This year a significantly small group of Division I athletes will contemplate pursuing a professional career in their given sport. More often than not they’ll have to face the aggravating question, “When do I call it quits?”
How far would you go to be the most successful version of yourself?
For football fanatics across the nation, Sept. 8, was no ordinary day in the sports world. Heisman Trophy winner and former NFL quarterback, Tim Tebow, signed a professional baseball contract with the New York Mets.
Tebow’s baseball career has never expanded beyond his time in high school athletics. At nearly 30 years old, however, the former football star is testing with an incredible challenge: pursuing a sport that he hasn’t played in over a decade. In an unfathomable, relentless pursuit Tebow’s baseball contract symbolizes his need for competition.
A standout at the University of Florida, Tebow was destined to make a run at a National Football League campaign following collegiate football. According to NFL statistics, during his five-year career the former Gator saw playing time with the Denver Broncos from 2010-2011 and with the New York Jets in 2012. His final two-year stretch was spent as a free agent where he found minimal opportunities to see the field.
A key component to his contract notes that, as a minor league player, he will compete in the Mets Instructional League. With a $100,000 signing bonus, the largest allotted amount possible for a post-draft signee, Tebow will continue his recent position as college football analyst for the SEC Network. Balancing his time between baseball and the SEC means missing a few Mets practices a week.
For baseball fans everywhere, this move by the Mets and Tebow may seem like a slap in the face to the other thousands of athletes working their way through the Major League Baseball franchise. However, CBS sports claims that spots in instructionals aren’t limited. The success, or lack of success, of Tebow’s career holds no weight on the Mets organization.
But where do athletes draw the line.
The announcement of Tebow’s continuation in professional sports, let alone a sport that he neglected for nearly 11 years, is a unique tale that few athletes will ever attempt in their careers. While most sports fans will tell you his bold move into baseball was unnecessary, risky or impossible, there are those few sports fans that may think differently.
Like his colleagues in the SEC Network or his new comrades on the baseball diamond, Tebow faces a continuous line-up of relentless former college athletes tirelessly pursuing a professional career in sports day in and day out. His professional peers would tell you that in such an environment of heated competition, it’s hard not to put Tebow’s situation in your own perspective. If you had a God given gift to compete and perform on the biggest stage of them all, ask yourself this: How far would you go to be most successful version of yourself, even if it meant playing a new sport?