I am going to discuss an issue that is very important for our athletes and their future. This is a shout out to all athletes, parents, coaches, counselors, and agents. We need to prepare our players for life after sports and what it takes to be responsible adults.
We have baseball players drafted out of high school or college and they all think they will be playing in the major leagues. The chance of this happening is very minimal. It is important to be honest and stress the importance of an education whether this is college or learning a trade. Here are a couple of links that will give you the figures on the chance of playing professional baseball. This is professional not the major leagues. http://www.businessinsider.com/odds-college-athletes-become-professionals-2012-2?op=1 –http://www.hsbaseballweb.com/probability.htm
This all starts with the family when the athlete is young and has the desire to be a professional athlete. Education must be stressed from the time they are in elementary school all the way through college. I love the player who has the desire to be the best that he can be and to have a great work ethic. But there is a need for all involved to know about how difficult it is to rise to be the best in a professional field.
Even if he is the best in the state this does not mean he can be a major league baseball player. He may not have the talent and may reach his ceiling at AA or AAA. So he has toiled in the minor leagues for 5-6 years and what does he have to show for it? The long bus rides from small town to small town and staying in cheap hotels with a roommate.
Myself I would shake his hand and say congratulations! You were a professional baseball player and you got to meet a lot of interesting people. But that will not put food on the table and has not prepared you for your future. Even if you want to go into coaching you will need to start down on the bottom rung of the ladder.
There is a solution and we are going to encourage our athletes, parents, counselors, coaches, and agents to actively consider online college. This is perfect for the professional baseball player; this can all be done on his own time. Most community colleges offer a good online program and we now have major universities getting involved! If your season runs into late August or September you can start to take your classes while in season. If you can take a full load of classes in the fall, I think it would be very beneficial. In the spring you will be playing ball, so try to take six in the spring and six in the summer.
The player who signed a contract after his junior season of college, you are so close, it is important to continue your education immediately. If you say to yourself that you will wait and do it later, chances are it will not get done.
My son Jeff will be getting his business administration degree from Drury University even though we are an hour and a half away from Springfield Missouri. He will be taking all of his courses online and will graduate in the fall of 2014. He started his college education at a couple of junior colleges and was able to transfer his classes over to Drury. I would recommend the players that go pro out of high school go the community college route in order to save money.
I heard this news a couple of months ago, what percent of MLB players have their bachelor’s degree? You will be shocked, 25 not percent a total of 25 players. The Cardinals have two of them in Matt Carpenter, who was a 5th year college player when he got drafted. The other is Allen Craig. We need to do better than this and we will! The online education is getting more popular every year and I think it is very good for our athletes! Check out this link for major colleges offering an online degree. http://schoolsofthought.blogs.cnn.com/2012/11/16/leading-colleges-announce-for-credit-online-courses/ http://www.ehow.com/list_7274821_major-universities-offering-online-degrees.html
I understand that not everybody is college material and there are a lot of people that prefer to work with their hands. I am envious of these tradesmen that are carpenters, electricians and other trades. There are technical schools for all of these trades and so much more.
Most of these schools have different sessions that start at different times of the year. These schools are hands on and some have the option of online classes.
This is very important for all of our athletes to be the best that they can be in their lives. We are all dedicated to make a difference on the field, court, ice and in the class room! This is some very important information to get out to players, parents, counselors, and agents.
Here is an article about Paul Goldschmidt and what he has done to receive his education. Pat Combs is also in the article an ex Phillie and Big Dog Baseball USA writer. http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-16/job-wanted-baseball-mvp-candidate-seeking-work-on-wall-street.html
This is another article that deals with this subject-http://reflector.uindy.edu/2013/02/20/student-athletes-need-their-degrees/
Here are some education options for our athletes.
Metro Business College–http://www.metrobusinesscollege.edu/
University of Phoenix–http://www.phoenix.edu/
This issue is on the front burner and needs to be discussed and passed on to others. This is our future and we want our athletes to be educated and to give 100% in their sport!
Big Dog Baseball USA is an organization dedicated to teaching, discussing, and interacting with baseball fans all across America. Our goal is to teach, explain and promote the game to the masses!
Big Dog Baseball USA will have former Major and Minor League Baseball Players as contributing writers. We are looking for players that are in business for themselves, contractors, or to write for a cause.