Sportsperson

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Athlete [Professional]
Footballer (Soccer, Rugby & AFL); Australian Rules Footballer
Golfer

Motorsport Driver/Racing Car Driver
Sports Talent Scout
Sports Agent/Manager

Other Sportspersons

Related Jobs or Working with these Jobs

 

 

Practical or MechanicalNature or RecreationSkill Level 1Skill Level 2Skill Level 3
Skill Level 4Skill Level 5

Professional sportspeople earn all or part of their living through participating in national or international sporting events, either as individuals or as members of a team. Future Growth Very Strong

The popularity of a sport in Australia has a large impact on the opportunities available to earn a living from competing. Popular sports, such as Australian Rules football or cricket, provide more opportunities to play professionally then less popular sport, like badminton or lacrosse. In addition to training and competing duties, many professional sportspeople also take part in promotional activities, in the promoting of their sport or their sponsors.

Most sportspeople compete as amateurs (unpaid) until they reach a sufficiently high standard to be offered payment for their performance.


ANZSCO description: Professional sportspeople earn a living through their participation in national or international sporting events.

Alternative names: Athlete, Professional Sportsperson  Tennis Ball and Racquet

Specialisations: Professional sportspeople usually specialise in one sport, such as Australian Rules football, basketball, boxing, cricket, golf, netball, rugby league, soccer, swimming, tennis and many others, although some may take part in more than one.

Knowledge, skills and attributes

  • a high level of physical fitness

  • to be able to perform under pressure

  • dedicated to attaining and maintaining a high standard of skill and endurance in a particular sport

  • good communication skills for promotional work

  • willing to travel.


Duties and Tasks


Professional sportspeople may perform the following tasks:

  • maintain a high degree of expertise in their particular sport

  • attend regular practice sessions and undertake private training to maintain the required standard of fitness

  • deciding on strategies in consultation with coaches

  • take part in scheduled sporting competitions

  • assessing other competitors and conditions at venues

  • repair sporting equipment or organise its repair

  • adhering to the rules and regulations associated with a specific sport

  • undertake sports promotional activities, demonstrations and television appearances

  • coach individuals, groups and/or teams by demonstrating techniques and supervising practice.

Working conditions

Individual working conditions may vary depending on the particular sport, though there are a number of common factors. To keep performing at their peak, sportspeople must stick to a strict training regime, which may include early morning, evenings and weekends, even during their 'off-season'. Those participating in an outdoor sport will train and play in all weather conditions. There can also be a lot of travel involved, with sportspeople regularly having to travel interstate or overseas to compete.

Tools and technologies

The equipment used by a sportsperson will vary greatly depending on which sport they are competing in. Most professional sportspeople will do at least some training and/or tests with gym equipment, such as weights, treadmills and exercise bikes. In many cases they will also wear a uniform, which may also be specially designed to maximise performance, such as swimsuits that cut down resistance in the water.


Education and training/entrance requirements

There are no formal requirements to become a professional sportsperson. You must show a high level of expertise and skill in your chosen sport.

Most sportspeople begin playing in their chosen sport at a young age, developing their skills and abilities through years of experience, training and playing. Some educational institutions have special sports programs where students combine traditional school work with specialist training in their chosen sport. Entry to these programs may be dependent on a student's existing ability.

Sportspeople usually work with a specialist coach to develop their skills and abilities to an elite level.

 

Footballer (Soccer, Rugby & AFL)

Nature or RecreationSkill Level 1

Footballers (Soccer, Rugby and AFL) play football professionally in competitions.

Specialisations: Australian Rules Footballer, Rugby League Footballer, Rugby Union Footballer, Soccer Player.

Duties and Tasks

Maintains a high degree of expertise in football.
Adheres to the rules and regulations associated with football.
Attends regular practice sessions and undertakes private training to maintain the required standard of fitness.
Decides on strategies in consultation with coaches.
Assesses other competitors and conditions at venues.
Competes in sporting events.
Undertakes sports promotional activities and television appearances.

Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a Footballer (Soccer, Rugby or AFL) without formal qualifications, however, you must have advanced football skills.
Golfer

Nature or RecreationSkill Level 1

Golfers play golf professionally in tournaments, or as a resident professional, and organise golf-related activities. Future Growth Strong

Duties and Tasks

Maintains a high degree of expertise in golf.
Attends regular practice sessions and undertakes private training to maintain the required standard of fitness.
Decides on strategies in consultation with coaches.
Assesses other competitors and conditions at venues.
Competes in golfing events.
Adheres to the rules and regulations associated with golf.
Undertakes sports promotional activities and television appearances.

Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a Golfer without formal qualifications, however, a high level of skill is required. Trainee programs, that result in a VET (Vocational Education and Training) qualification, may be available.
Other Sportspersons

Analytic or ScientificSkill Level 1

Other Sportspersons includes jobs like Cricketer, Cyclist, Surfer, and Tennis Player. Future Growth Strong

Duties and Tasks

Maintains a high degree of expertise in a particular sport.
Attends regular practice sessions and undertakes private training to maintain the required standard of fitness.
Decides on strategies in consultation with coaches.
Assesses other competitors and conditions at venues.
Competes in sporting events.
Adheres to the rules and regulations associated with a specific sport.
Undertakes sports promotional activities and television appearances.

Education and training/entrance requirements

There are several occupations in this group, which may have varying study pathways.

Professional Athlete
Leisure and Entertainment



Nature or RecreationSkill Level 1

Professional athletes make a living by participating in sporting events and competing in sporting competitions, either individually, or as part of a sporting team. Future Growth Strong

Knowledge, skills and attributes

To become a professional athlete, you would need:

  • a superior level of natural talent and competency in your chosen sport

  • discipline and dedication

  • excellent physical fitness

  • good communication skills for publicity and promotional aspects of your job

  • preparedness to travel and to work on evenings and weekends.


Duties and Tasks

As a professional athlete, you would:

  • maintain a high level of skill and dedication in your chosen sport

  • attend individual or group practice sessions on a regular basis

  • undertake additional private training as necessary to maintain or improve skills

  • participate in scheduled matches and competitions

  • coach other individuals or teams

  • undertake publicity and promotional activities.


Working conditions

Professional athletes work irregular hours, including evenings, weekends, and holidays. You might work more than 40 hours per week for several months during the sports season, and then have extended breaks from scheduled matches outside of the main sports season. Professional athletes travel frequently to sporting events, both locally, nationally and sometimes internationally. You are likely to need a current drivers' licence.

Most athletes compete as unpaid amateur sportspeople until they reach a sufficiently high level to be offered payment as a professional.


Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a professional athlete without formal qualifications. The essential components are natural talent and a high level of expertise in your chosen sport, combined with the dedication and enthusiasm to work continually on improving your skill level through training and coaching.

Some states have specialist sports high schools, which combine traditional school subjects with coaching and competition in a wide range of sports. Many sports codes also offer traineeships to promising elite sportspeople. Sportspeople often study courses in sports-related areas such as sports science, coaching or human movement studies, but these are not a requirement for employment as a professional athlete.

Employment Opportunities

Employment of professional athletes is projected to grow faster than the average for all occupations.

Rising participation in sport at high school and in the community generally, as well as the growing interest in professional sport, and an increasing number of codes developing women's as well as men's teams, are likely to increase demand for professional athletes.

 

Motorsport driver
Leisure and Entertainment

Practical or MechanicalSkill Level 1

Motorsport drivers race competitively in cars or motorbikes around a set course. FutureGrowthModerate

Alternative names: Automobile Drivers, Motor Sports Driver, Racing Car Driver, Motorbike Driver, Racing Driver

Knowledge, skills and attributes

To become a motorsport driver, you would need:

  • excellent driving skills
  • a high level of physical fitness
  • good stamina
  • an extremely good level of concentration
  • excellent reflexes
  • self-motivation
  • an understanding of racing strategy
  • to be able to make quick decisions.


Duties and Tasks

As a motorsport driver, you would:

  • work with your team to analyse maps of the race circuit, and plan your lines how to take each turn

  • work with your technical team to make sure your car is in peak condition and suited to the specific course and conditions

  • plan your tactics for the race and decide when to take pit stops (if necessary)

  • test your vehicle before a race

  • work with other team members during the race

  • review the race after the event and evaluate performance

  • take part in any sponsorship events or special appearances to promote your team, sponsors, and racing organisation

  • follow a strict diet and exercise regime

  • practise and train daily.


Working conditions

Your working hours would be irregular and possibly long, depending on the type of vehicle you race. Press and sponsorship engagements as well as travelling locally and internationally would be part of your role as well as training and racing. You would spend a lot of time in a sitting position while racing and training. Your role would be physically demanding. You would race in all types of weather.

Motorsport racing can be a dangerous. You would be putting your body on the line every time you drive or ride. Crashes and fires are common, and motorsport drivers are required to wear crash helmets and flame-retardant clothing.

Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a motorsport driver without formal qualifications. Many people start their motor racing career by getting involved in karting at a young age and then graduating to driving cars or riding motorbikes. Aspiring racing drivers tend to join racing clubs, and then develop their skills through hard work and practice on the track. You would then need to work your way up through the ranks of the lower classes of racing, within your chosen field. You would be trained by your team as you progress.

Becoming a professional driver is very competitive with many choosing to become a mechanic or engineer for their chosen sport instead.

Employment Opportunities

Employment growth for motorsport drivers is expected to remain neutral. This is a small and specialised occupation, and competition for professional motorsport roles will remain very strong.

Sports Talent Scout
Leisure and Entertainment

Clerical or OrganisingAnalytic or ScientificSkill Level 1

 

Sports scouts look for new players and evaluate their skills and likelihood for success at the amateur or professional levels. Many sports coaches are also involved in scouting. Future Growth Strong

Knowledge, skills and attributes

To become a sports talent scout, you would need:

  • a thorough understanding of your preferred sport

  • good communication skills

  • good interpersonal skills

  • strong negotiation skills

  • preparedness to travel and to work evenings and weekends

  • good computer skills to use software to aid and assist in the evaluation of talent being scouted.


Duties and Tasks

As a sports scout, you would:

  • watch or document either young or already established players in their respective fields

  • assess the skills of players and make judgment calls as to whether or not they are a perfect fit for the team they play / work for

  • approach players to sign them up for the organisation(s) you represent

  • travel regularly and spend numerous hours reviewing footage, statistics and interviewing coaches and teammates.


Working conditions

Sports talent scouts often work irregular hours, including evenings, weekends, and holidays. Full-time scouts usually work more than 40 hours a week for several months during the sports season. Scouts travel frequently to sporting events and may be required to travel more extensively when searching for talented athletes.

Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a sports talent scout without formal qualifications. Typically, scouts for sporting teams are either ex-professional athletes or ex-coaches.

Employment Opportunities

Rising participation in high school sports and the growing interest in professional sport could increase demand for sports talent scouts. Professional sports teams must attract the best athletes to remain competitive. However, this is a highly specialised job and therefore a small number of opportunities will only ever be available.

Did You Know?

The First Recognised Australian Sportspeople were a team of Aboriginal Cricket players....

Aboriginal Cricket Team at MCG in 1867

(Source: Wikipedia)


"...since being inducted into the Australian Sports Hall of Fame in 2003, the First Eleven, the first Australian cricket team to tour England in 1868, have been recognised for their significant historical contribution to Australian cricket.

Members of the First Eleven derived from Aboriginal communities around the area known as The Glenelg River Basin.

The Aboriginal cricketers were known by English names that were taken from their districts, from the stations they worked on or were nicknames given to them by white men.

The team was: Bullchanach [English name: Bullocky], Yellanach [Cuzens], Jumgumjenanuke [Dick-a-Dick], Pripumuarraman [Dumas, Charley], Unamurrimin [Jellico], Lyterjerbillijun [Jim Crow], Mijarrle [Lake Billy], Grongarrong [Mosquito], Unaarrimin [Mullagh], Cungewarrimin [Officer, Billy], Pappinjurumun [Paddy], rrahmunyarrimun [Peter], Brimbunyah [Red Cap], Bripumyarrumin [King Cole], Hingingairah [Rose, Harry], Ballrinjarrimin [Sundown], Murrumgunerrimin [Tarpot], Bonnibarngeet [Tiger], Murrumgunarrmin [Two Penny], Bilayarrimin [Watty]."
(Source: Cricket Australia)

Cricket History

To read more about the story of this First Eleven, click
here


Working conditions

Your working week may vary. You might generally work standard office hours although you may often need to be flexible, for example to attend performances or speak to contacts in other time zones.

You would be office-based, but would often need to travel to meetings and events. If you represented major clients you could travel internationally. The work can be stressful, as there is strong competition to win and keep the best clients. You might work in a management agency, or be self-employed, with your own clients in your area of expertise.

 

Education and training/entrance requirements

A bachelor's degree with a concentration in business, accounting or sports administration/managementusually is a basic requirement to start a job as a business manager or agent. Often, a master's degree or extensive experience is preferred.

Sports agents also often have a professional sporting background. A number of sports in Australia require players’ agents to be accredited and registered. This may involve undertaking an exam and supplying your professional credentials to the registration body.

Employment Opportunities

Sport is becoming more professional and business-focussed, and it is a fiercely competitive field. Professional athletes often need managers or sports agents to help them manage their sporting career.

Professional athletes do not often have the time or expertise to negotiate the business and management side of sports contracts and deals. This means that to achieve their goals and ambitions, professional athletes usually need managers or sports agents to help them on their career path.

Did You Know?

Remember the role Tom Cruise played in the movie Jerry Maguire?

This character shows what a sports agent does: market and promote sports figures, negotiate contracts, handle endorsement deals, and manage an athlete’s finances. They also identify and recruit new talent, oversee public relations, and form relationships with players. Sports agents can be self-employed or run their own agencies. They can also work for sports management companies, talent agencies, or sports marketing firms. Sports agents rarely work typical 40-hour weeks and can expect to work long hours, including evenings and weekends, when negotiating contracts or endorsement deals or when involved in recruiting activities. These professionals often work in a fast-paced and demanding environment and must be able to produce results in a timely manner. Some companies provide sports agents with paid time off, vacations, and health benefits.
(Source: JobHero)

Jerry Maguire
(Source: JustWatch)

 

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Materials sourced from the Job Guide;
Jobs & Skills WA [Sportsperson; ]
CareerHQ [Motorsport Driver; Professional Athlete;
Better Team [Sports Agent; ]

JobOutlook [Sportsperson;
Footballers; Golfers; Other; ]

 

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