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.

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