Professional athletes play sports for a salary; however, the journey taken to reach the top of their game wasn’t easy. It will have taken years to become an established sportsperson. On average, a professional has spent at least 10,000 hours practicing their sport to gain professional status; therefore, it is not a career that should be taken lightly. Very few people make it to a professional level in the world of sport, but if you have high ambitions of reaching this goal, there is no reason why you shouldn’t strive for it.
The five pointers below should give you some helpful hints on how to become a professional athlete.
Start as soon as possible
In most cases, professional sportspeople start competing quite young and it is noticeable that they have talent when compared to others of the same age. Once they have discovered this ability in the sport, they work on their craft for many years before deciding to make it their career. If you notice that you yourself, have an interest and talent for a sport, or perhaps even your child – don’t ignore it. Aim to nurture that talent and see where it leads.
No professional athlete has sat back and let others take the win out of politeness. If you’re serious about becoming a sportsman for a living, you need to have a competitive streak. Competitivity isn’t always about taking home the trophy, it’s simply doing your best. Having this attitude will help you become better at your technique and should enhance your growth on a personal level. Rather than comparing yourself to others, understand where your strengths lie and aim to focus on these to make you a better sportsman.
While physical abilities are highly important to become a professional athlete, soft skills are equally crucial. The soft skills you acquire won’t necessarily derive from training but will need to be learned from other experiences in life. Some of the vital skills you’ll need include:
- Mental and physical stamina
- Hand-eye coordination
Keep your body in good condition
All professional athletes have had to go through rigorous training and a change of diet to keep their body in good shape and maintain their fitness levels. You should be incorporating some form of exercise into your everyday life (at least one high-intensity workout daily). When it comes to diet, you should be sticking to lean meats and foods that are full of protein to build muscle and give you stamina. However, it would always be worth consulting a physical trainer and dietician on the best health and fitness techniques if you’re hoping to make it as a professional athlete.
Get a scholarship
There are scholarships available for aspiring athletes who wish to make it in the industry. Golf scholarship and cross-country scholarships are just some of the options available, however, there are usually scholarships to suit every type of sport.
Scholarships aren’t available to everyone, but they are certainly an avenue to consider if you’re struggling to secure funding to pay for sports college.