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Third Level Sports Courses

Looking for a career in sport but haven’t attained the level of midfield virtuoso/try-scoring superstar/server extraordinaire quite yet? Not to worry, because nowadays there are lots of sports-related courses available for those who want to devote their lives to their beautiful game of choice.

If you’re going for any discipline of sports course, it usually helps to have some aptitude for science/biology and how the human body works. If you’re a business-head, there’s also a wide range of career opportunities available across a number of sporting platforms.

We’ve selected a few typical post-secondary course titles below to give you an idea of what’s involved. Have a scan through and see if there’s one that could be perfect for you!

Sports management
Although this encompasses all the obvious aspects of managing sportspeople/teams, it’s not solely geared towards turning participants into the next Fergie. Generally, you’ll be taught management skills and coaching techniques, but you’ll also be given an education on the business fundamentals of sports management.

Potential careers: management/marketing of athletes or teams, sports facility manager (eg gym, sports club, leisure centre), sports/fitness entrepreneur, coaching, sports development officer.

Sport and recreation
Again, courses such as this tend to focus on the administrative side of running a sports facility like a gym or leisure club. Course content includes modules on customer service and leisure facility administration, as well as stuff on coaching, sports development and performance analysis.

Potential careers: sports/leisure club management, retail management, coaching, gym instructor, personal trainer, sports development officer.

Sports coaching
This can be a fairly broad topic of study, and incorporates everything from the key characteristics of successful coaching and talent identification to sports development, strength and conditioning and performance analysis. There’s also a heavy sports science influence on course content, a subject which you can find out more about below.

Potential careers: coaching, sports development officer, gym instructor, personal trainer.

Sports psychology
If you’re interested in delving into the minds of athletes, this could be the course for you. Sports psychologists are used to develop mental skills and ultimately improve sporting performance. You’ll be studying stuff like how to identify the psychological skills important for success in sport, and the theory-based interventions that help to develop these mental skills.

Specific modules include things like motivation, self-confidence and imagery and mental rehearsal (visualisation).

Potential careers: sports psychologist, general psychology.

Sports science
As the title suggests, you’ve got to be a bit of a science nut for this one. There’s a keen focus on core scientific subjects like chemistry, physics, anatomy, physiology, psychology and sociology, and how to apply these in a sporting context for athletic development. All that theoretical stuff is complemented by practical classes and sessions in sport and physical activity, and you’ll be taught how to conduct fitness assessments and communicate methods of health promotion.

Potential careers: sports consultant, gym instructor, personal trainer, coaching, sports development officer, physiotherapy, nutritionist.

Sports nutrition
Know your apples from your aubergines? Then you might check out a course in sports nutrition. In it, you’ll be tasked with examining the scientific principles of nutrition for enhancing the performance of athletes. You’ll be equipped with the knowledge and skills required to provide sound, scientific sports nutrition advice to a variety of athletes. You’ll also have to assess the nutritional requirements of athletes and develop nutritional strategies to enhance their performance.

Potential careers: sports nutritionist, general nutritionist, dietician.
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