If you had all the resources and training from birth, could you have been in one of the major American leagues?
Played D1 football. Full 4 years. was unanimous choice all conference for my position.
BIG sigh! Yes i could have played NFL. I base that on a couple of things. One of them was that I had destroyed some dudes that were successful in NFL. you could chalk it up to me having a great day and him having a bad day. But it occurred enough, I am pretty sure I could have successfully played in the league. Also I was to the point of having to stick a needle in my ass. I could not get any thicker in the legs and lifted to failure like a fucking animal.
Also there is a certain amount of luck. Being somewhere where the dude that plays your position gets a spinal cord injury. Time to step up, and only by playing a lot against better players under 100% game conditions will raise your skills that fast.
Also consider as the years continue to roll on, you start to notice how many catastrophic injuries occurr. Lots. You get to see the aftermath. The crying and screaming. The huge surgery scars, and full casts. Follow up surgeries and chronic pain. Friend of mine is in a wheelchair and confined to full time full care due to a spine injury during a full contact scrimmage. . I was there that day on a different part of the practice field.
So at some point a smart person may figure out that the odds are getting better that you are going to get fucked up at some point, especially if you play a hit position. Is it worth it? Who the fuck knows.
Like you said luck is certainly a factor and obviously you had a good fall back plan. Health is wealth.
The high school I went to had a lot of people become very successful professional athletes, so i’d say yes. There were scouts there all the time. Just have to catch their eye