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How to get a job in your favourite sport
For many, going pro is the dream. But, by definition, sport is a competitive world and not everybody makes it to the top. And some people, while they enjoy playing sports regularly, don’t want the stress or danger involved with being a professional athlete. But, this doesn’t mean you have to put sport to the side to focus on other career paths.
There are plenty of career opportunities in sport which don’t involve playing the game for a living. These can be hugely rewarding, but they’re also in high demand and it’s not always an easy path to getting your big break. So, we’ve put together a few tips for those looking for working opportunities in the world of sports. We’ll discuss what jobs you could find yourself in and how to get there.
What jobs are there in sport?
The variety of jobs in professional sport are varied and largely dependent on the sport. However, there are some that are pretty universal. These include:
- Coaches, coach assistants, and personal trainers
These jobs often not only require an intense understanding of the human body but also the sport in question, perfect for those who grew up playing the sport.
Getting your degree
Sports are serious business. Many sports operate within billion-dollar industries. European football alone is worth £22 billion. The average NFL team is worth £2.08 billion. Not all are this popular - or glamorous - but the jobs in huge industries like this can be extremely lucrative.
Athlete care is key. They’re worth thousands, often millions, of pounds, and the industry has the money to demand only the best of the best for their staff. This often means the better your education, the better chance you have of achieving a high-paying and rewarding role in some of the top sports. This is particularly true if you want to be involved in a physiological or psychological role.
However, your degree doesn’t always determine your opportunities in sport.
Over everything, experience matters. Many world-class managers, coaches, and other sports professionals started their careers by simply playing the sport and understanding it at a level many of their peers couldn’t. Most of the world’s top-paid coaches are former players. For example, Eddie Jones, the English rugby coach, earns £750,000 a year. He played as a hooker for Randwick and New South Wales.
But you shouldn’t expect to enter the sports workforce at such a high level. Starting from the bottom and working your way up to better-paying positions is a more likely route to success. Even volunteering your time to help out or shadow someone can kick start your career if you create a network of helpful contacts in the industry you want to work in.
Choosing your area
Not everyone wants to work for the world’s biggest sports team. While there is money to be made, this comes with high stakes, stress, and severe consequences if you fail.
Thankfully, jobs in sport are varied. You could work as a sports teacher in a school, as a personal trainer for professional athletes, or as a consultant. Whatever you choose to do, it’s key you have the right education and the experience to back up your skills. There are resources out there to help you get your foot in the door, like this one from the government, so what's your excuse? Chase your dream job today.
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