Ask C what he wants to be, and he’ll tell you. He wants to play for the Green Bay Packers. In fact, he’ll tell you he wants to be the next Clay Matthews.
I know the chances of him playing at that level are slim. According to the stats from NCAA, there are over one million high school football players (about 300,000 seniors), and out of that number only 6.5% play at the college level, and only 1.6% of that number go pro.
20,000 of those 300,000 high school seniors go on to play college football.
Out of the 16,000 playing as seniors, 254 are drafted.
So, when C says he wants to play pro football, I’m tempted to quote the stats at him.
But I don’t.
Instead I ask what he plans to do to get there and what he plans to do after.
We talk about the importance of a good education.
We talk about team work.
We talk about doing things because you love them.
We talk about not giving up when things get tough.
But more than anything, we talk about following your dreams.
During those conversations I’m reminded of a young man named Aaron from my Texas days.
He wasn’t in my class, but he was a talker and always struck up a conversation.
One recess I asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, and he said, “A football player and a lawyer.”
I asked why both, and he answered…
“Because my mama told me sometimes dreams don’t come true, so you have to have more than one.”
Maybe C won’t play football past high school. Honestly, he’s 10, so maybe he won’t even play in high school.
But that’s okay.
Right now he has a goal…a dream to play a game he loves at the highest level possible.
Who am I to tell him he won’t make it?
I won’t crush his dream.
I’ll just make sure he has more than one in case this one doesn’t come true.