With which sport would you have the best shot at turning pro?

With the understanding that there are probably very few actual professional athletes on the board, this question asks you to take into consideration your current physique, level of hand-eye coordination, stamina and current skill set to determine in which sport you’re closest to being able to compete with the pros.


  1. For the purposes of this poll, I’m ignoring the usual arguments re: sports vs. games. They all qualify as long as they involve some sort of hand-eye coordination and/or physical skill. For instance, billiards, figure skating and curling are in. Chess and Scrabble are out. If we truly need more clarification as we go, I’ll deal with it then.

  2. The sport must get some kind of television time. It doesn’t even necessarily have to be on network television, although I will probably disqualify someone saying that their local access cable channel broadcasts Professional Beaver Tossing or something of that nature.

  3. The sport must have a professional level to it, meaning participants are paid to compete. This can be a sport where pros are contracted and salaried, such as in the NFL, or paid based on where they finish in competition, such as golf.

I think that’s good enough to start.

Here’s my list:

  1. Bowling. I’m already above-average, and I know that when I bowl and practice on a regular basis with coaching, I can be a 200-average bowler. I know that if I worked very hard on it, I could compete with at least the regional pros. Fortunately, my physique in this regard isn’t much of a factor. :slight_smile:

  2. Darts. I have pretty decent hand-eye coordination. Again, I don’t think I could actually beat a pro dart player, but I can be pretty consistent and play a mean game of 301.

I was thinking I might have more on the list, but after thinking it over a bit, I don’t think there’s anything else out there that I’d even come close with. Although I’d really like to try playing horseshoes again one of these days.

MMA or kickboxing. It would be a long shot due to my age, but they’d be the only ones I’d have any chance at all in.

Archery: I was really good in high school. I’m sure if I practiced I would be quite good at it now.

Billiards. I used to be a mean shooter and I could surpass my earlier skills with a boatload of practice. I have the eye, I just need to hone the touch.
Golf. I could see myself excelling at the sport at my age (38, 6’4" - 210) with a year or two of straight-up practice and lessons. I strike the ball well, I just don’t have the experience to compete unless I were to take a year or so off and master my abilities.

I should have been a quarterback and I may have excelled at a high level. I’ve always had a much better than average arm (strength and accuracy) but I never wanted to be quarterback until I was too old to do anything about it. I’ve thrown 60 yards on the fly without working out to be able to do so. I was fairly mobile when I was younger and could have been adept in the pocket. I realized this after my college years were over. I was a heck of a left fielder in softball, don’t try to stretch that double into a triple!

Now, or in our prime? In my prime, MLB, probably as a 1st baseman. Pretty decent speed and quickness but excellent eyesight, hand-eye coordination and a physique that would allow me to be an offensive threat. The long ball has always been my strength.

Now, maybe NASCAR (a stretch, but I do love speed) but the competitive days of VO2 max and contact sports are long past.

Good question, so just to clarify, I mean as of now.

Motorsport of some kind. I was a semi-pro regional karting champion as a kid. That or fencing.

Golf, hands down. I played for my high school team six years ago, but I’ve fallen way way way out of practice now. I think if I spent some time working on my game, I could get into Q-School in a few years.

If I hadn’t been such a lazy guy in my more formative years, I could have played football. I’ve been told that I have a fantastic frame to be a linebacker. Looking back, I really wish I had gotten myself into a position where I could have been on the team here at UGA, although that’s a longshot no matter how far back in time you go.

Huh. :frowning:

Having spent 20 years becoming an internationally-ranked player and winning a couple of National Championships doesn’t count in this thread.
Becasue I play chess. :smack:


Doesn’t count, but earns my admiration all the same. :slight_smile:

Pool or Beach Volleyball.

By Pool, I mean Pocket Billiards, not Pool Volleyball.

Tennis. My best sport; I’ve been playing for about 15 years and while I definitely don’t have the size or power the pros do, I’m good- I’ve got a good array of shots, I play imaginitively, have good reflexes and I cover the court well.

I guess I’d have to go with Air Hockey. I guess I’m fairly good at it. My wife is even better. When we play, our games usually last 10-15 minutes and end up 7-6. I’d say she has an all-time win % of around 60%. But I put up a pretty fierce competition.

I was playing tournament level racquetball about a decade and a half ago. I was representing my Air Force base at Air Force sponsored and local tournaments in the London area. Usually it was double elimination, and after getting my arse handed to me in the opening round, I could usually put up a battle in the first consolation round before being sent home. Twice, I even made it past to the second consolation round. Never the third, though.

Are you being funny, or is there really such a thing as professional Air Hockey?

Shooting. I’d have to get the appropriate holster and work on my draw, but in a IDPA match with stock handguns I could hold my own with a few thousand rounds and a few weeks of practice. Anything else would be way out of my price range.

Maybe we could “sport it up.” Could you do Chess boxing?

You mean squash? I can’t imagine where you’d find a racquetball court in London.