As a former professional athlete, I get tons of e-mails like this every day:
I need some advice. After 30 years, I’ve given up my dream of becoming a basketball player/fencer/competitive Jenga player. I know the door is closed for me, but I want to ensure that my child gets the opportunity I never had so that I can live vicariously through them and make a buttload of money. What’s the best way to make this a realiy?
So, to better serve humanity, I’ve decided to write up a guide on how to breed a professional athlete.
Step 1: Do not have conceived a child before reading this article.
If you currently have a child or a bun in the oven, you already messed up. Adonal’s Guide to Begetting Awesome Athletes (trademarked) is a 25-year plan. And it starts well before conception. So continue to Step 2 for your next child.
Step 2: Adopt a professional athlete’s child.
Let’s be honest. You have little chance of conceiving a child with your sperm/eggs. You clearly lack athletic talent. Otherwise you wouldn’t be turning to me for suggestions; you would have made it big. Adopting and raising an athlete’s child is the easiest road to realizing your dream.
If you feel uncomfortable with this program, politely ask a professional athlete for his/her sperm/eggs. Also tell them you’d be willing to take a gamete or zygote off their hands.
If you are unwilling to take these measures (I’m guessing the reason you didn’t make it as an athlete has something to do with lack of ambition, ya sloth), try out the Space Jam approach. Employ the Monstars to steal professional athletes’ abilities and put them in a basketball.
Still not on board? You can always try marrying a professional athlete. Pull a Kim Kardashian/Kendra Wilkinson and you’ll have all the athletic DNA you can handle. If you can’t marry an athlete, marry someone who looks really athletic. Or really tall. Or really fat (NFL lineman/sumo wrestler is always an option).
If all of the above have failed, pick a random guy/gal off the street and make sweet love to them (as long as it’s consensual, of course). I call this one the X-Factor. It’s high risk, low reward. But you never know when that hobo will possess the seed of a real champion.
Step 3: Make your child simultaneously love and hate you.
Treading the line between love and hate is the hardest step in the program. There is nothing like concurrent adulation and enmity to fuel a child’s motivation for athletic excellence. I learned this one from Papa Shuttlesworth in He Got Game. Where did Jesus Shuttlesworth end up? He became Ray Allen. It’s a winning formula.
But just beware, too much love results in a pampered nobody: think Freddy Adu. And too much hate results in lawsuits: think Macaulay Culkin, but sports (Sidenote: Did anybody else have no clue he’d be dating Mila Kunis for the past 7 years? If I had known that earlier, it definitely would have graced my list last week). Repeat Step 3 until stardom.
Step 4: Just in case.
If all else fails, and your child doesn’t have the genetic make up to succeed as a conventional athlete, train them exclusively in golf or bowling. Athletic ability is not a prerequisite for these sports. If you’re not too hung up on them going pro, squash is a valid choice that’ll secure them admission to most top-tier schools.
Another option is marrying a flannel-loving public defender. From his/her birth, convince your child that Ultimate Frisbee is a sport. With any speck of athletic ability and your constant pushing, s/he can probably become the best disc-baller in the world. Congratulations, you have raised a professional hobbyist.
So good luck on raising a professional athlete. Your child will probably sue you at some point, but you might eventually get an ESPN feature about being estranged from your Olympic son/daughter. So yeah, it’s totally worth it.