For most, your academic year has come to a close. Maybe you have a dissertation to do, maybe it’s all over and you have the summer to think about what the rest of your life looks like now that you (and thousands) of others have a Sports Science degree. You dream of working in Professional Sport? Here are 5 things you need to do in the next 3 months. Don’t say – ‘sure it’s ok, I will cover this stuff in September’ – it’s an arms race to employment and the sooner you start the better.
1. Be the ‘Head of Analysis’
Doesn’t matter where it is or at what level. Volunteer with a local club, school, charity – anything really. Just start doing analysis. Get whatever free equipment you can and just start, I promise this experience will give you a head start. Practice setting up the equipment. Practice dealing with a real coach. Practice dealing with players. And you NEVER KNOW WHAT CONTACTS YOU MIGHT MAKE.
2. Analyse a Different Sport
If you are into football – pick an individual sport. Local athletics or gymnastics club. Change it up. Again it doesn’t matter the level – just get some experience in an environment you are unfamiliar with. It might be the case all you are able to do is hold a camera – but you will learn how individual sports are thought, what camera angles work best, how vital the speed of feedback is. Even if the coaching is done badly you will still learn. Likewise if you are into individual sports – find a team that you can help with. We learn so much from stepping outside are normal routine.
3. Learn about Data
Professional Sport is cut-throat, you finally land that dream job (after a 3 year degree, 1 year masters, endless volunteering and the dreaded internships), then the manager gets fired a week later and the new guy brings in his own. Data analytics is here to stay, it can be your back-up – fail-safe if you will. There are some great courses on SQL, R-programming – they might seem pointless THEY ARE NOT. Even if you learn 50% of what’s on them they will put you ahead of everyone else who took the summer off.
4. Meet 3 Current Performance Analyst
Here is the challenge for you. Meet 3 current Performance Analysts. Don;t ask them for a job. All you want to do is meet them, introduce yourself, ask for their opinion. ‘If you were me what you do next’. Everyone loves being asked for their opinion. Buy them a coffee, only take an hour of their time and just listen. It’s not easy to introduce yourself, use any means possible to build some type of relationship but people are open, the summer is the time you will get them. JUST DO IT. (E-mail doesn’t count, you have to meet them face-to-face).
5. Do a Coaching Course
You should definitely look to do one in your own sport, but even better if you pick something else. Again if your sport is Football, why not do a Rugby course, if you learn 1 thing – that could be the nugget you need in an interview that gets you the job. You might make a contact you weren’t expecting, you might get offered some experience you might…. you just never know.
All of these things will help you. There is noting difficult on that list but it does take commitment. The question is – do you really want to?