There are only one Sachin, one Dhoni and one Kohli in each generation. We have grown up watching and idolising these cricketing legends, many have even tried emulating their footsteps and failed. While some lacked the talent, others did not get the opportunity to fulfil a career in sports. However, life does not end here. You can still contribute to the sport you like and pursue a career that you love.
Sports can be a big money-spinning business. There is a reason that sports leagues such as the Indian Premier League (T-20 Cricket) IPL, the Indian Super League (Football), Pro-Kabaddi League (Kabaddi), Hockey India League (Hockey) have risen in popularity and is making money for the players, the franchise owners, the sports federation and everyone involved in these leagues.
If you have witnessed your dreams to become a premier athlete or a sportsperson crashed, here are some ways you can combine your passion for sports and a lucrative career.
1. Sports Journalism
Sports Journalism allows you to work behind-the-scenes in the world of sports. The scope of sports journalism has expanded from broadcast journalism and radio to print and online media. Sportswriters and bloggers, television sports producers, are a perfect fit for an athlete having an in-depth understanding of sports.
2. Sports Writing and Blogging
Writing and blogging about the latest news in the sporting world, expression your views and opinion about a particular match, incident or different aspects of the game, making game predictions and post-game coverage are some of the roles of a sports writer and blogger. Traditionally, these roles were dominated by newspaper writers, but many freelance positions have opened up with the growth of the popularity of digital media platforms.
3. Television Sports Producer
A studio sports producer is required to fill up their allotted broadcasting time with quality content. The producer needs to select the topics which will be covered during the show, sequence of the topics, amount of time to be covered on each topic, duration of each segment etc. All these activities need to be conducted in a seamless manner which grabs the attention of the viewers. While sports producers generally need at least a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism, sports journalism or communications, having a passion and knowledge of the sport is considered priceless in the industry.
4. Sports Marketing
Sports marketing is a vast and diverse industry for a person to make a lucrative career while being in touch with sports. Sports agencies and professional sports organisations offer a wide range of careers in sports marketing. These include:
- Inside Sales Representative
It is an entry-level position in sports marketing. People with a degree in business management, sports manager or equivalent qualification are preferred for this position. It involves the sale of multiple items such as merchandises, event-ticketing, stadium tours, match-day packages, corporate and hospitality packages for sporting events etc.
- Public Relations
Public relations is vital in professional sports. Every major professional sporting organisation, sports team and sports marketing firm have a separate in-house PR department to handle relationship management and image of the team.
PR executives and managers often get to interact with the players, the coaching staff while maintaining media contacts, coordinating events and conducting research. PR professionals are required to direct the press box activities during the game, track news coverage related to the players and the team, assemble clipping reports and much more.
A bachelors degree in public relations, sports marketing or an equivalent degree is important for an entry job in public relation, and masters or an advanced degree might be required for high-level jobs in PR in sports.
- Event Coordinator
A sporting event can generate a lot of revenue for the host-city and involves intense off-site and on-site coordination to organise a sporting event. Some of the responsibilities of an event coordinator include transportation of the team and their equipment, their boarding and lodging, disseminating team news to the media, devising an emergency and contingency plan and all other activities involved in organising the sporting event.
Most sporting event coordinators require a Bachelor’s degree in business, hospitality, sports marketing or an equivalent degree.
5. Coaching Staff
Coaching positions are present in almost every level of sports, from a school level to the professional level. Each level entitles different roles and responsibilities in developing the skills and honing the talent of young athletes.
Coaches at a school and college level can balance their roles and responsibilities between education and coaching, professional teams require coaching at a much higher level. For instance, IPL teams have a head coach, a separate batting, bowling and fielding coaches and each of these coaches have their own assistant coaches.
Coaching is the best way an athlete can give back to the sport they love and adore by grooming young talent and watching their unfulfilled dream of superstardom achieve by their students.
6. Sports Fitness, Medicine and Psychology
The role of fitness, medicine and psychology has become more prominent than ever. You must have heard that the present-day Indian cricket team it’s the fittest every team India cricket has ever seen. This can be said for almost every sport and the sporting league in every country.
- Sports Fitness
The fitness industry is one of the most booming and underserved industries in India, with a penetration of only 3 per cent. This implies the growth of the fitness industry in India is exponential.
Former bodybuilders, fitness athletes and other sportspeople can contribute to the fitness of the consumers and budding sportsperson by offering their expertise, experience and knowledge to provide general and sports-specific fitness program and training to the general population and budding athletes.
- Sports Medicine
Sports medicine is a speciality which deals with injuries and trauma linked with sports and athletic training. Sports clubs and sporting association also has its own team of physiotherapist, medical staff and personnel.
The sports medicine field include osteopathic physicians, medical doctors and healthcare professions who can treat chronic and acute injuries while advising athletes towards improving their athletic performance, fitness and over overall health.
The career options in sports medicine include doctor of osteopathy, medical doctors, athletic trainers, exercise physiologist, kinesiotherapist, nurses, sports physical therapist, sports nutritionist and dietitians.
- Sports Psychology
Sports psychology is a speciality which combines sports, science and psychology. Sports psychologist helps athletes improve their overall mental health and aid them in coping with the pressures of performing at the highest level.
It is best for a budding athlete always to have a backup plan as not everyone gets an opportunity to play at the highest level. Not being able to compete does not mean you can to give up your sporting dreams. You can remain associated with the sport you love while still being associated with the sport your love.