How to Pursue a Career in Sports

by frank-stuart

Are you so passionate about sports that you’d like to make a career of it? Not everyone has what it takes to become a professional athlete. Even for those who do, a back-up profession is usually needed. What better way to ensure you’ll always be involved in something you love than by choosing an occupation that will keep you close to the playing field?

For every athlete on the field, there are countless individuals and groups behind the scenes making it happen. The athletes up front are the visible ones, but it’s the people in the background who enable them to get out there in the first place. This includes event managers, physical therapists, coaches, agents, administrators, public relations personnel and many others. Here are some of the exciting careers in sports:

  • Physical therapy – involves providing therapy and treatment for athletes suffering wounds and injuries from sport. Therapists may also be involved in rehabilitation, provision of professional advice, and prevention of injury.
  • Sports psychology – this field involves the mental preparation of sportspeople to perform at their best.
  • Sports medicine – for practitioners who specialise in the health and wellbeing of sportspeople and athletes.
  • Coaching – as well as teaching sport and fitness, coaches develop game strategies and plan and prepare athletes for competitions.
  • Sports agent work / athlete management – agents and managers represent athletes, negotiate contracts for them, and generally promote and ‘brand’ their careers.
  • Sports administration – this field involves managing / co-ordinating and promoting sporting clubs, programs or fitness centres.
  • Sports health promotion – involves the development of sports and health programs for local communities. Health promotion personnel in the sporting arena may work for councils, youth clubs, health clubs and schools.
  • Sports management – this field may include recruiting athletes, coaching, managing facilities, event planning, managing sporting teams, sports sales, business management and finance, and so on.
  • Sporting events management – for those interested in the creation and execution of sporting events. This requires good skills in planning, creativity, promotion, marketing, and budget management.
  • Other careers in sport include sports journalism, photography, nutrition, statistics, sports development, product sales and marketing, and PE teaching.

Skills required for sports careers

Sports careers may suit former athletes or professional game players who are no longer out in the field, but also suit those who love sport and want to be a part of the excitement.

As well as a passion for sport, a career in sports requires good communication skills as it involves dealing with people from all walks of life. Other skills required may include creativity, problem solving, planning, and business and / or financial management.

How to get started

Courses in sport are available at ACPE and include sports coaching, administration, business, and applied fitness. Volunteer work, work experience, networking, and internships may also assist you in getting your career going. All time spent doing volunteer work or work experience can be valuable to your career – so make sure you add it to your résumé.

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