Once you’ve reached the top of your game, what’s next? Some athletes decide to retire, but many others make career out of sports. The challenge lies in finding the right jobs and honing your skills to make the most of them. Here are some strategies that have worked well for other athletes, along with some things to avoid if you want to make a career out of sports.
The first step in the process
You may not be in a position to turn your passion into your job immediately. That’s fine because having something lined up for when you do is essential. Take whatever college-related internship you can get; ask around if your university has an alumni network or alumni newsletter. Volunteering is also often an option—particularly with local teams that are looking
for extra help during events (this applies to both recreational and competitive athletes). These connections will come in handy down the road when you’re trying to line up first-job opportunities
as well as build your professional network. These connections will also be invaluable as it relates to networking post-graduation (see No. 7 below). If you have dreams of playing professionally, begin networking now.
The importance of physical training
To make money as an athlete, you have to be willing to put in countless hours at your sport. To get those hours in, you must first spend time in your physical training regimen. The more effective your training is, the more focus you’ll have on playing your sport. It may seem counterintuitive, but many professional athletes will tell you that playing is actually easier when they’re well-trained – after all, practice makes perfect! You should also try to find Cric Gator mentors who can help guide you on how to play better or coach you; these people are invaluable sources of both support and good advice.
Know your sport inside out
With so many different athletic endeavors to choose from, it’s important to really get to know your sport before trying to make money off it. A good way to do that is by participating in it at least twice a week for 6 months. This gives you time for your body, mind, and soul to adjust in order for you to develop a healthy balance within your life.
Get to know your field, who’s in it, and who’s coming up
If you want to make it as a journalist, for example, first learn about whom you’ll be writing for. To break into publishing, keep tabs on emerging authors in your genre; if there’s an event in your area with those authors, go—you could end up networking or becoming friends with someone who could hire you down the road. In order to set yourself apart from other candidates, you need to get familiar with who is already in your field. Study their work and get familiar with them on social media. Think about how they can help guide your own Cricgator path as well as provide insight on how others are breaking into fields similar to yours.
Understand your options
The number one question people ask when you tell them you have a degree in Sports is what can you do with that? The truth is, despite how it might seem, there are plenty of opportunities for those with an undergraduate degree in Sports. If becoming a professional athlete is your dream, then take all your internship experience (more on that later) and any other relevant experiences that you’ve had in your major, like coaching or working at ESPN during college and apply them to positions related to athletic department management. But if being an athlete isn’t really your cup of tea, there are still plenty of opportunities for those with degrees in Sports.
What you can do with a degree in Sports?
Contrary to popular belief, having a degree in Sports does not mean you will automatically make a lot of money. In fact, earning potential depends on your specialization—so if you’re interested in Physical Education or Kinesiology, for example, you may be able to earn more than an agent or trainer specializing in marketing or advertising. With that said, even those without specialized degrees have opportunities to capitalize on their knowledge. Think about volunteering with local youth organizations as an alternative way to network with coaches and athletes while gaining valuable experience.