Sports Professionals are people who have exceptional talent in a particular sport. They are either paid to play as part of a team or organisation, or directly collect prize money as a result of their achievements in various competitions and leagues.
Sports Professionals will train every day to maintain their general fitness, ensure that their diet is healthy and work with nutritionists, trainers and psychologists to ensure they can achieve their peak performance when competing in matches or competitions.
They will give total commitment to their sports, this could mean early mornings, evenings, weekends and sometimes outdoors in all weathers.
Team sports such as football, rugby, cricket, hockey, basketball or an individual sports such as swimming, athletics, gymnastics, golf, horse racing - are to name but a few of the areas sports professionals are involved in. Some of these industries are more lucrative than others, and your skill level and public profile will affect how much you earn. Top Sports Professionals often take a lot of revenue from product endorsement.
Being a Professional Sports person is realistic for those who have exceptional talent and commitment, though only a small percentage of people ever reach this top tier. You should objectively look at your level of ability and commitment in your favourite sports to determine whether this is a realistic goal for you. If it is - go for it! If not, why not think about all the other careers that are associated with the sport you love. Lots of them are huge commercial industries that draw employees from many skill-sets. What could you do in the industry?
To become a professional sports person you will normally need to start at a young age by joining a local club or amateur organisation which will give you instruction and training.
Often sports professional are spotted by talent scouts. Becoming a professional takes a lot of time and dedication and a willingness to spend evenings, weekends and free time rehearsing, training and practicing.
If you have talent and the potential to do well in your chosen sport, you could get help from:
- sponsorship schemes run by universities that offer support to students to train and compete while studying
the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme, which supports young people in education to perform at their best, while keeping up their studies
In most sports, you will find it useful to carry on with your training and education in case you:
- need another income apart from your sport
- need another income once your sporting careers is over
Find out more about becoming a ports professional at Sport England
- an exceptional talent in your sport
- dedication and commitment
- a very high level of physical fitness
- a competitive nature
- the willingness to take advice and sometimes criticism from trainers and coaches
- to be able to cope with pressure especially when you do not do as well as you had hoped
Salary can vary massively, depending on your chosen sport and how good you are.