Thursday, December 22, 2011

Youth Sports: Study Because The Chances Of Going Pro Are Slim

A personal note to my kids. Please study in school because the chances of going pro in your chosen sport are slim. Go after it if that is your passion, but study, study, study so you have something else to fall back on.

Let's face it, there are lots of Crazy Youth Sports Parents who have their sights set on a pro contract for their kids. They spend lots of money, time and emotion to prepare their kids for stardom. They over-manage their kid's youth sports career to the point of insanity. They do this because there is an outside chance that their kid might be the next Ken Griffey Jr or Drew Brees or Dewayne Wade.

The players that make it to the pros are special, one in a million special and it is that slim chance that makes youth sports parents dumb.

A pro contract is a very remote possibility for all young athletes, even the ones who excel in youth sports and in high school. And I am going to prove it to you in this post.

Moeller High School is known for developing men of character, providing a highly regarded college prep education and dominating in sports. Consider the following regarding their sports program.

The Moeller Baseball program is also one of the best in the state every year. They have had 43 winning seasons, including 26 twenty-win seasons. They have won 5 Ohio State Championships ('72,'89, '93, '04, '09). They have also won the Cincinnati Greater Catholic League Championship 24 times making them the best baseball team in the city almost every couple of years. To achieve this type of success you need great baseball players. Making the varsity team is not easy and getting on the field to contribute is even harder. I hope that you would agree with me that Moeller baseball players are elite HS players.

The Moeller Basketball team is one of the best in the state every year too. They have won 3 Ohio State Championships ('99, '03 '07). They have also won the Cincinnati Greater Catholic League Championship 15 times making them the best basketball team in the city of Cincinnati every three of years or so. They have produced 4 Ohio Players of the Year or one every 10 years. To achieve this type of success you need great basketball players. One could argue based on the smaller size of the roster that it is even harder to make the varsity team basketball team compared to baseball. So I hope that you would agree that Moeller basketball players are elite HS players.

The Moeller Football team which was once coached by the legendary Jerry Faust is special too. The school has complied an overall record of 391-87-2 in its illustrious history. The program has garnered 5 National Championships and 7 Ohio State Championships while producing 87 All-Ohio players and 35 All-American players. According to the Moeller website, 389 players earned college scholarships. The Moeller football program does not cut players, so any Moeller student who wants to play football can participate. But the ones who start and have contributed to the amazing record of success are among the best. So again, I would hope you would agree that Moeller football players are elite HS players.

OK - I think that I have established that Moeller is a sports powerhouse so one would think that many professional athletes emerge from this program. Let's look at the numbers. 

Moeller is an all boys school that graduates about 225 students per year. In 1969 the first pro baseball player, Buddy Bell graduated from Moeller. Lets use 1969 as the starting point, so in 42 years Moeller has graduated an estimated 9,450 students. How many went pro?

During that time period, Moeller has produced 40 professional baseball players (.4%) of which 10 saw action at the major league level (.1%). One of those baseball players is considered one of the best baseball players ever, Ken Griffey Jr. And MVP and future Hall of Famer, Barry Larkin also went to Moeller. So it is not a 1 in a million chance, but as you can see the chances are slim.

Moeller has produced 14 professional football players, only 14. This number amazes me. The basketball program has produced only 7 professional players, but none of these players played professionally in the US. They played in Australia, Isreal, South America, Ireland, Italy and Holland.

The Main Point

Do not kill the dreams of your young athlete because there is a slim chance to make it, but make sure that they study in school or have some other talents to fall back on. 

I personally know two superior HS senior athletes who currently have aspirations of playing in the pros. Both of these players did not prioritize school and have subpar GPAs and both are struggling to even get a college scholarship to at top notch school let alone a taste of the pros.




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