I just came across this Forbe’s article on one of our young gold medal women’s swimmers, Missy Franklin. According to Forbes, Missy is on the verge of bypassing millions of dollars in earnings to retain her amateur status and compete in NCAA competition.
I’m all for pursuing your dreams, but I seriously hope someone…anyone… is providing her all of the context on how the “real world” operates, especially in the world of fickle sports fans. Comments such as “the money will be there in 4 years” and “she’s going to be the best swimmer in the world in 2014” are doing her no favors. Operating under the assumption that she can come back to this opportunity 2 or 4 years from now is a dangerous game to play. I’ve found firsthand that guarantees in life are few and far between, so it’s best to capitalize on opportunities when they are presented.
This issue is not “black and white,” and I know as parents,we want to make every dream come true for our children, many times at a cost that others might not understand, but is there a boundary to this? At some point, we have to guide (and sometimes push) our children to make the most practical decision, right?
Missy is nearly an adult in the eyes of the law (17 years old) and ultimately should be allowed to make her own decisions, going against whatever conventions she likes and learning life lessons on her own, but I cannot shake the feeling that this move is fiscally irresponsible. I’m truly hoping opportunity knocks again and that this story ends with Missy living happily ever after.
What would you do/say if it were your daughter?