CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (CBS Connecticut) — A new poll finds that more than a quarter of parents hope their high school-aged child will play in professional sports, despite the enormous odds.

The poll conducted by National Public Radio, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that 26 percent of parents hope their child who plays high school sports will be able to do so professionally.

The views of the parents vary by socioeconomic status.

The poll reveals that 44 percent of parents with a high school education or less hope their children become a professional athlete, compared to 9 percent of parents who have graduated college.

Thirty-nine percent of parents who make less than $50,000 annually hope their child makes it professionally in sports, compared to 20 percent of parents whose household income is above $50,000.

“Most young people in America now play sports. Parents report that their middle school, junior high, or high school aged children participate in a wide range of sports, ranging from field hockey and wrestling to volleyball and lacrosse. Parents hold extremely positive views toward their child’s sports participation, and they report that sports impact their child’s well-being in a variety of ways. Parents say their children avoid sports primarily due to lack of interest, though some are also impacted by sports injuries,” the study reads.

It continues, “Parents also place a high priority on their child playing sports. Most parents of children in middle school or high school say they encourage their child to play sports, and despite the difficult odds, more than one in four parents whose high school aged child plays sports hope their child will become a professional athlete.”

The NCAA shows on its website the probabilities of high school players participating collegiately in baseball, football, ice hockey, men’s soccer and men’s and women’s basketball.

Only 3.4 percent will play men’s basketball in college, while only 1.2 percent of college players will be drafted by the NBA.


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