What Sports Jobs are Available if I Don’t Go Pro?

January 16, 2012
by Justin

You are back on ScoutMe’s track and field, known simply as The Fast Track with the @HempsteadHuddle. The Fast Track’s first volume was all about speed training, while the second week was all about training for college track and field events. In week three, The Fast Track went back to the fundamentals and explored different programs like Texas A&M, St. Augustine’s, along with smaller powerhouse programs in Division III and the NAIA like North Central and Shorter University in two part series for volume four. Volume five’s piece, highlighted advanced drills and workouts, while volume six delved into some cross country schools in Division II. Week seven will be all about sports careers within track and field.


When I first stepped on campus my freshman year I had my plan in place. I was going to go pro in football, then once I retired, go back to school, and become an orthopedic surgeon. As I realized that I wasn’t built for football, I also realized that the pre-med major was not going to be the most conducive way of me staying eligible or even eventually graduating from college. Going pro in your favorite sport is not as much of a limited opportunity as you think. Track & field is a very lucrative industry that has several sectors you can explore. It doesn’t matter if you want to work in marketing the newest running shoe for Nike, or performing orthopedic surgery on a torn ACL, you can be apart of several billion dollar sports-related enterprises. Two of the most popular career tracks are sports medicine and sports management. Let’s explore different schools that offer great pre-medicine and sports management programs, and what you can do with those majors.



Sports Jobs: Sports Medicine

There are some great schools that have excellent sports medicine programs. In California, Cal State Northridge offers a comprehensive program with Kinesiology and Athletic Training majors. The number one rated sports medicine school in the US is the University of Virginia at Charlottesville. This top sports medicine school has a modern training complex, the McCue Center, which is open to students and the public. This facility houses an orthopedic clinic and an athletic training facility. Some of their sports medicine related programs include a Bachelor of Science in Education with a concentration in kinesiology and sports medicine or a Ph.D. in Sports Medicine; there is also a master’s degree program in athletic training.


The Sports medicine industry has expanded far beyond orthopedic surgery and athletic training. There is a natural, more holistic sports medicine aspect that works with companies like GNC and other pharmaceutical supplement companies. There are several sports jobs that requires majors like Kinesiology which is often used for aspiring professionals who are interested in coaching or becoming a personal trainer. When I say personal training I’m not talking about those annoying guys who follow you at the gym, I’m talking about personal trainers who work with professional athletes in the offseason, and own their own six to seven-figure businesses. My best friend Jason Estrada, who graduated from the aforementioned Cal State Northridge, is a personal trainer who is incredibly successful, and trains current NBA athletes like Demar Derouzan and future NFL Hall of Famers like Michael Strahan. There are also plenty of sports jobs in big cities in small towns all across the US looking for Athletic trainers that can run everything from injury prevention and treatment to strength and conditioning coaches. The sports medicine field has several different options for sports jobs; the choice is all up to you.


Sports Jobs: Sport Management

Sports Management is an excellent major for athletes who love sports, but aren’t that into the scientific aspect of their favorite game. One of the great sports management colleges in the US is The University of Oregon at Eugene. My little cousin Ariel plays basketball at the Oregon and loves the university’s academic programs.  The University of Oregon is the home of the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center, the Charles H. Lundquist School of Business. This sports management school offers the nation’s first sports business program in a college of business in the form of a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Sports Business. The sports management program has specific tracks for specific sports, and the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center partners with industry corporations like Nike and professional sports teams to create a post-college sports job pipeline for their sports management program graduates.


Once I realized that I was not interested in Biology and Anatomy courses, I changed my own focus to the sports management industry. Because I was apart of the 80% of college students who changed their major more than once, I ended up with Mass Communications as my major, which is a more broad major that you can parlay into several different careers like sports journalism. Another great career path that you can pursue is working with companies like Nike or even being a sports agent. The best sports agents usually take the law school option after their undergrad program is complete.



Remember that you will be a student for the rest of your life, so explore every possibility that you can after you are finished with track or cross country. Until you get your next track and field or cross country gold medal, I’ll be here on the Fast Track. This is Yorick Hempstead, signing off.


Yorick Hempstead is an ex-college athlete who is a sports blogger for ScoutMe. He is always talking sports on twitter @HempsteadHuddle.


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