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Job opportunities and Career options in Sports

by Vijay Garg
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Gone are the days when sports were merely hobbies. With big business houses investing heavily and governments promoting different sports, it is now a lucrative career not only do you get a chance to represent your country but also get fame and recognition. But, sports as a career does not need to ply the sportspersons. You can take a number of allied fields to get into the sporting world. India is the home to more than billion people. There are lakhs of talents that need a good platform. Together with that, sports as a career is still in its nascent stage. You must have seen that the annual IPL gala unveils some of the local talents who would never have got a chance if it were not IPL. There are several tournaments going on in the same format. So, here we will be telling you how to make a career in sports:
How to make a Career in Sports?
Sports is that one field where you need to show your physical as well as mental strength. You need to have high morale. There are times when you are badly losing. But instead of losing hope, if you fight back, you are bound to win. Sports teaches us to be a team player, to rise above the sense of self and to be optimistic. Sports teaches us never to lose hope. Just look at the disabled player’s teams. Despite having some physical shortcomings, they play their game and win the hearts. This proves that no matter what kind of body you have, a game will never discriminate with you. All you need to do is cling hard to your dreams and go conquer it.
Career Options and Job Opportunities in Sports
Sportsperson: This is the obvious career in sports. If you are good at any sports, be it cricket, boxing or gymnastics, go for the professional coaching. There are government as well as private institutes run by established players who impart coaching. There you will learn of techniques, have practice and coach under a guy who knows how to handle the pressure. Never give up. Always work on honing your talent. There is one more aspect. Never switch to some sports just because you think that it will pay well. Every sport has equal potential to make you reach the top. Work hard with your favourite sport. Do you think Deepa Karmakar would have performed equally well if she left gymnastics for more famous tennis? No! So always believe in your strength and work hard. And when you get the chance to represent the nation, don’t get into too much pressure. Just perform to your full capability.
Sports Physiotherapist: You must have seen that during a cricket match, a player gets a physiotherapist when he/she gets cramps. Sports Physiotherapists are an integral part of every sports team. Not only do they help players in crisis on the field but also keep them in good shape. Those who are faced with injuries undergo treatment under a physiotherapist. They help in gradually getting the strength back and make the body ready to hit the fields. There are many colleges that offer an undergraduate and postgraduate degree in physiotherapy. Spots authority of India and other such sports regulatory bodies always need physiotherapists. You can start working for them.
Dietitian: A sportsperson needs to have a balanced diet. Neither should have too low calories nor too much. A dietician ensures that players are having a perfect diet according to their body needs and sports schedules. A runner’s diet has gone to be different from that of a weightlifter. With a dietician involved, players don’t run into the risk of facing nutrition issues. You can get into this field by doing an undergraduate and postgraduate course in food nutrition and dietetics. Since you will be involved with the sportspersons, you should have a strong background of how much energy that particular game needs.
Sports Coach: A coach is the most respected person in any player’s life. They are the ones who recognize the talent and nurture it. You can make your career as a Sports coach. For this not only do you need to have a strong background in the sports, you also need to have strong leadership qualities, keen observation skills, and patience. You should be able to push budding players to get them out of their comfort zone. A major part of this job involves networking. To survive, you must interact. You should coach at any level; be it school, college or a local team. Dedicate yourself to the team’s victory. Then only your efforts will be paid attention to.
Sports Management: There are a number of sports events now. From the national to the district level, investors are spending heavily in organizing events to attract new talents. In such big events, proper management is needed. Spectators need to have proper seating arrangements, drinking water, restrooms and above all security. Also, the players need to have their kit in place. All such requirements need trained personnel. Sports management is a new area in India. But the best thing is that the government is asking the sports club to appoint a full-time CEO to manage the club’s affairs. In abroad, all the teams have a manager who is responsible for the upkeep of the team. Be it the inclusion of players or managing funds, they handle it all. So, if you are attracted to this area, you can go for the sports management courses.
Sports Journalist: If you are a true fan but could not make it to the player’s list, you can get into the sports journalism. There is an ardent fan following who need rich and informative articles on sports topics. So, if you have a strong background in sports, you can go for the journalism courses. As such, sports journalism is not taught anywhere. Once you get into this field, you need to create a niche for yourself. Start with sports reporting and article writing. You can grow on to become a renowned sports writer! Everyone loves to know more about a particular game.
Commentator: While watching a match, the commentary is what attracts the people most. Not only you get updates every second, but also get expert panel discussing the game strategies. Commentaries are the way so many people enjoy a game even on the radio. To make a career in this field, you should have strong oratory skills coupled with sound knowledge of the sports. Most of the time, it is the ex-sportspersons who do commentary. But in recent years, we have seen some remarkable people getting in this field who are not a sportsperson. Sports commentary for radio is comparatively less paying than that on the TV. But in both cases, it is an amazing option. You get to meet new people every day not to mention the players themselves. And, once established as a Commentator, you can earn anything between 30-40k per day! Job opportunities are in the radio stations and TV channels. You will have to start small. Try in the local channels and then climb up the ladder. This way you will have experience, network and a better idea of the field.
Umpire/Referee: If you love the fair judgment of umpires and their keen observation skills, you can work to be a sports umpire. Not only you need to have a sound knowledge of the rules and regulations, but also great stamina. Just imagine the stamina needed by a football match referee! Likewise, a cricket umpire needs to stand on the ground at a stretch with complete concentration throughout. To get into the shoes, you need to clear the umpire selection exam conducted by state sports authorities. From here, you can go to the national as well as international bodies. Renowned umpires and referees earn quite handsomely. Additionally, you get to witness the matches from the ground and get to travel the world.
Sports Psychologist: Players go through ups and downs throughout their career. A Sports Psychologist ensures that this emotional turmoil does not affect his/her performance. Because if that happens, it might have an adverse effect on the whole career. As a sports psychologist, you will be required to keep the player’s spirits high even in unfavourable situations. You can get into this field by doing a post-graduate degree in clinical psychology and obtaining the license.
Public Relations Manager: Most sports teams and all the established players have their own PR team. Their job is to ensure that there is a positive image of the player among the masses. In sensitive cases, they handle their statements. Overall, their job is to ensure that the player remains in good light. You basically need to be a sharp person. It would be better if you come from the mass communication background. If you happen to be the PR of the renowned teams, you will earn pretty decent.
Sports is the field that holds huge potential in a country with such a large population. The sad reality is that we don’t lead the medal tally in major sporting events. Barring the few podiums every now and then. India is yet to be a sports superpower. If we invest in our financial as well as human resources in sports, we will definitely lead the world. Also, our youth’s energy will be properly channelled. But we do need to realize that sports are in dire need of trained manpower. Its high time we offer our youth a respectable career in sports.

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