Making a career out of sports sounds like an easy thing to do, right? Just become the next Michael Jordan or Serena Williams and you’ll be on top of the world, right? It’s not that simple. Just being great at what you do isn’t enough. You have to be great at the business side as well, which is why here are some steps to consider in order to make your career out of sports work for you instead of against you.
If you’ve made sports your life, then it makes sense to turn them into your job. You can take on as much (or as little) responsibility as you want and don’t have to worry about having enough free time. Once you become an employee in a team or sports organization, you can apply for extra perks—such as free tickets to games and events—that are reserved for team members. This arrangement also gives you access to professional equipment that will help keep your body in shape and at peak performance during work hours, so that your time off is all about relaxation rather than exercise. The bottom line? Making a career out of sports means making sure you never have to make a choice between health and career. The two go hand-in-hand with each other. It’s almost like getting paid to stay healthy!
Setting goals is an important part of any job, but it’s particularly important when you’re working on your own. You don’t have anyone to tell you what to do and how to do it, so you need to set goals for yourself and focus on them every day. What are your long-term goals? What do you want to accomplish in six months, one year, two years? Write down these goals as well as more immediate ones. Set small daily, weekly, and monthly tasks that will help you reach your bigger objectives. Make sure they’re specific and measurable—and write them down! Post them where you can see them often (on your bathroom mirror or at work) so that they become ingrained in your mind. The clearer your vision, the better chance you have of achieving it!
Have an Outlet
The athletic arena is an ever-changing environment. Young professional athletes need to keep learning and growing if they want to stay on top. Look for opportunities to learn from as many sports, coaches, and trainers as possible—they’ll teach you something about yourself that you might not have seen otherwise. The more knowledge you can accumulate during your career, whether it’s in strategy or lifestyle management, skills training or nutrition, time management or public speaking, business models or injury prevention—the easier it will be to stay at the top of your game. Having lots of options also gives you leverage when negotiating salary, benefits, or other aspects of your contract. Most importantly, don’t let talent get in the way of opportunity: look for ways to use what you’ve got now to help advance your future. When one door closes another opens; it’s all part of making a career out of sports.
Use your Tools
College is about more than getting an education—it’s about expanding your network and exposing yourself to different career opportunities. The key is knowing what you want to do when you leave school so that you can use everything around you as an opportunity to help get there. Get involved with clubs and organizations, talk with professors and mentors, take part in internships—do whatever it takes! The more prepared you are when graduation day arrives, the better off you’ll be. Looking for great sarahbintabdulaziz.com ways to kickstart your future? For example, ask questions like: How did these athletes get started? What helped them succeed along their journey? What would they tell their younger selves if they could go back in time? Take notes on every conversation or piece of advice you receive—you never know which tidbit will come in handy later on down the road. While studying journalism might not seem like a smart way to making a career out of sports, one thing’s for sure: It’s never too early (or too late) to start preparing for your dream job. And since any position can lead to other opportunities within an organization, why not learn how successful athletes got where they are today and how you can apply some of their techniques to achieve similar results.
Keep Learning and Growing
For most people, their interest in sports is simply that: an interest. They’re passionate about watching or playing sports but aren’t interested in turning it into a career. As fun as it may be to watch football on Sunday, most people don’t see themselves as professional football players or coaches. It can be much harder for those who do want to turn their passion into their profession, especially if they want to focus on growing their skill and credibility. The best way to make sure your dream career is achievable? Do something else first. No matter what you choose, there are going to be aspects of your new job you haven’t dealt with before. If you start from square one and work your way up, you won’t just have more experience; you’ll have experience doing exactly what you hope to end up doing. In other words, making a career out of sports means making a career out of starting at square one and working yourself up. Keep at it—and make sure all those years spent learning how to play help when trying to land that next big contract!