By Ken Reed

The following sign is posted on the fence at every Glendale Little League (Wisconsin) field:


1. These are KIDS.

2. This is a GAME.

3. Coaches are VOLUNTEERS.

4. Umpires are HUMAN.

5. Your child is NOT being scouted by the Brewers today.

Thank you,

Glendale Little League

What a terrific message. It’s a friendly and fun reminder to parents about keeping the proper perspective regarding their child’s youth sports experience.

Here’s the reality: It is highly unlikely that a youth sports athlete will ever play college sports let alone professional sports.

According to NCAA research:

· High school senior baseball players who go on to play NCAA college baseball (This includes ALL levels — Division I, Division II and Division III): Less than three in 50, or 5.6 percent. (Note: Division III athletes don’t receive athletic scholarships and the vast majority of Division I and Division II baseball players only get partial athletic scholarships.)

· High school seniors eventually drafted by a Major League Baseball team: About one in 200, or 0.5 percent. (Note: The odds are actually much worse today as MLB, starting in 2021, has cut their draft from 40 rounds to 20 rounds.) Also, it’s important to note that drafted baseball players go straight to the minor leagues. The odds of them making it to the Major Leagues, and actually playing in a Major League game, are much steeper.)

Rest assured, the odds are similarly long for football, basketball, hockey, tennis, golf and other professional sports.

Moreover, the stats listed here are for high school players, not Little Leaguers. The majority of Little League athletes drop out of competitive sports before they reach high school.

The takeaway: Go ahead and dream big but keep things in perspective.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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