The good news for sports enthusiasts is that it is possible to pursue a career related to the sport or physical activity you feel passionate about. If you want to succeed you must practice, be ambitious, and immerse yourself in your chosen sport.
Becoming a professional sports competitor
If you excel at a particular sport, such as tennis or swimming, you will probably be hoping to go on to compete at local, and then national, level. You may even have aspirations to represent your country at the Olympics, be among the best in the world, win medals, or become a TV or radio presenter. It is a long and complicated road, with many obstacles along the way, and you should give it full consideration. Competing at this level appears glamorous but bear in mind that the experience can be short-lived; it may necessitate early retirement, and it could be fraught with injury and disappointment. By all means, aim high, but remember that there are plenty of ways to pursue a career in sports.
A few suggested careers in sport:
- Sports management.
- PE teacher or coach.
- Physiotherapy or sports medicine.
- Referee or umpire.
- Presenter or journalist.
- Researcher or statistician.
- Swimming teacher or lifeguard.
- Gym manager or personal trainer.
- Boxing trainer.
- Gold course manager or green keeper.
How to get on the start line for a career in sport?
Excelling at school in sport and in extracurricular clubs is the best way to begin a career in your chosen sport. Carry this on into further education and use every opportunity to meet new contacts – you never know when a talent scout could be watching. Volunteer your services at matches and events; seek an internship. Immerse yourself in your chosen sport – read up on it, watch it on TV, go to matches or galas, learn about players or successful competitors. The more you know, the better prepared you can be for a lucky break.
Formula One racers often begin with Go Karting. Those with a passion for Formula One could follow Max Mosley on Twitter and read his views on issues currently being debated. Mosley was himself a racing driver before he co-established March Engineering, manufacturer of racing cars. He went on to be involved with the Formula One Constructors’ Association (FOCA) and the Fédération Internationale du Sport Automobile (FISA), before becoming president of the regulator of motorsports across the world, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA).
Study sports science
Sports science is the application of scientific knowledge to improve athletic performance. It can be studied at degree and masters level at universities in the UK. It prepares graduates for a whole range of careers, both in the world of sport and elsewhere. The exact modules studied will depend on the place of study, but expect to see a combination of psychology, physiology, nutritional science and performance analysis.
For a career in sport, learn the skills you need, practice, and put yourself out there. If it doesn’t work out for you, you will have the benefit of all that knowledge and experience to pursue a career that is related to that sport. Alternatively, broaden your horizons – there are many other challenging and satisfying sport-related careers for you to choose from.