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How likely is it that your athletic kid will go pro?




Eric Anderson of the West team from Huntington Beach celebrates as he prepares to score the winning run against the Japan team in the Little League Word Series championship game on August 28, 2011.
Eric Anderson of the West team from Huntington Beach celebrates as he prepares to score the winning run against the Japan team in the Little League Word Series championship game on August 28, 2011.
Rob Carr/Getty Images

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A new poll from NPR, Harvard and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shows that just over a fourth of American parents whose kids play high school sports hope their child will go pro.

That number jumps to 40 percent among families with household incomes of less than $50,000 a year. But will one in four high school athletes hit the big leagues? Turns out, not so much: according to the National Collegiate Athletics Association, that number is more like 1 in 168 (for baseball players). Or 1 in 2,451 if your teenaged son plays basketball.

So what’s with the expectation gap? And why is it so much worse for families that make less money?

Sports and Health in America Poll

Guest:

Tom Farrey, director of the Sports and Society Program at the Aspen Institute. He’s also the author of “Game On: The All-American Race to Make Champions of our Children.”