The growth of sports competition for quality personnel is driving a greater demand for people with coaching and related specialized skills, creating greater opportunity in both the numbers of positions and salaries sports professionals are paid. The sports profession is no different than any other profession in society. In order for a doctor to become trained in their expertise they must attend an institution of higher education and receive a medical degree. Attorneys, engineers, pharmacists, and creative managers all have to be educated and develop specialized skills to become a part of their professions. Sports managers, sports coaches, athletic academic advisors, athletic finance directors, directors of athletic communication, sports psychologists, sports dieticians, sports security personnel, and so on, have to be educated. These professions require a greater sophistication and specialization in these areas.
One does not just step into the sports professions without intense training in their specialized area of employment. The best sports orthopedic surgeon, Dr. James Andrews, did not become the best at what he does without first receiving a medical degree (M.D.), earning licensure by the state he practices in, and completing a residency in an orthopedic setting. The sports profession is no different! Sports professionals can be found from the youth level to the professional level. One can receive an education in sports management, sports marketing, sports security strength and conditioning, sports psychology, or sports coaching to name a few.
As the Chair of Sports Coaching at the United States Sports Academy it is encouraging for me to know that the opportunities in the coaching profession are continuing to grow. Many youth programs, high schools, community colleges, major colleges, and professional sports organizations are looking for individuals willing to educate themselves in the coaching profession. Like any other profession it takes time, focus, and dedication to your sport of expertise to teach it properly to players at all levels. Not all, but most coaches have “paid their dues” in the coaching profession to move from one level to the next. There are plenty of examples of major college and professional coaches in all sports who started at the high school level and developed a network to catapult them into the position they currently hold.
Like other professions, there is no guarantee that a degree in sport will get one the job of a lifetime, but it would certainly enhance their chances of reaching that goal. The United States Sports Academy is one of the leading educators in the sports professions. Please feel free to look into our academic programs at www.ussa.edu.
By Dr. Bret Simmermacher
Dr. Simmermacher is the Chair of Sports Coaching at the United States Sports Academy, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.