There is a certain thrill when sportspersons play a sport. Not only does their pulse rate increase, but the same extends to that of their well-wishers as well. After all, when sportspersons play, they are not doing so just for themselves. The game represents an organisation, a state or a nation. In such a situation, the heart of a number of people beats for them; it is in their success that they rejoice, in their failure that they weep.
However, it is important to note that behind an athlete or sportsperson's performance lies the hard work of a host of others. There are coaches, nutritionists, psychologists, sports managers and others. Sports managers may in turn be facility managers, general managers or sports agents.
Without the contribution and combined efforts of all these people, it will be unfathomable for sportspersons to bring home the laurels and medals. Thus, if you are someone who is passionate about serving the nation and you have a genuine interest in sports you do not really have to play the game in order to do justice to your patriotism.
This article talks about the various career opportunities that are available in the world of sports management and how you can pursue a successful career here.
· Essential Skills
In the world of sports management, the only path to commendable professional growth would be by having good communication skills and an excellent ability at managing people and resources. You must be able to work in a team and have good decision-making skills. It is obvious that since it is a game, once in a while you will make mistakes.
At times like this, it is important for you to be able to keep your head clear and own up your mistakes. You should have excellent negotiation skills and should be able to strike the chord between athletes and authorities.
At the same time, you must make conscious efforts to ensure that such a thing is not repeated in the future. Although physical fitness is important, it is not the only important skill set in the world of sports management.
· Educational Qualifications
It is important for us to realise that one does not need to be a sportsperson in order to pursue a career in sports management. Sports management is offered as a postgraduate diploma in a number of institutes. Although students with a bachelor's degree in physical education are preferred for this post, people from any background are eligible for the same.
This type of postgraduate course covers the legal aspects of sports in addition to that of sports management, fundraising and public relations. If you are interested in pursuing sports management at the undergraduate level, you can look up the courses in physical education management that are offered by the Sports Authority of India.
· Sports Agent
These people find themselves government jobs (with state and national teams) as well as private jobs as counsellor to athletes. A sound understanding of basic finance, investments and financial analysis is necessary in order to do well in this field. Thus, people with a background in commerce and a post-graduation diploma in sports management are preferred for this job.
Sports agents guide sportspersons on how to make maximum revenue out of the sport that they are playing. Thus, an efficient work on the part of the sports agent is necessary to ensure that athletes are able to focus solely on their game and not worry about petty money matters.
· General Manager
This person deals with the business aspect of sports team management. They coordinate the playing schedules of the team and take appropriate steps to coordinate with various sports bodies and athletic departments. The purchase of any sports-related goods goes through the concerned general sports manager. Thus, one needs to have very good negotiation skills if they want to make a successful career here.
· Facility Manager
Any sports field or arena requires a lot of resources and manpower for maintenance. To ensure quality control of the grass in the lawn, the goal posts, the basket, pitch and other relevant details, there is a team of dedicated sports management professionals. These people are known as faculty managers.
The proposals for leasing out of the ground or an arena to other organisations are taken care of by these people. While good communication skills are necessary here, a decent knowledge of the local language of the place you are working in is considered to be an added advantage here.
In the world of sports management, how much money you take home will depend on which sport you are associated with. Most of the colleges offering courses in this field do not have the provision of offering campus placements. Thus, you will have to go out and look for a job for yourself once you have completed the course.
On an average, the starting salary of a fresher in the world of sports management is anywhere between Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000. With the passing years, as an individual gains experience, the salary also goes up. Qualified sports managers with more than 3 to 5 years of experience earn as much as Rs 5 lakh per annum.
· Nature Of The Job
As discussed above, the world of sports management is diverse and accommodates a wide variety of people in different roles. The nature of the job depends on your role. Generically speaking, most sports management roles include moving about with athletes and sportspersons and thus, involve a lot of travelling.
Most of the major sports management work happens during the day with you having to occasionally work in the evenings. However, you must be prepared to work during the weekends. If you are passionate about the game, respect the people playing it and are ready to put in the required efforts, then the sky is the limit for professional success in this field.