Athletic Careers Reach Far Beyond the Field

Did the Superbowl have you pining for your glory days on the football field? You are probably not alone. With just a small percentage of student athletes making it to the pros, most hang up their cleats after graduation and head to a self-imposed exile in corporate America. But just because you didn’t become the next Brett Favre doesn’t mean you’re out of the game. If sports are your passion, there are plenty of careers that can let you do what you love on the field, on the court, or in the rink every day (and get paid for it).

Career #1: Coach

Coaching allows you to stay involved in your favorite sport and pass your passion on to the next generation. While the coveted professional and college positions are up at the top of the mountain, you can start your climb in middle school, high school, city travel, AAU (Amateur Athletic Union), or prep school leagues. Typically, these coaches teach full-time and coach part-time, so if you’re already a teacher or thinking about becoming a teacher, you’re on your way. In addition to having your teaching certification, most high school coaches need a state coaching and CPR certification.

Career #2: Talent Scout

Do you follow your town’s high school basketball, football or baseball team? Do you know the players, the line up and the stats like the back of your hand? Being a freelance talent scout might be perfect for you. Freelance scouts know their region’s players so well that they’re a valuable asset to college coaches looking for the next all-star running back or center fielder. Talent scouts usually get their start being part-time talent spotters for their specific district or territory.

Career #3: Athletic Trainer

Before professional athletes take the field, they need to be in perfect physical condition. That’s where athletic trainers come in. These sports professionals work with both college and professional athletes to help prevent and treat sports injuries. They also create workout programs based on an athlete’s specific position and needs to optimize their body’s potential.

Career #4: Referee

Have you always wanted to be the one to call the shots? Referees, umpires and sports officials get to be a part of the game by officiating at sporting events. Most often they’ve played the sport, which gives them insider and extensive knowledge into the rules and regulations. They are also licensed to act as an official in a particular sports, as licensing requirements are different for each sport and locality. A great way to get started is to referee at the intramural or recreational level.

Career #5: Sports Journalist

Sports journalists get to watch their favorite sports and get paid for it. What could be better than that? If you’ve got a love of the game and a love for pen and paper (or laptops and Microsoft Word, as the case may be), being a sports journalist could be a great way to integrate sports into your career.