A career as a professional athlete is a dream for many teens. Most of them start playing sports as young as 5 years old and fall in love with their game of choice. When they see big, professional, famous athletes on TV, they most likely aspire to be in their shoes one day.It is often in high school that many teens realize the odds are not in their favor. In fact, according to the NCAA, it is estimated that only 1 in 16,000 high school athletes attains a professional career in sports. That being said, your teenager should not lose all aspirations for a career in sports—there are many options other than playing professionally.
Professional athletes are just a small part of the world of sports. In creating and sustaining the empire of a sports league, the “behind-the-scenes” players are just as important as the professional athletes we see on TV. These careers in sports are easier to achieve, but just as sports-centric as being a pro.
Here are some occupations that your teen may have never considered in sports:
Academic sports statisticians analyze data to look for trends. A statistical recorder attends sporting events and records the data in real time. These stats are then used in newspapers and during broadcasts, demonstrating a team or player’s abilities.
A sports agent helps market athletes or products associated with an athlete to promote that player’s career. Agents are responsible for communications with team owners, managers, coaches, and other individuals.
3.Public Relations Manager
Experts in sports PR coordinate the flow of information from teams to the press and provide the public with sports news, team data, and player information. They also plan major events, charity gatherings, and press conferences.
4.Advertising Account Executive
In sports, an AE helps sell tickets and works with brands and clients who advertise with the team or team players.
Sports photojournalists have the exciting job of capturing the up- close-and-personal action shots at sporting events. Many sports photographers work for magazines or newspapers, but also often for advertising purposes.
6. Coaching & Scouting
Whether at the high school, college, or professional team level, teaching skills and sportsmanship can be one of the most rewarding careers in sports. Or your teen can be a successful scout—the mediator between coaches, colleges, and teams.
Although many broadcasters are retired athletes, anyone can be in this field and narrate the game.
8. Sport Psychologist
A sport psychologist studies how psychological factors affect performance and how participation in sports and exercise affect psychological and physical factors. They also prepare athletes mentally for top performance.
9. Physical Therapist
Many teams employ full-time physical therapists for their players. You can also practice this profession privately with a high success rate.
Biomechanics (sometimes known as kinesiology) is the study of the laws of physics as applied to physical activity, exercise, and sports. Biomechanics can be used to explain how muscles, bones, and joints react under certain conditions and improve performance using motion analysis techniques. Through scientific analysis, biomechanists can provide valuable guidance for athletes to improve their skills and ultimately their performance.
Most of these professions require associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s degrees but don’t require athletic performance. Furthermore, some of these professions could be just as lucrative as being a professional athlete. CareerCast, which puts together an annual list of best and worst jobs, takes physical and emotional stress into account when measuring the “best” careers. According to a Forbes article,”The 10 Best Careers in Sports," “Players don’t even make the list because, according to CareerCast’s methodology, which takes into account physical demands and the need to travel, those jobs aren’t as desirable as ones like sport psychologist or physical therapist.”
Besides being a professional athlete at the highest level, remind your teen that there are many other important and fulfilling careers in sports. They can be just as influential on the sideline, in the broadcast booth, negotiating contracts, planning events, or in sports medicine. And, any of these professions can be achieved through planning and hard work. No athleticism required.