College Athletes Should Not be Able to go to the Professional League after High School

 Maxwell Koller

            A common consensus among all high school athletes and that of college students is the extreme levels of difficulty required to pursue a professional career in their particular sport and the levels of commitment and largely maturity that is required to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle as a professional athlete. These men and women require large levels of discipline and self-belief that can only be taught through the trials and tribulations of life and growing up. High school athletes regardless of their personal skill level are not emotionally, and overall mentally ready to pursue a professional path among grown men that play to make their living, provide for their families, and have pursued the game for years and years already. It is a competitive and professional disadvantage for these young athletes to be exploited and coaxed into entering the professional league by hired individuals who are trained to do what their organization thinks is best. In this case it is retaining and obtaining the young, promising athletes is their primary objective and will persuade and coax these families into thinking that they have the best interests of these athletes at heart however misconstrued their intentions might be. The professional world of sports does not look at their athletes as people more so as numbers and those numbers as dollar signs. These young high school students, who do not always have the most formal education, nor an appropriate view of the real world, laws, finances, regulatory policies etc. are not ready to face such a responsibility with such little framework for success. These athletes need to go sharpen and hone their skills at a collegiate level at least for a couple years, further their understanding of the sport, and increase the where with all of their knowledge in developing their career as their first and foremost purpose. Professional athletes are surrounded by many people that want to dictate the terms and events of sports and influence athletes to do what they desire rather than what is in the best interest of the athlete. High school athletes that are stepping into the professional world are not adequately prepared when dealing with such people pretending to act within their best interests. They look at what the people are telling them as positive opportunity, albeit sometimes it is, when in fact these people are trying to make monetary gains, or competitive gains from these individuals. We cannot expose children to these types of tactics as they are not ready to face the ordeal nor fully comprehend the nature of the consequences and the effects they will have on their future career and overall life. High school athletes should not be allowed to make steps immediately into professional leagues and it is completely negligent of these organizations to exploit young people for their own professional gain.

It goes without saying the child prodigies do exist, and the nature of sports has harbored and fueled large levels of competitiveness at a junior level. In order to make it as a professional athlete you need to compete and prepare for your career at a very young age, or you will be left behind by those who fully dedicate their lives to the task. That being said one can train their whole life for an approach in professional sports and not have the maturity nor life experience to take on a career at such a young age. In itself making it to the professional leagues is an accomplishment however that is just the beginning. Athletes need to maintain their health, fitness, level of play, and self-discipline in order to only maybe succeed in the leagues. These young athletes are potentially capable of achieving such goals however the risk is far higher in failure for these high school athletes that are not ready to take on the rigors of a professional athletic life, the pressures of competing for not only pride and opportunity, but money as well. Money fuels sports and overall personal career success in life. If these young athletes put all of their eggs in one basket after high school and do not make it on the professional circuit then they are left in a limbo once they are opted out of their sport. They are left with a high level of playing in a field of sport that is not necessarily practical or reasonable in the everyday work force. The opportunity for these successful high school athletes to use their skills to go obtain a degree from a university, and often times due to their level the university of their choice, is something that needs to be capitalized on and marketed more by our society to promote the welfare and provide support for these athletes prior to taking on the pros. It allows them a fall back plan if sidelined due to serious injury, illness, lack of success in relation to results and so on and so forth. With these young, bright individuals they have the incredible opportunity to take their skills and build on them in professional collegiate settings, and further their growth in the real world as they are surrounded by thousands of their peers that shine a light in fields not just related to sports. It fosters growth and development for these young minds as they can continue to excel and pursue their professional career in sport and at the same time further their development of life skills and the practicality of obtaining a degree. Opportunity in professional sports often comes once in a lifetime and these players need to be ready emotionally and physically to seize the opportunity given and take their talents as far as they can. Without the proper timing much of the livelihood of these young athletes can be ruined and proper cultivation and care needs to be considered when approaching this case.

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