The odds are pretty slim you’ll make it into professional athletics.Time spent on math and science can assure you of a well paying professional career, even if you choose not to go to college.

Machinists make the bone screws that engineers designed that physician surgeons install in injured professional athletes.

Professional Athletes:  16,500 positions; Average Salary $79,460;  source BLS 2008
Professional Engineers: 1,600,000 positions; Average Salary $79,000  (my quick estimate from a look at the table)
You have a roughly the same chance to make the same wages by choosing engineer or athlete, the number of potential positions improves dramatically for engineers.
Physicians and Surgeons: 661,400 positions; Average Salary $186,044 source BLS 2008
Machinists: 380,720 positions; Average annual earnings $38,940, (Aerospace machinists $43,110)
I compile employment and compensation data for the PMPA, and the BLS machinist data seems to understate the wages of top performers.
And the BLS data seems to indicate straight time only. (Not include overtime.)
Yes maybe some day I will pay $50 a ticket to watch you play your sport.
But based on the number of positions, chances are I’m going to pay a heck of a lot more for your professional work product if you become an engineer, a physician, or a machinist.
If you can do the math, you can see how these odds work for you.
Come join us in  our world of  applying Science, Technology, Engineering and  Mathematics – in Manufacturing.
We can help you find productive use of your talent and skills.
We’re the People Who Make Things.