If your child loves playing or watching sports and takes an interest in all that's happening in this field, you can take this passion and make it into a career. Here's how you can go about it.
By Leena Ghosh
Confucius once said, “choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” One field where your passion can be turned into a lifelong career is sports. Whether your child loves playing on the field, keeping a track of all the matches and the high scores, or decorating his room with life-size posters of sporting legends, you can turn his drive into a lucrative career.
In this day and age, a career in sports is not limited to becoming an athlete or a sportsperson. Your child could have a successful career contributing to a specific sport in various ways. From being a sports manager to a sports writer or even a sports psychologist, there are various disciplines she can choose to follow.
However, there are some qualities your child needs to have to be successful in the field of sports:
Be willing to listen: In this field, your child will have to interact with many people on a daily basis. Sportspersons and athletes often have all their dreams and hopes pinned on one game or an event at times. So, he must be willing to listen patiently and be flexible in his approach. After all, sports is all about team work, so your child will need to be observant and have good listening skills while dealing with people.
Be ready to work hard: A job in sports often means long hours and being able to work under a tight deadline. While the athlete on the field plays the game, the team behind him plays an important role in making sure he wins. This, at times, requires a lot of hard work and the ability to work long hours. You child should have the aptitude for that.
Be positive: If there is one thing known about a career in sports is that losses and setbacks are as much part of the package as the winning the game and fame is. In this case, it’s very important that your child knows how take setbacks and losses in her stride and move on from that quickly. These losses don’t only affect the sportsperson but the team standing behind him as well. Learning how to look at the silver lining in a tough situation is essential to have a successful career in sports.
Be cautious of time: Time management is an important skill, whatever line of career you choose. But in sports, it’s a skill that can make or break the game as well as the player. Whether it’s delivering a product before the deadline or making sure the athlete has enough time to practise, always being aware of time and being on track is important for your child.
Be passionate: It’ crucial that your child is passionate about sports and takes a keen interest in what’s going on around the world in this field. Whether it’s working long hours, constant travel or navigating tough deadlines and tricky situations, a passion for the game is what will make him carry on and succeed.
Following are some important questions answered by experts in career counselling in case your child is interested in building a career in sports
1. Does my child require a professional qualification or degree in sports to build a career in sports?
If your child wants to play the sport, he does not need a degree for it; he just has to be good at it. But if he wants to be affiliated to the field without playing the actual sport like a sports marketing manager, sports journalist, sports historian, sports medicine specialist, etc. then a professional degree is must.
2. Is physical fitness a prerequisite to pursue a sports career?
If your child wants to be a player, then yes, otherwise no.
3. What are the different options that my child can explore in sports?
There are multiple careers your child can go for in the sports industry apart from being a player. Here are some of them:
4. Does my child have to get a license or certification?
Your child does not require a certificate for playing the game, but for other jobs, she might need several certifications based on where she is headed.
5. Can my child apply for a sports scholarship if he wants to pursue a career as an athlete or a sportsperson?
The Government of India provides scholarship for athletes but they involve certain terms and conditions. For example, factors like the income of the family and the skills of the player are taken into consideration.
6. What are the premier institutes in India for sports education?
Some of the leading colleges that provide BBA/ BA in sports management are:
Some of the universities that provide a BBA course in marketing which will allow the student to do MBA in sports management are:
7. How can I instil the love of sports in my child from an early age?
There are children who love to watch sports and others who like to play the game. First, we need to understand what our child prefers to do and then take a decision accordingly. Also, a child may not be interested in all sports, but have specific interests. So, the parents need to be aware of what he likes. After they gauge the interest of their child in the field of sports, parents can encourage them to participate in various activities based on the game. Enrol him in a sports coaching institute, go for sporting events and make sure he follows sports news to be abreast of all that's happening on the field. If you can, arrange for an interaction with a sportsperson or athlete, so he can get expert tips as well.
After your child completes his education, you can look at the following professional opportunities to make a break into the sports industry.
1. Sports agents
Sports agents look after the athlete’s professional career and act as a bridge between the player and the outside world. They handle the athlete’s legal contracts, finances, and even endorsement deals. For example, if a company wants to contact a sportsperson to endorse their product, they contact the agent and discuss the appointment, monetary aspects, and fix the shooting dates accordingly.
Expected salary: The remuneration of a sports agent depends on the athletes they work with, and the years of experience they have in the industry. Salary can vary anywhere between Rs 25,000 and Rs 70,000 per month approximately.
2. Sports information directors
Sports informational directors work closely with a sports team and various media outlets to bolster public relations through positive media coverage. To this end, they organise press conferences to allow the media access, document and publicise the team's accomplishments and write press releases for them.
Expected salary: An expected salary of a sports information director starts from Rs 40,000 and can go up to Rs 70,000 per month. With experience, the candidate can expect a better pay package.
3. Sports marketing manager
Marketing is an important part of any business and the same holds true for people in the world of sports. Marketing helps promote and sponsor sporting events. Besides this, sports marketing managers also help in building brand loyalty, wherein the positive associations with the team help in supporting the specific team and the event. They don’t usually work directly with the athletes and are are associated with sports companies.
Expected salary: An expected salary of sports marketing manager varies between Rs 50,000 and Rs 80,000 per month approximately.
With a degree in sports management, your child can become a lecturer and teach at colleges and universities. He will be responsible for teaching students about the principles and practices of sports management, it’s ethics and legalities, among other things.
Expected salary: The monthly pay scale of a lecturer is between 15,600 and Rs 39,000 on a average.
5. Sports event manager
A degree in sports management also allows you to be a part of the event planning team. The responsibilities of sports event managers include identifying the target audience and the brands to associate with. They also plan the event venue and overlook its maintenance, staff, logistics, and technical details to ensure smooth conduct of a match or an event.
Expected salary: The average salary of a sports event manager is Rs 36,000 per month. The package increases with experience in the field.
With inputs from Archisman Sarkar, Product Head and Sugam Sharma, Business Development Head, Lodestar, a career guidance company from Bangalore.
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