Not long age, engaging in sports was seen as a hobby in India rather than a legitimate career option. Recently, however, with the success of Indian athletes in sports such as cricket, badminton, tennis, boxing, shooting and so on, it has become an increasingly popular career choice. Being a professional sportsperson entails competing with other sportpersons at a national or international level and making a living out of it. It demands a high level of physical training and skill set. The ultimate aim in this field is to represent one’s country at an international sports event such as the olympics. It requires tremendous amounts of training to refine one’s natural talent to be able to compete with others at the highest level. Playing a sport engages you in physical activity that keeps your mind and body fit and healthy. Furthermore, playing a sport instils a spirit of sportsmanship and builds one’s self esteem and confidence. It helps people to transcend boundaries and fosters a feeling of unity between different communities and cultures. Sportspeople and athletes are some of the most revered and respected people in their respective countries.
Some of the prospective jobs under this field are:
- Professional Athlete: A professional athlete competes individually or as part of a team in a organized sport such as football, basketball, soccer, tennis, golf, running, skiing, hockey etc. He/she practices and trains regularly to improve his or her skills in order to perform well in a competitive setting.
- Coache: Behind every successful athlete, there is a coach/mentor who has worked tirelessly to help an athlete reach their optimum level of performance. Athletic trainers and coaches train professional and non-professional athletes or teams. They instruct and train athletes in outdoor and indoor sports.
- Umpire & Referee: Umpires and referees ensure that sports are played in the right spirit and rules of any particular sport are followed by all parties involved. They hold the power to impose penalties or take crucial decisions which have an impact on the overall result of any game.
- Sports Journalism: Sports journalism includes many different careers in online media, print and broadcast journalism covering news related to different aspects of sports.
- Sports Marketing: The field of sports marketing encompasses a wide range of positions in settings such as sports agencies, public relations departments and sports equipment manufacturing organizations.
- Sports Medicine: Sports medicine is a speciality that centres on healing injuries or traumas caused during playing or training for a sport. The field includes medical doctors (MD) and osteopathic physicians who have completed sports medicine fellowships.
- Sports Psychology: Sports Psychology is a speciality that aims to apply the theories and therapies in psychology to a sports setting. Practitioners in this field focus on improving the mental health and enhance the coping capabilities of athletes.
- General Manager: A general manager handles all business matters for sportsperson in a team or otherwise. They look after the contracts, advertising deals, travel, finances etc for their clients.
Roles & Responsibilities
Some of the duties depending on the nature of job in this field are:
- As a sportsperson one has to train on a regular basis to maintain physical and mental health in order to keep improving one’s skill set.
- Knowing all the rules throughly is of prime importance.
- Use the latest technology to enhance one’s performance.
- Take part in different kinds of sporting events to be able to perform at the highest level.
- Inspire and motivate members of a team or an athlete so that they can give their best.
- Ensure that games are played in the right spirit and are conducted in a fair manner.
- Keep the society up to date with the latest developments in the sports world(journalists).
- Work closely with athletes as managers, training staff, medical staff etc.
Given below are desired qualities for professionals in this field:
- Passionate, hardworking and dedicated towards the sport.
- A insatiable drive and motivation to succeed.
- Be physically and mentally fit.
- Persistent and resilient in one’s approach.
- Ability to train for long hours and not give up when the going gets tough.
- Have a balanced temperament to be able to handle victory as well as a loss in a dignified manner.
- Ability to bounce back from injuries or poor performances.
- Good interpersonal skills to work well within a team set up.
- Ability to read a game well in order to make the desired changes in one’s technique or approach to a game.
How to get there
For an individual with an aptitude for a particular sport, the best way to pursue it is to compete in as many district and state level competitions/tournaments as possible. There are several academies and organisations that one can enrol in, to get the right kind of coaching or training, necessary for specific sports. In order to compete at a national level, sportspersons usually attend camps, where trials take place. The people who make it through these trials are selected to represent the country in sporting competitions that occur around the world.