If you are interested in the world of sporting, taking the next step and turning your hobby into a career may be an option that you have been considering. Whether you wish to be a coach, commentator or professional player, there is no shortage of career options to suit all abilities and interests. Sporting is open to almost any individual regardless of their training or academic background, and within this article, we’re going to investigate the skills needed to achieve success by working towards your specific goals and the different types of sporting careers which may be open to you.
First and foremost, let’s look at the personal skills needed to become a professional sports player.
Explore the industry and stay up to date
The sporting industry is such a vast field, that understanding all of the different areas is essential before choosing the best niche to suit you. Exploring the options is even more important if you’re unsure about which area you would most like to progress in, for the reason that you may uncover possibilities you may never have been aware of before.
The world of sporting is continuously developing, so it’s crucial to stay in the loop about the changes and developments taking place. What you have learned previously may have gone out of date, so it would be wise to attend industry events, subscribe to industry magazines and stay up to date with any news coverage that may affect your preferred career options.
Working well with others
Whatever sport you decide to play, it’s essential that you have the initiative to work well with others due to the fact that most sports are team-focused, This would be especially relevant if you plan on becoming a team leader. At the very core of great leadership is the ability to inspire others to work towards their goals. In this instance, you need to make it clear to your team what you wish for them to achieve and how they can work towards it. With this comes the ability to communicate on their level with helpful pointers and an approachable attitude.
As sporting is such a competitive industry, having the motivation to push through obstacles and reach a professional level takes years of hard work. This will mean having to train for hours each day and perhaps even putting your social life on hold. Staying motivated when there are so many other distractions around you isn’t easy, but it is an essential skill you must possess if you wish to have any chance of making it in the professional sporting industry.
Professional sporting requires the individual to be at their peak both mentally and physically, which is why great organization is a key trait of any sporting professional. A good level of organization will mean sticking to the correct diet to stay in good shape, getting enough sleep to ensure appropriate energy levels and managing time effectively to keep up with the hours’ worth of training.
Regardless of how frustrating it may be, the world of sporting certainly shows the inner qualities of how you personally deal with challenging situations. Unfortunately, there are times when you won’t win, and you just have to take it on the chin. Similarly, there is always going to be someone better than you, which you must learn to accept if you’re ever going to secure a career as a sports professional. A good sportsman is supportive of others, even when fate doesn’t fall their way and you never know when you may meet that other individual again as you progress through your career.
Despite this, you must have the inner drive to win, regardless of what it takes. As a leader, having that fire in your belly to believe that failing isn’t an option will encourage your teammates to battle on even when the game isn’t going in your favor, rather than giving up to the opposition halfway through.
If you have a few of these personal skills, you’ll be well on your way to making a successful career as a professional sports player. So, what can you do to get your foot on the career ladder?
Determine your worth
If you set your heart on a goal, be sure to follow it through and don’t let anything get in your way. There are too many people out there who wish to achieve to make it in the sports industry, that there is simply no room for sitting back. Instead, you must find the best possible direction to get where you want to be and keep plugging away until you get there. It can be easy to be swept along with the crowd when your friends are settling for much easier career paths, but if you have the passion for becoming a sportsperson, you should stick to your guns and avoid being put off your main goal.
Practice with quality equipment
If you have been training for many years, it’s likely that you have been using quality equipment to help improve your tactics and strategies. However, if you are quite new to the sport, it can be challenging to know which type of equipment to use. Although adequate training is a key aspect of improving skills as a sporting professional, using the correct equipment also impacts how well you perform. For example, semi-professional footballers must have high-quality football boots to enhance stability and reduce the risk of injury during collisions on the pitch. Badminton players must choose a racket that is appropriate for the hand weight to respond well.
Similarly, golfers must practice with a high-quality club and other necessary accessories to ensure the best hit. Super game improvement irons ensure top performance while out on the course and feature a broad top line and lower profile, paired with a wide sole designed for effortless impact as you hit the ball. It also promises a high launch, high peak height, while inspiring confidence. Over time, you’ll better your performance at a quicker rate by selecting the best equipment.
Study a degree
If you have a passion for helping push athletes to their maximum potential, enjoy general fitness and wellbeing or are keen on promoting sport within the community, then studying a relevant sports degree would be an excellent opening to reach your career goal. There is a range of sports-related courses to suit different career paths. For example, fitness courses would be ideal if you wish to become a personal trainer, while sport and exercise science would be great for those who wish to learn more about how the human body works and promoting the health and psychology of the sport.
Like most other industries, semi-professional sporting companies rely on volunteers. While you are reluctant to offer your services for free, being in the middle of the action may work in your favor when companies are looking to recruit. Secondly, if you have graduated with a sporting degree, this extra experience added to your resume will undoubtedly give you a higher chance of securing a paid role at some stage of your career.
Networking is an extremely useful tool for getting your name out there. Individuals who are keen on being signed to a professional sports team or graduates looking to secure a job role in the sporting industry should aim to network with current professionals in the industry. These seemingly natural conversations could work wonders when it comes to establishing a professional career. Sporting professionals may wish to find out more about you, ask you to try out for teams if you’re keen on playing a sport or inform you of other career opportunities that may be available. Networking can either be achieved online by finding professionals on sites such as LinkedIn or Twitter while attending industry events allows you to meet them face-to-face and talk more in-depth about your future ambitions.
What types of sports career roles could you go into?
Whether you are looking to secure a career playing sports or wish to know which other sporting careers may be open to you, here are some of the best sporting career opportunities you may want to look into:
If you have trained for years in a certain sport and are keen on helping young individuals reach their goals, then why not show off your skillset by becoming a coach? In very basic terms, coaching involves analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of athletes and assisting them in developing their performance and reaching their full potential.
Most entry-level coaching jobs require an extensive amount of experience in the sport you’re hoping to teach, as well as a thorough knowledge of the game; however, job roles can vary in levels, from teaching students in high schools and colleges to professionals on the field. If you have always wished to become an influencer and nurture the talents of youngsters, then this would certainly be an avenue that you should consider.
If you have a background in the healthcare sector, then working as an athletic trainer may be a career that would be of interest to you. Employees in this occupation are hired to diagnose and treat athlete’s injuries and provide emergency assistance during practice or gameplay. After diagnosis, they will then go on to design custom rehabilitation programs to ensure a speedy recovery, before alerting the coach of any medical implications that need to be introduced to the training schedule.
To become an athletic trainer, you need to hold a relevant bachelor’s degree at a minimum, while many go on to study a masters degree to increase their chances of securing a job role in this competitive field.
All athletes know how to stay in great shape; therefore, it is second nature for sporting enthusiasts to become a professional fitness trainer. The central job role revolves around teaching athletes how to keep up a successful fitness regime, by strengthening muscles and building up stamina. You will provide useful instructions and strategies to groups or individuals, as well as some much-needed motivation to keep them focused during intensive workouts.
The good news is that you don’t necessarily need a qualification to become a fitness trainer, but many employers are keen to hire those who have a relevant bachelor’s or master’s degree, to prove their extensive knowledge in the health and fitness sector.
If you have studied a degree in journalism or a related major, with a keen interest in sport, then you may be interested in working towards becoming a sports journalist. This job will give you the chance to watch sporting events as they occur and interview professional athletes and coaches for magazines or websites. Students who have completed an internship before graduating will have a far greater chance of finding employment in the sporting sector since they will have already had much-needed professional experience under their belt to face this rather daunting but exciting job role.
Sports broadcasters announce living sporting events and provide commentary during games. Part of the job involves researching and studying the performances of athletes and providing stories of personal interest. In order to pave the way to secure a job in this career path, you’ll most likely need to study a degree in broadcasting or journalism. It may seem impossible to secure a job with no previous experience; however, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that it is far easier to start a sports broadcasting career by contacting smaller stations and working your way up.
Sports marketers promote team leagues, players and stadiums that are related to the sporting world. Sports marketers discuss agreements with business and set terms and conditions for advertisements and endorsements. If you’re a seasoned marketing professional, then this role would certainly be up your street. To get on this career path, you will typically need to hold a marketing degree or related major.