Each year, thousands of seniors in high school hope that they played football well enough to continue in college. They do so for various reasons, although all of them simply love the game and would hate to stop playing. Being on a team was a lot of fun, they built fantastic relationships with others, and they enjoyed being recognized for their skills. Jack Elway has seen the buzz and excitement that exists around the yearly college football recruiting rounds, and he is fascinated by it.
At the end of the day, only some of them will be able to join a team at college. And out of those that do, only a few will be able to stay at that level. Then, fewer still will become professionals and join the National Football League (NFL).
Jack Elway on Why Getting Recruited Matters
Some people believe that because the chance of actually ending up in the NFL is so small, there is little point trying. Not just that, nobody can play football until they are old. For many, it ends when they are around 18 and they leave high school. Those who join the college team often don’t stay in the team, meaning they stop playing around 20. And anyone who keeps it up but doesn’t join the NFL finishes the game when they are 22 or 23. NFL players, meanwhile, often have careers that only span a couple of years, rarely past the age of 30. So is it worth getting excited about recruiting, when you won’t be able to make a lifelong career out of the game anyway?
According to Elway, it is absolutely essential to get excited. The most important thing is that, by definition, those who get recruited for college football complete a college degree. Indeed, they have to maintain a certain Grade Point Average (GPA) in order to stay on the team. What this also means is that, if they don’t end up going into the NFL, they have a degree to fall back on. Or, if they do make it into the NFL, they can choose to get back into regular work once their career is finished. It means, essentially, they can do both – play sports, perhaps at professional level, while build a future at the same time.
There is more to it as well. When playing football, kids learn a wealth of important life lessons. They start to understand how motivation works, how people can be encouraged to do more. They pick up important leadership skills from coaches and understand how to make people commit and get them to be proud of their achievements. They also learn about what not to do when it comes to motivating others.
Someone who has a chance to play college football should take advantage of the opportunity to learn a degree, play the sport they love, and learn vital soft skills while doing so. The impact should not be underestimated.