Designed for an individualized educational experience – which includes rigorous athletic training and serious college preparatory classes – the Balboa City School Force Sports program is highly effective in mentoring student athletes and teaching them the value of a modern, relevant education. Balboa City School, home of the program, is international in scope, attracting students from all over the world. Classes are small, thoughtfully designed, and academically challenging. From science and engineering to writing and foreign languages, our students are constantly learning, achieving, and preparing for college because star athletes all too often neglect academics with tragic consequences: Only 1 in 16,000 high school athletes attains a career in professional sports. On the other hand, almost 100% of students who study higher level math in high school, and go on to study engineering or science in college, are able to obtain a decent paying job.
By identifying gifted athletes when they are still in high school, Force Sports has the time, resources and mentoring needed to instill the following in each student-athlete: (1) the need for and importance of a quality education, (2) the drive and tools required to succeed in college, and (3) the desire to engage in his community as an adult – as a leader, mentor, and role model. All the while, we do not neglect a student’s natural love of basketball.
For today’s athletically gifted youth, choosing a school too often depends on the winning record of the school rather than its successes in the classroom. We frequently hear from parents that their child is not being challenged academically. There is a pervasive and alarming trend to promote these athletically gifted students to the next grade level whether or not they have met the required academic standards. At Force Sports, our individualized program is able to help students take advantage of their strengths and interests while also allowing them to gain insight into whatever academic weaknesses they may have. We are then able to find the right college for them to attend upon graduation. This is important because academic accomplishment is the road to success for all members of society.
Change is needed at the high school level because the odds of today’s high school athlete playing at the collegiate or professional level and graduating from college are dismal: Less than 1 percent of high school athletes receive any type of scholarship to a Division I school.
For highly gifted and talented basketball players who hope and dream of playing for an NBA team, but neglect their academics, it is almost a dead certainty they will be broke and uneducated at age 25. High school is the time to prepare for education in college. If too much emphasis is put on sports, the child will suffer.
• Of the 68 teams that competed in the 2009 Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, four teams reported that none of their black players earned a diploma.
• Most NBA players have only 5-year careers. Having been unprepared for success and how to deal with their hard earned money, many lose everything within 5 years of retiring.
Force Sports gears athletically gifted players toward academic success. Students are fully engaged with role models and mentors who are dedicated to ensuring that they meet their academic potential. Please join us, support us, and spread the word with us as we reach out to young, gifted athletes and their families.