San Diego Figure Skating Communications
Alternative Educational Choices
The decisions about academic choices are usually made by parents until they reach high school and take advantage of career counseling. There is a tendency to stress getting a college education, especially if one or both parents have achieved advanced degrees. There are other options such as careers in sports, recreation, trades, hospitality, food service, politics, and the military, etc.
The choices and decisions for young, aspiring athletes are usually made by parents and coaches. These choices are not easy to make, but they usually are made with the best of intentions, even when it is exclusive of a career opportunities that are not in a field unrelated to sports.
Even when the most objective information has been sought. there rarely is an alternative plan in the event a serious physical injury occurs that nullifies the prospects for a sports scholarship and/or professional contract.
Even the best of plans do not factor in the possibility that luck (good and bad) may play a role it what will occur. Sometime just being in the right place at the right time will make all the difference in what happens. There are no guarantees that even with a life time of hard work, in hindsight there sometimes are choices that will turn out not to be the best decision that could have been made.
Ultimately, the best results have been derived as a result of an objective process that has gathered all of the available information, and thoroughly analyzed by considering every possible option and the associated risk potentials. Depending on the age of the athlete, they should be involved in this process. As the child's age increases, more importance should be given to their opinions.
In the final analysis, the financial burden is the responsibility of the parents until the athlete is able to generate their own sources of income. The decision becomes more complicated when there is more than one child in a family and the disposable income available. Family resources should be allocated equally between children and should include a balance of educational (college) expenses and funds exclusively for athletic endeavors.
There are various academic and sports scholarships that can lessen the expense to a family. What complicates the matter is that sports scholarships are generally limited higher educational institutions that have competitive NCAA programs. It helps that your local high school has school sponsored sports that also are NCAA events.
In any case, every athlete should have a plan "B" that involves earning a college degree that prepares them for earning an income in the event of any injury that prevents the individual from pursuing a professional career performing their skills. Teaching physical education, working in the recreational field, or becoming a coach, trainer, or choreographer might be alternative career paths.
Affects of Decisions Accumulate
In summary, every decision we make is influenced by previous decisions. The decision is made in the present, but it affects the future decisions and may limit or expand alternatives available in the future. Even relative small and seemingly unimportant decisions can have far reaching consequences.
Whatever process used to reach a decision, the level of satisfaction depends largely on your claiming ownership of making the choices and final decision. If you feel you are being pressured into making the choice or if you feel you are not in control of the conditions, even a positive outcome will have negative connotations. By taking full responsibility for the choice, you will feel positive about your decision whatever the final outcome. If you know you did your best, you'll have gained valuable experience when approaching future choices.Recommended Reading:
The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
and combined with information from public institutions, plus athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with concerning team and individual sports programs:
All materials are copy protected.
The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.