Are They Ready? Athletes Trying to Get to the Pros as Soon as Possible

Mykhal GlassCorrespondent IJune 18, 2009

What is the world of sports coming to? In 2009, it seems that having an ability to be a great athlete means that you will soon forgo many of the life shaping experiences that the rest of us go through.

Today I read an article that made me cringe when I read the headline “Stud Catcher to Forgo Junior and Senior Seasons”. At first I thought okay, I guess it's pretty much tradition not to stay your entire four years in college, especially for a baseball player, seeing as they have so much time to spend in minors, but as I read on, the cringing became worst.

The article was not about Bryce Harper, a university super star and probable college World Series participant, but Bryce Harper, high school stand-out and possible Junior Prom participant.

His plan, or should I say his parents' plan, is for him to enroll at a community college and receive his GED and hopefully be eligible for the 2010 Draft.

Hate to say it, but this has strong sentiments of similar stories we’ve heard throughout the years where the parent is pushing the hell out of the kid to fulfill their own life-long dreams.

Sometimes it works, but more often than not, you get these stories of Todd Marinovich or the millions of kids whose lives were ruined that go unheard of.

Trying to reach the pinnacle of your chosen sports endeavor as quickly as possible is nothing new.

At age 13, Freddy Adu was pegged to be the savior of American soccer. While his actual success depends on which circle you talk, one thing is for certain, his tale may have reopened a can of worms that America really doesn’t want to get into.

Another story has recently come out that resembles the Bryce Harper one.

Jeremy Tyler, a projected top 10 player in the 2010 class, is going overseas to play basketball instead of finishing his senior year of high school and adhering to the one year of college rule.

This one really hits home with me, seeing as how I myself am a basketball player who has played at some of the biggest stages and against some of the best prep players.

The fact that Jeremy and I are the same age makes me ask myself, if I were in his position, could I handle playing against LeBron James and defending Dwight Howard as soon as next year? The answer for me is no, and to be honest, the the answer for him is no as well.

That is the issue with kids trying to make jumps to get themselves in pro sports as quickly as possible. For all the glamorized attention and outstanding hype, the sad truth is that the vast majority are just not ready.