Importance of Sports as a career in India
Do you have a zeal for sports and are looking forward to pursuing a career in sports? As a parent are you concerned about the scope in this field? Or as a student are you uncertain about making it to the elite league, however, you still want to be connected with your passion?
If you’ve nodded your head in affirmation, then you are not alone!
A career in sports – Sweat, grit and immense discipline!
In India, sports is still a flourishing industry, but if you’re under the impression that career in sports is all about fame and glamour, there is a flipside to it. There is grit, perseverance and immense discipline that is required to be eligible for various international level pursuits. Also, one of the most popular stories that take flight is over coming failure and rejections until one of them shines. Sports today is no longer about a game on the field it is also about the popularity and the pride it brings. This confluence has turned athletes into sports stars and has sparked a need to skillfully manage both the players and the game.
Even if you’re not an athlete but still passionate about sports, it is still possible for you to pursue your interest as a profession.
In India, it is natural for a parent or a student to think twice before taking up sports as a career. This is mainly because of the perceived uncertainty that a sportsperson has to constantly battle with in their lives. Parents want their children to choose a more tangible profession that guarantees a job and a sustained growth over a period of time. This concern, many times create and undue pressure on the child to bank upon on Plan B – purely in academic background, so that he/she can have an alternative to rely on. worse still is making your primary interest itself into a plan-B and eventually let go!
As much as parents want their children to pursue a profession that will be rewarding and stable in the long run, the approach to this is armed with rudimentary information which forces them to deem career in sports or art as “unconventional”. It comes with the notion that sports is a high-risk career. Apart from risks of injury, competitiveness, and instability, there are many other factors which make the parents aversive to this field, especially in India. This includes lack of apathy within the governing body, infrastructure, lack of experienced coaches etc.
Indian professional badminton player, Saina Nehwal talks about how difficult it is to be a sports person in India.
Then and Now – Changing the landscape of Indian Sports.
Comparing the Indian sports industry 10 years ago with the current scenario, there is a remarkable difference. Earlier, Cricket was considered as a dominant professional career but recently many other sports have started to pick up the pace. Many national and international level leagues are being formed, thus providing athletes an opportunity to get in the forefront of their respective sports.
There is always an entry for a starry eyed kid who dreamt of a gleaming gold by participating the most coveted arena: International Olympics. Although the rewards are prestigious, the feat is fast forgotten unless of course, you have the bandwidth to inspire and teach many young Indians looking up to you.
Even the Indian Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi believes that sports can now be considered as a serious career option. He says
“India has huge potential in sports. India is a sports loving country. The passion with which my young friends watch the ongoing Champions Trophy is the same with which they see the EPL football or NBA basketball fixtures and the F1 Races. We have no shortage of talent. But we need ts provide right kind of opportunity and create an eco-system to nurture the talent.”
This transition is fueling up big private giants, who have started contributing immensely towards the culture of sports in India. They do so by participating in corporate social responsibility channels, PPP in sports infrastructure development and for profit in sports academies. Various sports leagues have now emerged as a primary vehicle for the private sector.
This is where exists a wide area of opportunities for a person with skills and experience of a game along with an academic interest in a field, where he/she can build a career that is at par with other career options in academic backgrounds, offering good monetary benefits and social status.
One of the most foreboding concerns that encourage a parent to steer their children away from a career in sports is absolutely justified. With lesser success stories and heading into the unfamiliar waters can be scary and riddled with many challenges. But, being a sportsman isn’t the only feat to look up to. There are many prospective cross domain areas that one can turn to.
The world has changed and the sole reason that contributes to this rapid dynamism is technology. This has hugely impacted sports arena as well which leverages technology to analyze many nitty-gritties of the game. Also, there are fewer stand alone areas of the profession. Many involve blending of different fields such as statistics and sports, psychology and sports, sports fitness with nutrition and much more which interweave academics (Engineering, Science) & sports.
Some of the most fruitful and promising areas that one can explore are –
1. Sports Analyst
Sports analysts play a very important role in presenting and explaining sports to the audiences. They are the professionals who provide an expert discussion of sports-related topics before, during, or after a sporting event. They are usually former athletes who have participated in the sport and have good knowledge about the same. As a sports analyst, you need to pay close attention to game outcomes, player stats, win-loss records and other statistical information. Your job will be to make authoritative assessments and predictions based on statistical models. A sports analyst is different from a sports commentator where in the sports commentators provide a running commentary regarding a sporting event while the event is taking place, whereas sports analysts usually provide commentary about sporting events which have yet to take place or which have already concluded.
2. Sports Lawyer
Sports law is a fascinating and rapidly developing field of legal practice and academic inquiry. In simple words, it is a term describing the legal issues related to sports. The role of a sports lawyer is to represent sports persons in various aspects of their profession who require assistance in understanding the terms and different provisions of their contracts, endorsements, and agreements.
3. Sports Manager
Sports Management is a field which involves handling the organization and scheduling of their clients. A Sports Manager’s primary responsibility is to make it easier for their clients to focus on winning without worrying about the business or organizational aspect of sports. It’s important to have a good business sense and the ability to communicate and negotiate in serious discussions about big issues in order to become a successful Sports Manager. There are diverse career opportunities with Sports Management such as Sports Blogger, Sports Philanthropy, Player Appearances, Sports Events Planning, Compliance Professional etc.
4. Sports Psychology
Sports psychology is an interdisciplinary science that uses psychological knowledge and skills to address optimal performance and well-being of athletes, developmental and social aspects of sports participation, and systemic issues associated with sports settings and organizations. Sports psychologists often work with several different types of athletes, from amateurs to professionals. Athletes might seek out these professionals on their own, or coaches might seek the help of these types of psychologists when they notice that the athletes under their tutelage seem to be off.
5. Sports Tourism
The term ‘Sports Tourism’ basically means tourism that is based on the theme of sports. It refers to a specific travel outside the usual environment for either passive or active involvement in competitive sport. Sport is the primary reason for travel whereas the leisure element may reinforce the overall experience. According to experts, Sports Tourism is one of the most rapidly evolving niches in India.
Navigus – helping you find a fruitful balance of your professional interests.
We understand that new unheard areas again bring in trepidation in understanding whether or not it is sustainable as a long term career goal for your children. That is where we, at Navigus, would be able to help you and present to you reliable information using data science. Be it Sports Analyst, Sports Management or Sports nutrition, we have a recommendation and a guidance engine that leverages reliable data sets which can derive a likely career trajectory for your child in various fields considering his/her interests, individual traits, aptitude and core motivations and many more quantifiable parameters.
To know more feel free to reach out to us. Start by pinging us on our chat box!