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Occupation Details

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Sports Professional

Job Zone

Education
Some of these occupations may require a Leaving Certificate or similar.

Related Experience
Little or no previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, a person can become a waiter or waitress even if he/she has never worked before.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few days to a few months of training. Usually, an experienced worker could show you how to do the job.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations involve following instructions and helping others. Examples include taxi drivers, amusement and recreation attendants, counter clerks, construction laborers, and waiters or waitresses.

1%
Occupational Category

Sports & Fitness Occupations

Also included in this category:

Sports players (e.g. cricketers; footballers; golfers); sports coaches; fitness instructors

Number Employed:

8,100

Part time workers: 39%
Aged over 55: 10%
Male / Female: 61 / 39%
Non-Nationals: 10%
With Third Level: 60%
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At a Glance... header image

Competes in a sport such as Gaelic Football, Rugby, Tennis, or Golf.


The Work header image

Sports professionals are people who earn money from playing sport in front of an audience. There are a wide variety of sports that can be played at a professional level, ranging from snooker and horse racing to rugby league and golf.  
 
For the majority of people the amount of money they earn from their sport is not enough to live on. They must combine their sporting activities with a paid job.  
 
Sports professionals spend most of their time practising the skills of their chosen sport. This skills training is combined with fitness training in order to improve performance. Most have coaches who teach them new skills, help them improve existing skills and keep them motivated.  
 
Professionals who play a team sport practise their skills with other team members. Sport professionals have to train regularly and have to follow strict advice about diet and lifestyle.  
 
Skill and fitness training have to be undertaken in the lead up to participation in matches or competitions. These may be just one match or race, as in league football, or a tournament made up of a series of matches. Successful competitors who win their matches may play several times over a period of days or weeks.  
 
After some time off to recover, sports professionals return to their training regime. Some sports are not played all year round, so sports professionals may have time off out of season.  
 
Top level sportspeople are often paid by companies to promote their products. This may involve some discussion with company representatives, possibly via a promoter or manager who looks after the sportsperson's interests. It may also be necessary to appear in publicity shots or adverts and give interviews to television and radio stations.  
 
 
Most sports professionals spend a considerable amount of time travelling to competitions. Some sports, for example, tennis, require players to spend most of the year travelling from one competition to the next, nationally and internationally.  
 
In several of the more physical or contact sports, the average career may be only 10-15 years. Many professionals have finished their playing careers by the time they are in their late twenties and early thirties. Some go on to opportunities in coaching, management or broadcasting. 


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Attend scheduled practice or training sessions.

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Participate in athletic events or competitive sports, according to established rules and regulations.

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Exercise or practice under the direction of athletic trainers or professional coaches to develop skills, improve physical condition, or prepare for competitions.

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Maintain equipment used in a particular sport.

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Maintain optimum physical fitness levels by training regularly, following nutrition plans, or consulting with health professionals.

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Assess performance following athletic competition, identifying strengths and weaknesses and making adjustments to improve future performance.

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Receive instructions from coaches and other sports staff prior to events, and discuss their performance afterwards.

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Represent teams or professional sports clubs, performing such activities as meeting with members of the media, making speeches, or participating in charity events.

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Lead teams by serving as captain.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

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Performing General Physical Activities:  Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

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Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships:  Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

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Coaching and Developing Others:  Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

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Developing and Building Teams:  Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

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Handling and Moving Objects:  Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

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Performing for or Working Directly with the Public:  Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

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Provide Consultation and Advice to Others:  Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

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Training and Teaching Others:  Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

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Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others:  Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

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Communicating with Persons Outside Organization:  Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

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English Language:  Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

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Administration and Management:  Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

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Psychology:  Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

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Communications and Media:  Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.

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Therapy and Counseling:  Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Coordination:   Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

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Monitoring:   Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

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Active Listening:   Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

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Critical Thinking:   Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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Speaking:   Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Social Perceptiveness:   Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

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Judgment and Decision Making:   Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

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Reading Comprehension:   Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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Time Management:   Managing one's own time and the time of others.

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Active Learning:   Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

It is essential to be exceptionally talented in a particular sport as competition for entry is intense. If you want to compete at professional level, you must be dedicated to achieving success. Training schedules are long and tiring and consequently, many professional sportspeople find it affects their social life.  
 
Inevitably, sometimes even the best sportspeople do not play to their full potential and lose competitions. Therefore, you must have the self-confidence and determination to carry on competing.  
 
Self-motivation is also important to compete in what can sometimes be a highly pressurised profession. Added to this is the pressure of injury that could put a sudden end to a sporting career.


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Athlete - from:  icould [UK] Video
Go..Athlete - from:  icould [UK] Video
Go..Athlete - from:  icould [UK] Video
Go..Footballer - from:  N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Golf Professional - from:  YouTube [UK]
Go..Olympic Athlete - from:  icould [UK] Video
Go..Professional Golfer - from:  icould [UK] Video
Go..Sports Professional - from:  N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Sportsperson - from:  GradIreland

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: Institute of Leisure and Amenity Management (ILAM) Ireland
  Address: Allenwood Enterprise Park, Allenwood North, Naas, Co Kildare
  Tel: (045) 859950
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

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Organisation: Irish Sports Council
  Address: Top Floor, Block A, Westend Office Park, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15
  Tel: (01) 8608800
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

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Organisation: Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
  Address: Head Office, 44 Kildare St, Dublin 2
  Tel: LoCall 0761 001 601 (+ 353 1 670 7444 outside Ireland)
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

 

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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...


...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Leisure, Sport & Fitness

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Higher Ed & CAO Course suggestions
If you are interested in this occupation, then the following courses may also be of interest. Note that these course suggestions are not intended to indicate that they lead directly to this occupation, only that they are related in some way and may be worth exploring.
Courses found: 43
Athletic and Rehabilitation Therapy
Athlone IT
Athletic Therapy and Training
DCU
Business with Sports Management
Limerick IT
Exercise and Health Studies
Waterford IT
Gym Instructor & Personal Trainer
Portobello Institute
Health and Leisure
Tralee IT
Health and Leisure Studies
Tralee IT
Health and Leisure with Massage
Tralee IT
Health and Leisure with Massage
Tralee IT
Outdoor Education (Castlebar)
GMIT - Galway-Mayo IT
Outdoor Education and Leisure (Castlebar)
GMIT - Galway-Mayo IT
Physical Activity and Health
Athlone IT
Physical Education with Biology
DCU
Physical Education with concurrent Teacher Education
University of Limerick
Physical Education with Mathematics
DCU
Recreation and Sports Management
Waterford IT
Sport and Exercise (GAA)
IT Carlow
Sport and Exercise (Soccer)
IT Carlow
Sport and Exercise - Rugby
IT Carlow
Sport and Exercise Science
GMIT - Galway-Mayo IT
Sport and Exercise Sciences
University of Limerick
Sport Coaching & Performance
Letterkenny IT
Sport Science
IT Carlow
Sport Science and Health
DCU
Sports and Exercise Management
UCD (NUI)
Sports Coaching and Performance
Waterford IT
Sports Development and Coaching
Limerick IT
Sports Management
UCD (NUI)
Sports Management and Coaching
IT Blanchardstown
Sports Management and Coaching
IT Blanchardstown
Sports Management and Coaching (GAA, Rugby or Soccer)
IT Carlow
Sports Rehabilitation and Athletic Therapy
IT Carlow
Sports Science & Physical Education
Portobello Institute
Sports Science and Health
IT Tallaght
Sports Science and Health
IT Tallaght
Sports Science with Exercise Physiology
Athlone IT
Sports Strength and Conditioning (Thurles)
Limerick IT
Sports Strength and Conditioning (Thurles)
Limerick IT
Sports Studies
Letterkenny IT
Sports Studies and Physical Education
UCC (NUI)
Sports Therapy
Portobello Institute
Strength & Conditioning
Setanta College
Strength and Conditioning
IT Carlow


Further Ed & PLC Course Suggestions
If you are interested in this occupation, then the following courses may also be of interest. Note that these course suggestions are not intended to indicate that they lead directly to this occupation, only that they are related in some way and may be worth exploring.

Courses found: 71


Outdoor Recreation
Sport & Leisure Management
Monaghan Institute
Exercise, Fitness & Nutrition Studies
Galway Community College
Exercise, Fitness & Nutrition Studies - Year 1
Crumlin College of Further Education
Outdoor Adventure Management - HND
Coláiste Dhúlaigh College of Further Education
Sport & Recreation
Mercy College Sligo
Sport & Gym Instruction Studies
Bray Institute of Further Education
Sports Injuries & Therapy - 1
Colaiste Stiofain Naofa CFE
Sport Coaching & Leisure Management
Cavan Institute
Football - Association
Colaiste Ide College of Further Education
Sport & Recreation Coaching Studies
Galway Community College
Sport & Recreation
Waterford College of Further Education
Sports, Recreation & Exercise
Kerry College of Further Education
Sport & Recreation
Carlow Institute of Further Education
Sport Development - Advanced
Drogheda Institute of Further Education
Health & Fitness - Sports Coaching
Portlaoise College
Sport and Recreation
Central College Limerick
Outdoor Recreation
St. Kevin's College Crumlin
Outdoor Recreation
Lanesboro Community College
Outdoor Sport & Recreation
Schull Community College
Sport & Recreation
Ramsgrange Community School
Sport & Recreation Management
St. Patrick's Comprehensive School Shannon
Fitness & Health
Waterford College of Further Education
Outdoor Adventure Education
Kinsale College of Further Education
Health & Fitness - Leisure Management
Portlaoise College
Outdoor Sport & Recreation
Lough Allen College
Sport & Exercise Science, Health & Fitness Diploma
Inchicore College of Further Education
Sport and Recreation
Carlow Institute of Further Education
Out­door Sport and Recreation
Drogheda Institute of Further Education
Sport & Leisure Management - Health & Physical Activity
Colaiste Ide College of Further Education
Health Science - Physiology and Sport
Coláiste Dhúlaigh College of Further Education
Sport. Health & Fitness Studies
O'Fiaich Institute
Outdoor Recreation
Sport & Recreation
St. Joseph's Secondary School Ballybunion
Sport & Recreation
McEgan College
Exercise & Health Fitness
Ormonde College of Further Education
Sports Injury Treatment
Drogheda Institute of Further Education
Coach and Physical Education 1
Colaiste Stiofain Naofa CFE
Sports Performance & Coaching
Galway Technical Institute
Health, Fitness & Sport Performance
Monaghan Institute
GAA Coaching Studies
Galway Community College
Sport & Recreation
Gairmscoil Mhuire - Athenry Vocational School
Sport Development - Advanced
Listowel Community College
Sports, Recreation & Massage Studies
Mallow College of Further Education
Sport Development - Advanced
Limerick College of Further Education
Sport Coaching & Exercise Studies
Monaghan Institute
Outdoor Recreation
Cavan Institute
Sport & Physical Therapy Studies
Monaghan Institute
Sport & Recreation
Banagher College - Colaiste na Sionna
Sport & Recreation
Lanesboro Community College
Sport & Recreation
Nenagh College
Sports Injury Management
Limerick College of Further Education
Sport & Recreation
Ardscoil Phadraig
Coach and Physical Education 2
Colaiste Stiofain Naofa CFE
Resistance Training & Weight Training for Sport
Setanta College
Physical Fitness & Conditioning + ITEC Gym Instruction Certificate
Setanta College
Strength & Conditioning
Setanta College
Physical Fitness & Conditioning for Sport
Setanta College
G.A.A. Coaching & Sport Performance
Colaiste Stiofain Naofa CFE
Sports Injuries & Therapy - 2
Colaiste Stiofain Naofa CFE
Exercise, Fitness & Nutrition Studies - Year 2
Crumlin College of Further Education
Sport & Recreation
Carrignafoy Community College
Sports, Recreation and Exercise
CityNorth College of Further Education
Outdoor Sport & Recreation
Duiske College
Outdoor Leadership
Kinsale College of Further Education
Sports, Recreation & Injury Therapy
Mallow College of Further Education
Sports and Recreation
Dunboyne College of Further Education
Sports, Recreation & Exercise
Central Technical Institute Senior College
Sport and Leisure Management Pre-University Physiotherapy
Colaiste Ide College of Further Education
Sport and Recreation Studies
Finn Valley College
Sports and Leisure Management – Soccer
Colaiste Ide College of Further Education