So, you’ve come to the end of your sporting career, or maybe it’s on the horizon and you’re worried about what life after competition may look like? Luckily, retirement doesn’t have to spell the end of your involvement with sport, and there is a wealth of opportunities off the field of play for people with your unique talents and experience. Here we look at five roles that you may find interesting.
- Share your unique knowledge in the world of TV and radio
- Spread awareness of your sport and increase engagement through marketing and events
- Stay close to the action as a referee or official
- Help others follow in your footsteps as a nutritionist
No one understands a sport better than the athletes who have practised it at an elite level, and they are often in demand on television and radio to provide commentary, in-depth analysis and opinion. One of a pundit’s tasks is to shed some light on what it’s like as a top-level athlete, and who better to do that than someone who’s experienced that first-hand? No sports studio line-up is complete without an athlete’s voice, and it’s something that only you can offer.
You only have to look at the BBC’s coverage of the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang to see how important former athletes are to broadcasters. The UK’s national broadcaster team included Alpine skiing Olympians Chemmy Alcott and Graham Bell, who is still using his sporting expertise 20 years after his last Olympic appearance at Nagano 1998.
Fancy all the excitement of being involved in sports competitions without the stress of competing yourself? As the people responsible for organising sporting competitions, festivals or galas, event managers oversee the whole process from initial fundraising, promotion and logistics through to seeing the players and audience leave the venue. Event managers can work alone, but frequently head up a larger team, and good leadership, interpersonal and organisational skills are essential.
Referees and officials
A role that requires good communication skills, in-depth knowledge of the rules of the particular sport and, in some cases, good levels of physical fitness – sound familiar? The skills that made you an elite athlete are very similar to those required to be a good referee, judge or official.
Professional officials must implement the laws of the sport independently and impartially and adjudicate if disputes arise. They are also often the ‘middle person’ between competitors and the event directors or organisers, so it might seem like you never left the sporting arena at all.
Click here to read former international rugby sevens player Mike Adamson’s thoughts on what it’s like to transition from a player to a referee in the sport you love.
As an athlete, chances are that you’re passionate about growing your sport and inspiring people to take it up; doing this at a professional level is exactly what marketing involves. There are many employment opportunities in modern sports marketing, with clubs and organisations looking to maximise revenues and engage new audiences. Marketing managers create and implement strategies to increase a club’s profile, identify new customers and analyse consumer behaviour. They are also responsible for costing marketing campaigns and selecting appropriate media channels.
It won’t be news to you that diet is key for modern athletes, and that the role of the nutritionist is increasingly important. The job involves tailoring diets for individual athletes or teams to maximise performance and recovery and often requires the nutritionist to work closely alongside medical staff and sports psychologists. A formal qualification is usually required to work as a nutritionist, often a degree in biological science, but it’s something that is increasingly realistic to start working towards before you stop competing.
Interested in learning more about your career options once you retire? Athlete365 are offering you the opportunity to have a tailored session with one of 30 experts from The Adecco Group, in which you’ll receive career advice and mentorship. Click here to find out more.