Becoming pro within a sport takes time and lots of effort. But at what age do sportspeople, on average, turn pro? And, how does it vary from sport to sport?
New research, from StubHub, has analysed the careers of 670 sporting stars to reveal how long it took some of the world’s top athletes to turn pro, as well as how long it then took them to reach their first major success in the sport:https://www.stubhub.co.uk/turning-pro/
Key findings highlighted
- Of the 670 athletes studied, the average age turned pro was 20, ranging from 17 in football and tennis to 23 in baseball.
- After making their pro debut, it then took these same athletes just three years to hit their first major success (such as a major championship or title).
- Women made the leap to professional sports quicker than men. While it took male athletes until they were just over 20 to turn pro, it only took their female counterparts 19 years.
- While female athletes generally turned pro quicker than males, the opposite was true when it came to achieving their first major milestone, with men doing so in three years, compared to four for women.
Average age to turn pro – by sport
- Tennis – 17 years
- Football – 17 years
- Cricket – 19 years
- Ice Hockey – 20 years
- Rugby Union – 20 years
- Basketball – 20 years
- Formula One – 21 years
- American Football – 22 years
- Boxing – 22 years
- Baseball – 23 years
To see the findings in full and breakdowns by each sport, click here!