Looking for College Scholarships? Books Will Get You Farther Than Home Runs and Touchdowns


In a commentary published in NPR, John U. Bacon shared why students would have better chances of getting college scholarships hitting the books than playing for sports teams.

Young athletes spend countless hours on the road running from one game to another because coaches tell parents that these kids need to do it to make the team, get scholarships and even go pro but the "miles just don't add up", said John.

Hard facts:

In college, only 2% of students will be given athletic scholarships. Most universities however, offer 70% academic scholarships. That translates to schools spending $915 million for academics which is several times over $23 million that they spend for athletics.

If you really want children to get scholarships when they go to college, Mr. Bacon suggests students focus on their studies.

Parents can and still should encourage their children to play sports but just don't fall for that fool's gold of landing a sports scholarship and peddle kids from one bus to another.

Sports facts:

The commentator also noted that travel doesn't help young athletes become better when they spend more time literally being on the road than on the field. He cited that baseball legend Yogi Berra finds the hours kids spend on the road to go to a game where they will only hit a few bats surprising. Yogi became a legend by actually hitting the ball and not hitting the road.

This current system also limits athletes to a single sport which can cause them burnout. Hockey pro Wayne Gretzky thinks one sport for a whole year is crazy. He looks forward to the end of hockey season to play lacrosse.

Finally, most young athletes are pushed to sports camps and tournaments because it was the right thing to do. John mentioned that this is exactly what happened to promising tennis players and sadly since 2003, American men have not won a single title. Not one. The system of never ending training and tournaments from one city to another have ruined our potential superstars.

The Williams sisters have dominated and won nearly 30 tennis titles. What did they do differently? Their father did not push them into competitions. Instead, Richard played and taught his girls on public courts in L.A.

If you want to be successful, John suggests play outside then do your homework when you're done.

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