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It’s easy to complicate matters when choosing a career. In essence, what you really need to do is follow a path that suits your skills, tastes and interests. Throw yourself into something that you’re good at and that you like and you’re likely to get something that is right for you.
That’s as true for people who love sports as it is for any other walk of life.
Here is what you should consider if you want to make a living in this sector.
The great thing about the world of sport and fitness is that it is so varied. Not only is there a long list of sports that you could choose to specialise in, there are a whole host of positions aside from participating in the action itself that can offer employment.
You can choose to coach up and coming youngsters, run fitness classes or clubs or look at the sports strands of industries such as journalism, marketing, teaching and photography.
Be honest about your strengths. If you can’t quite make it in competitive sport – which is something only open to the very best in their field – you could still make a living from a role associated with your passion.
These jobs are normally quite competitive in their own right and will require the dedication of an athlete to get and hold on to but, if you’re prepared to work hard, there are a number of jobs that will tap into your sporting prowess.
Survival of the fittest
You need to work hard to make a living in competitive sport, both on and off the field. That means living and breathing your profession. Your diet and lifestyle has to support your work or else you will damage your credibility and therefore your career.
It’s important to remember that plenty of other people will be competing with you to get to the top. You have to work harder than anyone else – practising skills and doing what you can to stay in peak fitness – or you won’t make it.
Practice what you preach
Equally, if you are coaching or teaching that doesn’t mean that you get away scot free. It’s no good just giving orders and expecting others to listen to you. People, especially young people, are less likely to follow instructions if they're not followed by the person giving them.
You need to stay in good condition and keep a fit and active lifestyle to set an example to those you are training up.
Appliance of science
Sport and fitness aren’t only applied in the practical sense. Athletes have to have a good knowledge of sports science and be fully aware of the nutritional considerations they must make to fuel their body properly.
They must eat the right foods and use supplements to help top up any elements they are unable to consume enough of. This means that a knowledge of biology, anatomy and physiology and nutrition are a basic necessity for any sportsperson.
Two careers in a lifetime
Many people only have a very short window when they’re at their physical peak. If you want to be a sportsperson then you need to have one eye on the future too.
Take time to work on back-up qualifications while you’re performing. The more strings to your bow you have the better – especially since injury could end your career early.
You can look at this in a positive light. In many respects it’s great that you can have a crack at two very different careers in your life – rather than a drag that you have to give up the game when your body can no longer perform at the required standard.
About the Author
Patrick Vernon is a freelance writer, specialising in career and business related content. He has gained experience writing for a variety of magazines and websites, researching the latest education and career tips and offering his advice to graduates.