Tip #14 – Parents and players at the youth and high school levels must understand that playing football in the NFL is not a very good job for most.
You may ask why?
Most of us know the NFL stands for the National Football League, however a common joke among players is that it really stands for ‘Not for Long’, meaning ‘careers’ playing football do not last for very long. For all but a very small handful of players, their careers will end before they want them to and the professional football experience will NOT provide lasting financial security.
A 2009 Sports Illustrated article reported that nearly 4 out of every 5 “retired” NFL players goes broke or is under financial distress within 2 years of retiring. That’s nearly 80%! When you consider the long odds of simply making it to the NFL, it is just not a dream worth sacrificing much for.
Just to be clear, I’m not discouraging players from dreaming of playing in the NFL or having a professional football experience. I am saying that kids should understand that it is highly UNLIKELY that playing football as a career will provide long-term financial stability or security.
Football is the ultimate team sport and there are many benefits to playing. So play for fun. Play for your teammates. And enjoy the game. But remember football is best played for fun, not money!.
For more information and suggestions on how to improve both the sport and culture of American Football, check out our book Tackling Dummies, Playing Amateur Football Smarter!
Please share these tips with coaches, parents, players, and any fan of the game!