Friday, October 9, 2009

Kids idolize athletes for the performance, but there is more to many

An article in the New York Times from four days ago made an insightful point about N.B.A. players and athletes in general, there's more to them than athleticism. The article followed the efforts of three N.B.A. players, but alluded to the growing number of players who are trying to complete, or begin college degree programs.
The article tells the story that despite the large amounts of money many make, their future isn't always stable. There can be accidents or injuries prematurely ending a player's career. An education gives them a more secure future no matter how their athletic career ends.
It seems, for some, there are reasons beyond financial security motivating players to get their degrees. Some players want to be good role models for siblings, some are doing it for their parents and others want to be the first in their families to get a college degree. The reasons don't matter for attaining a degree, but getting it does.
The normal stories about athletes seem to be about their high-profile lifestyles and their off-the-court mishaps. It's good to hear some players are working in the off-season too, even without pay.
So, when kids look up to athletes for scoring 100 points in a basketball game, hitting 50 plus homers, or even scoring 20 or more goals in a soccer season, applaud the athlete. But remind the kids that athletes need more than on-the-field talents to succeed in life and an education is a big part of what's necessary.

Here's the article:


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