As a parent, you want your child to succeed in all aspects of his or her life. Your encouragement and support are key to their pursuit of healthy, meaningful goals. As they seek success in their athletic careers, it is helpful to cultivate perspective so that their goals are both challenging and realistic. You can help them align their goals with realistic outcomes by keeping your child's potential for athletic achievement in perspective.
On average, only about 7% of high school athletes go on to play a varsity sport in college, and only 2% at a Division 1 level.* Of these athletes, less than 5% of them will continue to the pro level.* This data shows us that continuing to play sports at a highly competitive level after high school is very rare.
Naturally, if your child has the unique talent and drive to become one of these top athletes, give them your full support and encouragement. Make sure they stay healthy and happy and avoid burning out. However, the odds are that your child is going to find athletic success in non-professional and even non-collegiate sport competition. How can you help them identify what that looks like now? Maybe your child would make a great coach in the future. It is important to understand that high achievement in sport does not and should not only be defined as high level competitive play.
In addition to helping your children set realistic goals that honor their unique abilities, your perspective can make the difference. Instead of a child dealing with high expectations, massive pressure, and burning out in high school, your child can love the game and find joy in friendly competition and skill development, now and for many years to come.
* Statistics courtesy of the NCAA, http://www.ncaa.org/about/resources/research/probability-competing-beyond-high-school?sf66107766=1Statistics are courtesy of the the NCAA