When it comes to our kids and their potential, we all know that the dream and the reality are lightyears removed from each other. There have been a bunch of studies done and the numbers do not lie! Unfortunately, what the numbers do tell us is that an awful lot of parents are going to end very disappointed.
Here you go. 67% of all softball parents think their child is going to receive a college scholarship to play the game they love. And 34% feel their kid has legitimate chance to play in the Olympics. This survey talked to parents across all the age groups and asked parents to rate on a scale of one to 10 and the vast majority of the responses from above eight on that scale. So to say that these parents are close to positive that their kids are amazing is pretty clear.
Reality is a much different picture. According the the NCAA only 5.6% of all high school players end up playing in college. Now we know that not all high school players really want to play in college so the the number is probably tilted a little bit but it is still very clear that many of the players who aspire to play in college are not going to make it.
The Olympic team only has 15 players on the roster and that roster includes a “Who’s Who” of softball talent. Many of the greatest players who you see on ESPN each year playing in the WCWS are not getting selected. The United States has so many amazing athletes that many of our great players will end up representing other countries in the Olympics because, while they are amazing, they just aren’t quite amazing enough. Crazy, I know!
In some cases even making a high school team can be a very challenging process. In some places, every kid who comes out for the team makes it because the school program needs all the live bodies they can get. Other places have dozens of players trying out every year and are forced to cut players who want to play on the team.
So the odds are not that great but that won’t discourage many players and parents from chasing the dream of a college scholarship. They will invest a great deal of time, money and energy into the chase. I’m not here to say that the dream is a bad idea but I always want people to go into things with their eyes wide open. Play the game because you love playing. Play the game because of all the things you will learn about teamwork and hard work and all the rest. Play the game because it gives you a great opportunity to spend quality time together and we’ll all end up happier.
Play the game thinking that there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and a lot is pain may follow!
Comments? Questions? Suggestions?