High school student-athletes sometimes say they dream of playing professional sports after college. These kids usually are high school students who haven’t even applied to college yet. They are often highly regarded prep athletes in their school and community, but playing at the college level is still in the future.
Now, I’m not one to squash anyone’s dreams. We all know of pros who were college sports standouts, following stellar careers in high school. But, according to the National College Athletic Association, the percentage of NCAA student-athletes who become professional athletes is minuscule.
See the stats: men’s basketball-1.2%; women’s basketball-1.0%; football-1.8%; men’s ice hockey-3.7%; men’s soccer-1.7%. Baseball has the highest odds at 9.4%.
What all this means is that in choosing your college, getting an education should be your top priority. Your first instinct might be to go wherever you can get an athletic scholarship and play your sport, but you need to look at the entire picture. For most of you, according to NCAA president, Myles Brand, “Your years in college will most likely be the peak of your athletic experience. A college degree, however, lasts a lifetime. So go for the education first.”
So, approach your college search by making a list of the colleges that best meet your academic requirements and then narrow your focus to schools that offer scholarships in your sport. In that way you will have the best chance of getting into a college that’s right for you, play your sport and graduate with a future…it might even be in professional sports!