Is this heartbreaking, pessimistic, or a wake-up call?
I make no bones about it - when I was in high school I simply wanted to stay eligible for sports, grades were not important to me. I was an angry, confused, and possibly arrogant teenager who didn't realize the academic hole I was digging myself.
Like many young athletes, I thought I was better than I was - I could go pro if I just got that chance. It wasn't until I was playing colligate baseball for a school none of my friends knew existed that I realized the cold hard truth: I was not a great player. And even if I was there was no arguing that there were thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of 19-year olds just like me who were, as the NCAA says, "going pro in something other than sports."
That was a turning point for me. Unfortunately, I had brought my high school study habits with me to college, and by the time I realized that I needed to focus on my education, my GPA was already fighting to stay over 2.0.
The lesson I want my students, athletes, musicians, artists, XBOX buffs, and regular-Joe's to learn from this is not that their dreams are all for not. Accomplishing one's dreams are supposed to be an uphill battle, one I hope everyone achieves. But education is the priceless tool that is provided to all of the above; it is up to the individual to take advantage of the education that is standing in front of his or her face, because, as you will see when you click on the link below, most people really do go pro in something other than sports.
I hope that everyone is as lucky as I am in finding that profession that they truly love.
Univ. of Arizona study of high school athletes' progression through college and pro (by sport)
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