When many people think of careers in sports, their minds go directly to professional athletes. While this is certainly one career path for sports lovers to take, it’s simply not feasible for the vast majority of prospective pros.
As anyone with a sports management degree can attest, most sports-related careers don’t entail actually playing sports but rather acting in a management role. If you have a passion for athletics and a knack for business, the following career paths may be right up your alley.
Outside of professional athletes, coaches are arguably the sports world’s most well-known figures. Praised when teams prosper and maligned when they lose, coaching can be equal parts rewarding and stressful and is best-suited to individuals with thick skin. Although a fair number of big-league coaches began their careers as players, prior experience as a pro athlete is by no means a prerequisite for this job. However, an advanced knowledge of your preferred sport and a genuine love for the game are sure to serve any coach well.
Whether you’re looking to coach a professional franchise or school team, you’ll need to be well-versed in the rules of you chosen sport and have a knack for strategy. You’ll also need to have a keen eye for athletic ability to ensure that you’re able to match the right players with the right positions.
At the end of the day, coaches are essentially teachers. In addition to familiarizing their players with a wide range of tactics and play styles, coaches oversee athletes’ training and help them maximize their potential. While many coaches are met with vitriol whenever their respective teams do poorly, watching your team excel as they put your teachings to good use is incredibly rewarding.
Sports fans with a knack for creativity often do well as marketing managers. In this role, you’ll be in charge of cultivating and promoting a specific image of your team and its players. Your goal will be helping your team carve out a unique identity that resonates with fans and increases marketability. In addition to overseeing the creation of merchandise and promotional materials, marketing managers often have a hand in shaping the stadium experience.
Even if the team you workfor is far from the best, you can get fans in the seats by making the live experience as fun as possible. Anyone looking for a sport management career that allows one to flex their creative muscles should consider becoming a marketing manager.
Although many athletes possess natural talent, proper training is necessary to help them make the most of their gifts. This is where athletic trainers enter the equation. A good trainer knows how to help players reach their full physical potential and keep them in peak condition. Additionally, the best trainers realize that getting players in shape is not a one-size-fits-all affair. What works for one athlete doesn’t necessarily work for another, and tailoring fitness regimens to suit the needs of individual players is a big part of any trainer’s job.
In the sports world, general managers wear many different hats. In essence, a general manager is in charge of organizing a team’s business transactions. However, despite the relatively simplistic job description, the general manager has a hand in nearly every decision a team makes.
For example, in addition to being responsible for allocating budgets and overseeing revenue, general managers often have final say over which players are drafted and which coaches are hired. Furthermore, being media-savvy will help you in this role as general managers also serve as their teams’ on-camera spokespeople during press conferences.
You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t have a soft spot for sports. Whether they prefer playing them, watching them or a combination thereof, most people enjoy sports on some level. It isn’t hard to see why many of us instantly think of professional athletes whenever careers in sports are mentioned. After all, these individuals have the biggest media presence of any figures in the sports world. However, unbeknownst to many fans, careers in sports extend far beyond the field. Even if you don’t have what it takes to play professionally, you may be well-suited to an important management role.