one hundred high school athletes play at the college level.
- Only one in about 100,000 high school athletes ever sign with a professional sports program.
While I can’t attest to the accuracy of these statistics, I have no reason to doubt them, and they are similar to other statistics I’ve seen.
In this day an age, it’s especially important that parents keep some perspective about the expectations they silently communicate with their children. Kids these days are starting competitive sports earlier and earlier in hopes of their child playing a high school sport and further hopes of college scholarships. It’s pretty easy to get caught up in the chase placing unrealized and substantial pressures on your child.
it’s critical to remember that he or she a child, who happens to be an athlete and not an athlete that happens to be a child. Let them develop slowly. Allow them the freedom to make mistakes. Let them have fun and develop a joy for the sport of their choice and the rest will take care of itself.