A career as a sportsperson is geared towards achieving as much success as possible within a particular sport or event. A great deal of talent is required in order to maintain a full-time career. Sportspeople compete at varying levels, from amateur, to semi-professional and professional. The majority begin training from a very young age.
Professional sportspeople are usually managed by sports agents. The length of a career in competitive sport is highly dependent on health and fitness, age and level of achievement.
- Competing in trials and competitions at various levels.
- Training on a regular basis.
- Undertaking fitness and drugs tests prior to competition.
- Taking advice from trainers, coaches, dieticians and physical therapists to ensure maximum sporting performance.
- Sticking to a strict diet which is tailored for a particular sport.
- Taking part in promotional activities.
- Taking part in interviews (mostly professionals).
- Providing guidance on techniques and training to young sportspeople.
Travel: National and international competition requires regular travel and periods spent away from home.
Working hours: Professional sportspeople train on a daily basis; trials, competitions and matches often take place on evenings and weekends.
Location: Sportspeople need to be based near training facilities. Relocation may be necessary when transfers take place in professional team sports.
Entry requirements and training
A degree is generally not required however many colleges and universities in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland offer sport scholarships individuals demonstrating sporting excellence during their education .Professionals generally start out as amateurs and work their way up. Transition from amateur to professional can be possible if spotted by a talent scout at competitions.
The International Carding Scheme is operated by the Irish Sports Council’s High Performance Unit. The scheme offers support to athletes demonstrating potential at the highest levels.