Raising a Jock

Remember the original ‘Friday Night Lights’? High school football back in the day…those chilly fall football games when we were in school? Popcorn, cheerleaders, the biggest guys lumbering around with shoulder pads, huge helmets, and happy-if-muddy grins. Win or lose, we’d always meet up after the game for burgers and our carefree high school life continued. Granted, high school sports in the Midwest were slightly more frostbitten than here in Florida, but still fundamentally the same.

Fast forward to 2009, high school football Florida style. Those carefree memories are a funny novelty to the high school jock of today. Playing football today is a very serious and often expensive business to thousands of young athletes.

According to online publication ESPN Rise: “Many people clearly believe Florida is the best high school football state.” Lake Mary, Florida grad, All-American linebacker at USC, and first-round draft pick Keith Rivers of the Cincinnati Bengals is a perfect example of a ‘local-kid-makes-good-on-his-dream’ story.

But sports success does not come easily or inexpensively for most youth in high school sports today even here in Florida. Doug Peters, Athletic Director at Lake Mary High School tells me that his school alone averages 800 student athletes annually and only about 15 of them will go on to attend college on athletic ufabet ค่าน้ำ scholarships after graduation each year.

Although his parents may not be aware of it yet, these young football players already know that they need real marketing to the tune of: professionally produced highlight videos, personal trainers and even a “scout” who contacts multiple schools on the player’s behalf in order to play college football. The commitment required for today’s high school athletes is so different because it involves even greater emotional, personal and financial investment on the part of the whole family.

Take 16 year old Trevor Alfredson (full disclosure: my own teenage jock son) who has been playing football and loving it since he was six years old. “I’ve wanted to play Division 1 football for as long as I can remember” says Trevor. And as a sophomore varsity player, Trev’s season also involved hiring a firm to make a highlight video, discussions with two different recruiting servi