Wednesday, September 23, 2009

So you wanted to be a pro athlete? 

Via The Liberal Order...
... the probability of a high school athlete making it to the professional level is about 1 in 12,000. (I've heard that the probability is far more remote.)

Baseball offers the most lucrative potential as well as the likelihood of having the longest career. But even that is estimated to be just three years for MLB. Doing the math, and discounting $400,000 per year for three years, beginning at age 17 and entering the big leagues at age 21 (not likely), the expected value of a career in baseball is about $86...

Now, certainly it's not the average high school athlete who considers himself pro material, but It's still predominantly those with low opportunity costs of their time that pursue the professional athlete track.

Even if we changed it so that a high school athlete was ten times more likely to make it to the professional level, the expected value is only about $860. That is total, not per year.

Making it to the pros for many athletes is like the person who lives in a trailer winning the lottery -- they've never learned how to handle the wealth.
Which -- as with other lottery winners -- explains pro athletes' staggeringly high bankruptcy rates.

[HT: Sabernomics]