10 Tips to Get a Career in Sports

June 30, 2021

Thanks to digitalization and availability, sports are growing in popularity over the last couple of years. With this growth, the sports industry opens new opportunities for people that want to peruse their dream of getting a job in sports.

Even though the athletes are the main stars of every sporting event, there is a lot more than meets the eye. Every professional sports team or athlete is working as a professional organization with many fun and highly paid job opportunities.

There are many opportunities like working for a league, conference, team, university, players associations, marketing, or sponsorships for the people who love sports.

In other words, you don’t need the skill or talent to make a career in sports, and in today’s article, we will go through some of the tips that will give you the advantage.

Establish Your Goals

Before scrutinizing anything in your life, whether it is a career in sports, starting a business, or building a house, you need to establish your goals. This is a very important part just because it will determine your career path for the future.

Since we are talking about a huge industry with many different sectors, you need to find the thing you love. You need to go for jobs that are not only exciting but are worth pursuing.

There are few things to consider:

  • Salary – How much do you want to make per year?
  • Education – Do you need a degree, and, if so, what kind?
  • Experience – What type of experience is necessary for the job
  • Travel – Are you comfortable with relocating or traveling often?

All of these questions can point you in the right direction in terms of perusing your sports career.

Start Studying Psychology

If you want to build a successful sports career, understanding human behavior is essential for your journey. You need to work on different skills like “listening skills” or “body language” that will help you not just in your sports career, but in life in general.

You need to be able to put yourself into the heart and minds of other people and see the world from their perspective.

This is also a very dynamic industry where there are many things happening at once, so having strong mental health is very important.

Experience, Experience, Experience 

Like it or not, landing a great job in sports is all about the experience. Most people are easily discouraged when they are asked about their previous experience, which is understandable since you cannot get experience without landing a job.

With that said, you shouldn’t expect a high position without knowing everything that is going on in the industry, and that’s not possible with experience.


Additionally, you need to work on your education just because many popular sports careers require a sports management degree or a certificate. Some jobs even require a Bachelor’s or even a Master’s degree, so make sure you know your goals and what it takes to achieve them.


These days, having a large network of the right people is more important than having a degree, especially in sports. So, if you are serious about perusing your sports career, you need to get out there and start meeting people with similar interests.

You need to attend every sporting event, conference, reach out to teachers and professors, and make sure you build up your LinkedIn profile. Asking questions, being friendly, and shaking hands is key to having a successful career in sports.

Understand the Industry

Watching sports matches and loving the game isn’t enough. As we mentioned before, we are talking about a huge industry with $388 billion in revenue in 2020 that is expected to grow to $440 this year.

This means that there is a lot of competition and if you really want to succeed, you’ve got to know your stuff. After receiving proper education or going on a course, try following sports news on daily basis, ask a lot of questions, and talk to more experienced people in the industry.

That way you’ll not only learn more about the industry but also optimize your mindset that will help you succeed.

Get an Internship

The best way to learn about the industry is by getting your hands dirty and getting inside an organization. Most people avoid getting an internship just because it is not paid enough, or at all, and they expect to land a six-figure job right from the start.

Getting the right internship might be more valuable for your future than landing a mediocre job.

Hard Work

If you want to become a professional athlete then you need a lot of dedication. Becoming a professional athlete requires skills, talent, and most importantly hard work. There is a lot of fierce competition in every sport and your job is to stand out from the crowd in order for someone to notice your skills and talent.

It is worth mentioning that professional athletes usually start working on their skills at a very young age, so this makes it difficult (almost impossible) for slightly older people to make a career out of it.

Start Small

When people think about starting their career in sports, the first thing that comes to mind is the major professional leagues, but in reality, you need to start on a much smaller scale. Almost every league has minor league systems, which are perfect for starting your sports career.

So, make sure you lower your expectations from the beginning and slowly build your way up to professional leagues. The youngest players in NBA history started from the bottom and worked hard till they achieved fame and titles.

Athletic Experience

Even though it is not necessary to have athletic experience, it will definitely be very helpful, especially if it the same sport you want to start your career. There is a huge difference between watching your favorite sport and playing it.

If you have athletic experience, great! But, if you don’t have any athletic experience, it would be great if you try it out at least for a couple of months just to get in the head of the athlete. It is no coincidence that almost all football managers were professional football players in the past.

By playing the sport you’ll be able to improve your knowledge and understand the process better, which will definitely boost your career success.

About the Author Prabhakaran

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