They may show signs of exceptional talent before they hit their teens. By eighth grade, they have a target on their back. By high school, they are walking, talking lottery tickets, with everyone from their parents, coaches, recruiters, agents, the boys in their crew, and of course women of all ages and backgrounds, looking to cash in, or at least to get a cut. Of course, we’re talking about the young athlete with superstar potential. If this is you, we urge you to get into the Grown Zone as soon as possible—as in now—for your own protection.

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If you are a parent or other person truly committed to the best interests of a potential pro sports star, you need to introduce him to the relationship education and healthy-decision making standards championed in the Grown Zone. And more specifically, you should urge them to read a copy of Loving In The Grown Zone: A No-Nonsense Guide to Making Healthy Decisions in the Quest for Loving, Romantic Relationships of Honor, Esteem and Respect. (If money is tight, get the Kindle e-book version.) Aspiring sports stars and those who care about them should focus on the following chapters in particular: “4 Things You Shouldn’t Give Up For Love,” “Don’t Confuse Sex and Love,” “A Grown Man Is Not Ruled By His Sex Drive,” and “Grown Fatherhood is a Choice: Not An Accident.” Here are a couple of lessons you should use these chapters to teach:

People, including women, will lie to you (and to themselves) in order to advance their agenda, namely to be in position to help you spend the millions of dollars you’re expected to make in the future as a blue-chip prospect. Among the biggest lies: “I love you,” “You don’t need a condom,” “I’m pregnant,” and “The baby is yours.” Of course, any and all of these could be proven true in time, but there’s no upside to risking it. The only way to protect yourself is to strictly control your powers of procreation, eliminating the possibilities of the latter three potential lies, and giving you plenty of time to show that she really does (or does not) love you for you, not for the pay day that may be in your future. As we say in the Grown Zone: Time is your friend; anyone who says otherwise is not your friend.

Or you can stick with tradition, have fun, remain fuquitable (open to deception and manipulation), and screw all the girls you can get your hands on—and there will be plenty. But before you do, see how that turned out for some of the pro athletes whose jerseys you aspire to fill, many of whom can barely keep up with child support and other obligations even with their multi-million dollar salaries, to say nothing of what happens when their playing days are over. Every baby born today will cost nearly a quarter-million dollars from birth to age 17 (not including college). Just so you know, your bills—including child support and alimony—don’t just go away when you retire from playing. (Did we mention the many marriages that end in divorce?)

It is critical to know the difference between being loved for what you have, what you look like and what you can do, and being loved for you. Too many athletes, whether they achieve their dreams of wealth and fame as pros or do not, find this out the hard way. The only way to protect yourself and separate those who are genuinely committed to you from those who just covet what you have or can pay for, is time. Buy time by delaying procreation, joint financial obligations and marriage for as long as possible. Better single wishing you’d married, than married wishing you’d stayed single. The right person is worth the wait; the wrong person—no matter how hot, available and into you she claims to be—is never worth the risk. Embrace your single life as an opportunity to get to know and love yourself beyond your identity as an athlete and potential meal ticket. Then, keep anyone who can’t see past your team uniform, or your projected ranking in the draft, at a distance.

This may seem like a heavy discussion to have with a young athlete who should be focused on enjoying life, having fun and achieving his goals and dreams. Yet if you take time to talk to some of the athletes you idolize, you’ll find that many of them wish that somebody had warned them about the people waiting to prey on and exploit them, including women who themselves desperately needed a dose of Grown Zone Relationship Education. Do yourself a favor, as an act of both self-protection and self-love: Don’t wait to enter the Grown Zone.

loving in the grown zone book coverStop chasing and losing. Start ATTRACTING and CHOOSING! Learn proven guidelines and principles GUARANTEED to make you happy and fulfilled REGARDLESS OF YOUR CURRENT RELATIONSHIP STATUS. Use the power of self-love to become an irresistible MAGNET for the lasting, drama-free, AUTHENTIC LOVE created specifically for you and ONLY you! Order your copy of Loving In The Grown Zone TODAY at LovingInTheGrownZone.com!

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