Every week I get emails and messages from people saying that they are really good player and they want to become a pro. Each time I am asked this question I always wonder if they know what it really takes to be a pro.
First of all, if I were to say that it is easy and fun and awesome being a pro athlete then I would be lying. Is it fun? Absolutely at times it is, but easy? Absolutely not. This is where I think a lot of people are so confused. Just because someone is a good player does not mean they will be a pro, in fact it doesn’t mean that they can be a pro. There are just so many different factors and things involved with becoming a pro, and so many other factors that are involved for staying a pro. Now I won’t get into all those factors in this post, but I will highlight a few things that everyone should consider before even thinking of becoming a pro.
To get started, you don’t get to choose your team, and if you you want to play overseas, you don’t even get to choose your country, now there are ways to narrow your options down, but there is no guarantee. You also will be away from your family most likely for long periods of time. Now there are players who bring their families with them, but even in that case you will most likely be spending more time with your team than you do with your families. Another thing that is one of the sad parts is that there is normally no guarantee for your contract normally. Meaning that you can arrive to a new country, move to your home, get adapted to life an culture there and then a few weeks later the team can cut you and send you home in a moments notice. You also need to understand that it is a job, and it usually has to be done way the coach wants, even if its not the best fit for you. It’s the coach’s team and it is always the players responsibility to adapt and be ready to play the style of play the coaches desires. There is also a different side that people don’t talk about, especially for players overseas. That is the “life off the court.” Meaning that when you are arriving in a new country, most likely you don’t know anything or anyone. Now I will talk about all this in another post, but imagine this: you just get off a 11 hour flight, you arrive in a new country where you don’t speak the language, don’t know anyone, don’t know the culture, can’t understand the street signs, and on top of that you will be expected to preform on the court as if nothing has changed. Now that is just a quick summary, and it is not to scare you, it is just allowing you to realize what it is you are asking for, and better yet, prepare you for this long journey ahead of not only becoming a pro athlete, but staying a pro athlete!
For more info: