{{ subpage.title }}

Our first exposure to sports is usually to choose up teams and play. From our earliest memories, the purpose of being at a sporting event is to play. And for the less-athletic people of the world, that purpose evaporates by the end of elementary school, and one-time vacant-lot all-stars are in the stands, relegated to a supporting role. Related: 10 Things To Know About A Career In The Sports Industry But for those who have a real thirst for sports, a desire to be engrossed in them, the lack of a Olympian's physique doesn't have to keep them away. The first thing to realize is that it's more than the players on the floor and the coaches on the bench who are making a sporting event take place. One of the easiest ways to notice all the other careers in the sports world is to watch high profile sporting events. Viewers of the NCAA Tournament 2014 will notice an unusual number of tables behind the benches and scorer's table, all littered with papers, laptops, and tablets. Who are those mysterious people with the best seats in the house? They are the sportswriters, there in hopes of catching that buzzer-beater or upset for their viewers and readers located four states away. How did they get there? Obviously, the Big Dance is a plum assignment among plum assignments, but there are several steps most of those journalists took to get where they are, and they include far more than getting a journalism degree and knowing how to pronounce "Joaquin Andujar." It's about getting involved and getting connected, and getting that inside information that will connect you with the jobs no one hears about. How did the game even happen? Who created the schedules that built RPI’s? Who made the arrangements for a home-and-home series against Tricycle U? Each of the schools represented has an athletics administration that was behind the procurement of the coaches, the creation of schedules, the generation of sponsorship, and the oversight of city-university deals for sports venues. Those administrators are probably at the game, too, in the hot-shot seats hoping for a good outcome from their decisions. Back on campus, there are also compliance officers who make sure that the many complex rules of college athletics are being followed. Most athletic departments also have academic services who hire and manage tutors to help their players keep up with classes during their extensive travel for competitions. If you've got a green thumb, you can get into the sports "field" as well. While many events take place on artificial turf these days, there is still plenty of live grass underfoot as soccer, baseball, softball, rugby, field hockey, golf, and many more sports take the field. If blacktop and highway materials are more your thing, bear in mind that somebody has to fix the potholes at Daytona. The key things to keep in mind with sports careers are these: Not everybody is a player or a coach, and the same strategies that land you jobs in other areas will land you jobs in sports. That means getting the skills of the trade, of course, but also goes with the usual steps of getting experience, creating connections, and carving out an identity for yourself that makes you stand apart from everybody else with the same framed piece of parchment.

SHOW MORE Show less

Options For Careers In Sports

While many of the highest paying careers in sports actually involve competing on the field, there are areas of business that relate to athletics that do not require you to be good at running quickly, hitting hard, or keeping your balance. The front offices of professional, college, and amateur sporting teams are more complex than ever. These are careers that demand a high degree of skill in addition to a head for the game.

1. Player Agent

In order to command the ten-million dollar salaries and endorsements with major brands, star athletes like LeBron James and Peyton Manning need to have someone who manages the money that they take in, so that they don't need to worry about it. A player agent serves as the direct link between a player and franchise managers or marketing representatives. They will hammer out the details of a huge contract that a player signs as a free agent. The standard fee for an agent is ten percent. This means that agents who have very high-profile clients get a pretty penny for negotiating contracts. To be an agent, it may be necessary to have a law degree (due to the contract work). Often a degree in management or sports business is also acceptable.

2. Kinesiologist

The reason that a three-hundred-pound NFL player can run as fast as an Olympic sprinter is because NFL teams invest huge sums of money into the science of exercise. Kinesiologists work to improve the training and practice of players, so every lap around the field and every bench press in the weight room give optimal results. Studying exercise science or biomechanics requires a four-year degree and can include courses on massage therapy, nutrition, and even holistic medicine to keep athletes functioning at a high level.

3. Statistician

Nearly every professional sport in North America is undergoing a revolution in statistics. A few decades ago, the standard line of home runs, points, or touchdowns was good enough to determine how good an athlete was or was not. Today, however, athletics has boiled down competition to much finer points. One of the newest careers available for those who are good with numbers is a team statistician, who has the responsibility of singling out areas of performance where players and teams do particularly well. That way, teams can prepare ahead. A baseball statistician, for example, measures how efficiently a team gets on base (as opposed to how many runs they hit), so that the team can use strategies to keep them off base. A hockey statistician will look at shots allowed when a player is on ice, so that the coach will put them on in particular situations. To be a team statistician, it is necessary to have a degree in mathematics, statistics, or sports business.

4. University Athletic Administrator

Although none of the athletes under their charge need to be paid (let alone be paid seven and eight-figure salaries), the administrators who run the athletics departments at NCAA schools have a huge amount of responsibility. They have to determine how each individual sport, ranging from football to fencing, is operating according to expectations. The administrators will hire and fire coaches, work with recruiters for high-profile prospects, arrange for game locations and themes, and enforce any rule violations in the event that a player or team breaks the rules. To be an administrator, there are several roads to take. A popular choice is to pursue a degree in sports business or management. Some universities do offer coursework in athletic administration, though this is difficult to find.

Related Posts:

5 Dynamic Ways To Reinvent Your Career Path The Worst Reasons To Pick A Career Path 4 Video Tools Millenials Must Use To Succeed In Their Careers Photo Credit: Shutterstock