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| 90 sec read | by Doug Marrin, dmarrin@thesuntimesnews.com |

Photo by Weston Eichner on Unsplash

We have thoroughly enjoyed the success of our area high school sports teams this fall. Few things bring a community together, lift peoples’ spirits, or increase article clicks better than chalking up a bunch of wins. We love it. But at the same time, we have to be careful.

Local success can sometimes create visions of global greatness. Adults can unwittingly, or wittingly, put pressure on kids to excel in sports thinking it will pave the way to a life of fame, wealth, and privilege.

“About one in four adults want their kids of high school age to play professional sports,” says psychologist Marty Fletcher of Renewed Hope Counseling in Dexter. “That’s crazy. What an unreal expectation and if you’re in it for that, the intensity level goes up so high that it’s not fun anymore.”

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What are the chances of a high schooler reaching one of the big leagues? The NCAA reported these stats on April 3, 2019:

Baseball

Out of 487,097 high school baseball players, 7.3% (35,460) went on to play at the NCAA level with 2.2% playing Division 1. Major League Baseball drafted 775 players from the NCAA. That is a 1 in 629 chance of a baseball player who made their high school team going on to play professional ball.

I’m thinking of a date (month-date-year) in the next 21 months. Your odds of guessing it on the first try is the same chance of a high school baseball player making it to the major leagues. It’s not going to happen.

Men’s Basketball

From 551,373 high school basketball players, 3.4% (18,816) played at the NCAA level with 1% playing Division 1. The NBA drafted 52 players from the NCAA. That is 1 out of 10,603.

Now pick a date in the next 29 years. You get the odds.

Woman’s Basketball

Of 412,407 high school basketball players, 4.0% (16,614) played at the NCAA level with 1.2% at Division 1. The WNBA drafted 32 NCAA players for a 1 out of 12,888 chance of a high school player making it pro.

I’m thinking of a number between 1 and 12,888. Would you bet on guessing it the first try?

Football

Out of 1,036,842 high school football players, 7.1% (73,557) will play at the NCAA level of which 2.8% are Division 1. The NFL drafted 255 NCAA players creating a 1 in 4,066 chance of a high school player making it pro.

If I was thinking of a number between 1 and only 100, would you bet your kid on those odds?

Men’s Ice Hockey

Out of 30,060 high school players, 12.1% (4,229) will play NCAA with 4.8% Division 1. The NHL drafted 65 NCAA players for a 1 out of 462 chance of a high school player making the pros.

Back to the calendar: pick a date in the next 15 months.

“So you think your kid is good? Maybe they are,” says Dr. Fletcher. “But your kid is not that good. Just enjoy it. Your kid will not make money for you. Don’t make the mistake of thinking the stakes are high when in fact they are not.”

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