You’re not gonna play in the big leagues
Athletes learn the devastating truth
Article: Brady Lang – Sports Writer
Remember when you were a kid and you dreamed of playing in one of the big four professional leagues? Or all of them, like a modern-day Bo Jackson?
Sorry, that isn’t and wasn’t ever going to happen.
I know I may be bursting the bubble that you have been comfortably living in, but the statistics speak for themselves – as does the common sense answer to the question.
The NCAA recently did a study based on 854,200 U.S. High School students and the percentages of athletes that make it pro were insane.
99.883 per cent of these students did not make it pro, which means 117 out of 100,000 athletes actually went somewhere.
Unless you’re part of the 0.117 per cent, I’m sorry, you’re not going to the majors, the NFL, or even the ‘chell.
But then again, why do we even dream of playing professional sports? Is it in the hope that we could become one of the all-time greats? U of R first-year student Caleb Wagner thinks so.
“I’ve wanted to play in the NHL for years, it’s obviously been a dream of mine. I’ve always wanted to play with men like Saku Koivu and Patrick Roy,” said Wagner, who has played hockey his whole life, 2013-14 being his first dormant season since he was a child. “I know I wasn’t lucky enough to have the talents you need in order to play in the NHL or even in the WHL. I wish I was because then I’d be living any hockey fans dream.”
In Canada, we’re all supposed to fall in love with the game of hockey at a young age and play until we’re in the Beer Leagues. Everyone growing up had a hero, whether it was Wayne Gretzky, Joe Sakic, Steve Yzerman or – even for those Toronto fans – Tie Domi, everyone had a hero.
As we grow up in Canada, our likes may change and a different sport could end up being the one you love. You may pick up a sport in the off-season like baseball or football and end up a star on your high school team.
Although Regina Rams alumnus Trent Langford realized that at an early age the professional dream wouldn’t be coming true, that didn’t stop him from playing five years of junior football.
“There isn’t a single moment that you realize your dream of the pros is over,” said the former Rams lineman. “You come to a slow and gradual conclusion over a longer period of time where some of the smaller things kick in. For example, your body type doesn’t match, your foot speed doesn’t match up or isn’t at the calibre it needs to be.”
These harsh truths can be tough for any athlete, realizing something they worked for their entire life being swept away because of the fact that they are ‘just too small’ or ‘not quick enough’. Just because you’re not part of the 0.117 per cent of athletes that go on to bigger and brighter things doesn’t mean you have to spend your entire life out of the game.
Many people will end up playing recreational sports if they can’t compete at the high level in the sport they love. Another option would be to get a job pertaining to sports such as a coach or even become a sports writer – like yours truly.
Sports just simply isn’t for everyone, most of us are designed and destined for desk jobs since our first day of kindergarten. We would have all loved to be in that 0.117 per cent, but let’s be realistic here, we all can’t be Sidney Crosby. It’s just not in the percentages.