Many people enjoy watching sports. Of course, this isn’t surprising. We have been playing and spectating in sports for thousands of years now, and it has integrated well into our culture as human beings.
The competitive and electrifying spirit of sports makes for great entertainment. These sports events are also a reason for communities and families to spend time with one another. They essentially help build cohesion with groups of people.
Going Pro: An Unlikely Dream
Because of the importance that we place on sports and the athletes who play them, it’s natural that people, especially children and teens, would want to become professional athletes. These athletes are seen as role models in our society. And every child who enjoys a certain sport wants to emulate the success and skill that their favorite athletes have.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with wanting to become a professional athlete. Also, many good things come with becoming a professional player in a major sports league. Professional players earn a good amount of money and can be fairly popular in the public eye.
While it is fun to think about becoming a professional athlete, the path to becoming one can be the opposite. The likelihood of an average high school athlete becoming a professional athlete is extremely small. No matter what sport it may be, this dream may be unlikely for many aspiring kids.
Unlikely but Not Impossible
While the chances are incredibly slim, becoming a professional athlete is not entirely impossible. The path to becoming a professional athlete is a long one. It will take intense commitment, discipline, intelligence, and luck to pull it off. Let’s take a look at several factors that can increase one’s chances of making it to the big leagues.
Skill and Game IQ
There are many paths to becoming a good player for certain sports. While some have innate athleticism and talent, many achieve their professional status through training. Of course, they do not have to start formal training to develop their skills. Plenty of professionals started out playing in their local parks, mostly for recreation. When one discovers that they are serious about becoming a professional athlete, they can then enter sports clinics or take lessons.
Developing the necessary skills to play a sport, therefore, is the most important factor that aspiring athletes need to focus on. This is how they are evaluated as athletes. Of course, to develop their skill in playing their chosen sport, aspiring athletes need to train hard.
Young people can hone their skills in a number of ways. For one, they can practice on their own. There are many sports facilities for rent that can help them hone their skills. Some of the most common facilities include basketball courts. Some are even free to use in parks where pickup games are usually held.
There are often clubs that have tennis courts and golf courses for those who want to develop their skills in these sports. There are even driving ranges located indoors for golfers who want to improve their drive. These places are great for playing and training when one wants to improve their skills outside of formal training.
Joining Teams and Leagues
There are countless leagues and teams that one can join before they go pro. Joining these teams can usually help their case when wanting to become professional athletes. It allows them to build a reputation of being an athlete.
Apart from that, joining these teams can also increase their discoverability. Some leagues and competitions have scouts that are constantly looking for talented athletes. When one plays in leagues, they are essentially making a name for themselves. They are ensuring that their talents are seen.
Leagues and competitions that are constantly under the lens of professional recruiters are college division games. Sometimes, high school athletes are scouted when they are good enough to play for the big leagues. But of course, to be in these leagues, they have to be enrolled at these schools first.
It may help to apply for sports scholarships at different universities. Skill still plays into this because some student-athletes are so good to the point where schools offer their scholarships to them. Also, it would not hurt to have good grades when applying for these scholarships. With that, student-athletes also need to pay attention to their grades while playing the sports that they love.
Being Eligible for Drafts
Many, if not all, professional leagues hold annual drafts. This is one of the main ways that these leagues acquire new players. Drafts are good as they replenish the rosters of the teams that make up the league.
But leagues have certain requirements that aspiring athletes need to fulfill. Every league has different requirements for draft eligibility. Aspiring athletes need to meet these requirements, so they can have a shot at being drafted.
There is no easy way to becoming a professional athlete. But aspirants can work hard to make their dreams come true. The chances are small, but it is surely not an impossible endeavor.