Millions of people dream of becoming a professional athlete and it is not hard to see why. The fame and money you will receive for playing a sport you love is a very tempting idea for college athletes. While it may seem easy to decide to pursue a career as a professional athlete, it actually is a huge commitment. If you are a college athlete considering that move, below are four things you should think about before making such a life changing decision that may affect your final choice.
Odds of Success
If you are considering playing for a professional sports team, realize that you are not the only one having that same thought. In fact, there are potentially tens of thousands of other college athletes just like you considering the same option.
Every league, regardless of what sport they are associated with, only has so many open spots. Only the absolute best of the best will be fortunate enough to be a draft pick or sign with a team. Before committing, talk with your family, friends, coaches, and other teammates to find out if you truly do have what it takes to make it.
Financial & Personal Responsibility
The role of athletes has changed rapidly in recent years. Professional athletes have considerably more responsibilities than they did even 10 years ago. Not only do many people expect you to be a role model, but also you will possibly be responsible for more money than you are used to having.
You are going to juggle contracts, business deals, personal branding, and licensing, all while still trying to play at a high level. It is common for young professionals to falter under that much pressure. You are going to need to do a lengthy personal evaluation to determine if you are ready for that lifestyle. It is common for young professionals to falter under that much pressure.
Leave Early or Finish Your Degree
Another option for you to consider before going pro is if you are going to leave college early or stay and finish your degree first. Depending on what sport you play, it may be beneficial to have your degree as a backup option. If you play a physical sport like football where career-shortening injuries are common, having your college degree will allow you to transition into another career more smoothly than if you left college early.
Working on a Graduate Degree
Even if you do decide to pursue a spot on a sports team and are successful at achieving that goal, you can still help prepare for your future by completing any of the many online MBA degree programs, or other such programs in any other field, that are readily available.
No matter what you decide to do, continuing your education is always a wise investment that can increase your chances of success no matter what you do.
Deciding to go pro will be the most important decision of your life so far. The odds of success are incredibly small and if you did manage to make it big, you will have many eyeballs on you alongside a growing list of responsibilities. Before you make that giant decision, consider the above four things above. Discuss them with people you trust to help you make the right choice.