By Gregory Moore
If you are wondering why it is hard for so many young adults to succeed in their professional sports careers, you might want to ask yourself the following question: how long did they stay at their respective colleges?
Athletes and trouble go hand in hand like Heckle and Jeckle.
You remember the magpies of cartoon fame don’t you? Constantly getting into some type of mischief?
Well if you are wondering why Michael Beasley has all of a sudden checked himself into a rehab center in Houston or why Michael Vick doesn’t realize that even at the ripe age of 29, you need to not be drinking after given a second chance, let me ‘hip’ you to something that nobody wants to talk about.
That topic is maturity.
Granted what Beasley is going through is serious but you know it could have also been partially avoided by him growing up and by others forcing him to grow up.
There are 40 year olds who cannot handle multi million dollars and success so how can we expect someone who hasn’t even hit the age of 25 years old to handle it?
Maturity is something that comes as you learn to grow wiser in your decision making processes an when you start looking at where athletes have gotten into trouble and where their decision making skills are or were, you see the connection pretty quickly.
A good example is Plaxico Burress.
Burress tells ESPN’s Jeremy Schapp that he made a bad choice in carry his weapon in his jeans pocket.
“Why didn’t you have a holster?” Schapp asks in the interview.
Okay let’s get real for a minute.
Bad judgment is when you put salt in your corn flakes.
Bad judgment is forgetting to have your driver’s license with you as you run to the corner store.
Carrying a loaded .40 caliber handgun in the front pocket of your jeans into a night club is not bad judgment.
It’s an intentional act of law breaking.
It is also plausible that the club security is as inept in their thinking process as Burress was in his.
You don’t let anyone into a public space with a loaded weapon and they don’t have a shield; and even that is cause for alarms of some type.
But the ‘bad judgment’ that Burress showcased goes with the immaturity that he possesses at a 31-year-old man.
He has made bad judgment calls when it comes to authority for as long as he can remember.
But what about guys like Beasley?
Young men who all of a sudden think it is just cool to be dope heads and think it’s the norm?
That’s immaturity as well on their parts and partial blame can be on the parents for not reigning their butts in when needed too.
Am I saying that Michael’s parents did a bad job raising him?
No but it isn’t like Beasley comes from a broken home.
His home life is stable and so one would think that he could handle the trials and tribulations of being the sole bread winner in his family now.
Evidently not and he isn’t the first young man to falter.
Nor will he be the last.
But should Beasley have stayed in college an extra year?
If it would help him gain some mature decision making about his life choices, it wouldn’t have hurt.
Maturity isn’t something you inherit as you turn a certain age; it is something acquired through making tough choices.
Burress could have made the tough choice of not carrying a gun into a night club and he would still be playing.
Michael Vick could have made the tough choice of telling his boys no on their illegal entertainment and he would still have that $135 million contract.
For Beasley, he is going to have to make the tough choice to grow up and leave Mary Jane and her kin alone. He is going to have to make a tough choice to not be down with the in crowd and be content in just being a guy who makes money but is trying to better himself.
The bottom line is that when we make tough choices in life, oftentimes those choices benefit us later on down the road.
Making tough choices is a part of life but it also how we get the maturity and wisdom we need to succeed.
Hopefully guys like Beasley understand the concept before it is too late.