What Sport is Hardest to Go Pro In?

The journey to becoming a professional athlete is fraught with challenges, rigorous training, fierce competition, and numerous hurdles. While every sport presents its unique difficulties, some are notoriously more challenging to break into at the professional level than others. This article will delve into the world of sports to discover which ones are the toughest to go pro in.

Measuring the Difficulty

Various factors make a sport challenging for aspiring professionals:

  • Competition: The number of competitors versus available professional slots.
  • Physical demands: The intensity and duration of training required.
  • Financial constraints: The cost of training, equipment, and traveling.
  • Mental endurance: The psychological challenges faced during the journey.

Top Sports That Are Difficult to Turn Pro


Despite its popularity, especially in the United States, baseball is known for its challenging path to the major leagues. With an extensive minor league system, many players spend years working their way up, with only a tiny fraction making it to the MLB.

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What Sport is Hardest to Go Pro In?

The world of professional golf is fiercely competitive. To even qualify for major tournaments, players often have to navigate through various smaller tournaments, with no guarantee of a stable income unless they consistently finish at the top.

Soccer (Football)

Given its global popularity, soccer has an immense pool of talent. With millions playing the sport worldwide, standing out to reach elite professional leagues like the Premier League or La Liga is exceptionally challenging.


Not only does gymnastics require extreme physical prowess, but the window to go pro is also relatively short. Athletes often peak in their teenage years, and only a select few make it to global competitions like the Olympics.

The Impact of Geography

It’s essential to consider geography when discussing the difficulty of turning pro. For instance, while ice hockey might be more accessible in countries like Canada or Russia due to its popularity and infrastructure, it might be challenging in nations where the sport is less prevalent.

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The Mental Aspect of Turning Pro

Beyond the physical challenges and competition, the mental strain of pursuing a professional career in sports is immense. Continuous training, handling failures, and the pressure to perform can take a toll, making mental endurance as crucial as physical skills.

While the journey to professionalism in sports is demanding across the board, some sports undoubtedly present steeper challenges than others. However, the rewards of achieving a professional status, both in terms of personal accomplishment and recognition, often make the arduous journey worth it for many aspirants.

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