A lot of the top professional athletes, male and female, in all sports, began taking sport seriously as a career option extremely young. Some of the highest paid professional sports stars, for example soccer players in Europe, start actually playing first team games for top flight teams, or even their national teams, as young as 15 or 16. Some children as young as 8 have already been given places in academies for top European sports teams, where they are coached with a view to the pick of their generation of trainees becoming the millionaire superstars of tomorrow.
Sport as a Career
Of course, some sports are more highly paid than others, and while players in highly spectated sports like football, basketball, baseball, soccer and tennis can ultimately end up at the top of the rich lists, people in other sports such as track and field, cycling and swimming may become household names if they do well in something high profile like the Olympic Games, but very few become extremely wealthy. This means that in general, promising young athletes still need a career to fall back on, either because the chances of them making it into the elite of their sport are slim, or because a successful career in their chosen athletic pursuit alone will not be enough to keep them financially secure for life.
This means that for talented young people in sport, a good education is still a priority.
Combining an Education with a Chance to Break Into Professional Sport
In the USA, we have a very strong culture of college sports
, unlike anywhere else in the world. In other Western countries, spectators are only interested in watching pro sports, and so the only people watching college athletes are usually their moms. In America, school spirit is a big deal, and the whole community tends to get behind college sports teams, with things like March Madness in basketball also being televised national events the whole nation pays attention to. This means the USA has a culture that can allow budding sportsmen and women to compete at a high level, draw the attention of fans and big league scouts, receive expert coaching, and all while getting a degree in something they can use if their career in sport doesn't pay off, or is cut short by injury.
Because US colleges take sports so seriously and stand to make money from having successful athletes representing them in competition, they offer very good scholarships
to allow promising athletes to be able to afford to go to college, and also to try and attract the best talent to their schools. For aspiring sports stars from the USA and overseas, scholarship agents like Athletes USA
can help arrange the right scholarships to match great athletes with good, supportive schools.
For young people who want to pursue sport without sacrificing their chance to go to university, the USA is miles ahead of any other country, and this is why US colleges can attract amazing sporting talent!