Sportsman/ woman: Individual Careers

How to become Sportsman/ woman: Individual

What does a Sportsman/ woman: Individual do?

There are relatively few professional sportspersons. Most are amateurs, who may compete at the highest levels, but do not make money from their sport.

Only certain sports have professional participants. These include athletics, boxing, tennis, snooker, cycling, equestrian sports, golf and horse racing.

In addition to participating in their chosen sport, sportspersons spend a large amount of their time training in order to maintain both the skills they need for their particular sport, and their general fitness.

What's the working environment like working as a Sportsman/ woman: Individual?

Hours are variable, but training occurs on most days, and could be very early in the morning or late in the evening. Competitions usually take place in the evening or at weekends.

The working environment varies depending on the sport. Training may take place outdoors in all weather conditions. Taking part in competitions may involve travel over long distances.

What does it take to become a Sportsman/ woman: Individual?

To be a professional sportsperson you should:

  • have exceptional talent in your sport
  • have commitment, self-discipline and dedication
  • have excellent physical fitness and co-ordination
  • have the ability to cope with considerable psychological pressure
  • be highly competitive and committed to fair play.

Sportsman/ woman: Individual Career Opportunities

Opportunities depend on the number of competitions and the popularity of the sport with the public. Participation as an amateur at club, county, national or international level increases the chances of being recognised by a talent scout.

Most sportspersons are self-employed. Others have one-year contracts, and may change employers regularly.

In the more physical and contact sports, the average career is short. Many professionals finish their playing careers by the age of 35, and injuries can lead to an even earlier finish.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Sportsman/ woman: Individual that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Castlewood House
77-91 New Oxford Street
Advice line: 08000 933300

Sport England
3rd Floor
Victoria House
Bloomsbury Square
Tel: 0845 850 8508


The Sports Council for Northern Ireland
House of Sport
Upper Malone Road
Tel: 028 9038 1222

Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS)
City Sports Centre
off Northumberland Road
Northumbria University
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tel: 0191 243 7356

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