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AFTER THE LIGHTS GO OFF

Category: Uncategorised Published: Tuesday, 28 March 2017

What happens after the bright lights are turned off?
I am certainly happy for the kids on the four teams that have made it to the final four. These kids are living a mostly once in a lifetime dream. Some parents too. The odds of getting here are very slim.
Most kids these days play one sport year round. The players on these teams must be in tremendous shape to be able to play at this high level for this long. It is even more amazing because most coaches only play 6, 7, or 8 kids in a close game. Some don’t play more than that even when they are winning or losing big.
These kids’ bodies and minds take a tremendous year round pounding. Their game and travel schedules are imposing to say the least. You combine this with their academics, and you have what amounts to a full time job. 
What these kids have had to endure throughout their season and career to get to this point is amazing. The constant travel schedules, the showcases, the many leagues all take their toll on athletes and families.
The risk of overuse injuries are percentage wise, not in their favor. Yet, they compete. They compete hard for long periods of time for their team, their future, and adult’s glory. These kids disregard their personal well being in hopes of winning a scholarship and maybe a championship.
The future consequences they face when this is over are massive. For a very few a lucrative NBA payday lies ahead. BUT, even for these few, long term financial security is microscopic at best. 
What happens after the lights are turned off? How many of these kids graduate? How many get a meaningful degree? How many have learned coping skills and life lessons they can apply to future endeavors?
I am not saying that the colleges, the coaches, or even AAU is responsible here. They are businesses doing their thing. They would not have a market if the parents did not want their product, and want it badly. Many products are sold every day all over the worlds that don’t have the consumers’ best interest at heart.
Who picks up the pieces when hearts, bodies, and minds have been broken?

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