Sports

February 20, 2009 at 7:31 am Leave a comment

What happens in the long run?
Very few of us today look at sports as a career option. A keen interest and talent in sports at the school level is not developed as a profession, simply because we look at sports as a hobby, a means to physical fitness or a source to earn bonus marks that help during exams.
The government today encourages young talent in the sports field. Schemes and aids have been made available to help us do better in sports. Financial support, nutritious diet, suitable sportswear and general psychological counselling are provided by the Sports Authority of India to talented youngsters throughout the country.
Sportspersons can avail of admission in schools and colleges, professional and non-professional courses against the sports quota. And that’s not all. There are innumerable opportunities to carry on the love for your sport after you are not able to break records further. You could be a sports entrepreneur, start your own sports academy like Prakash Padukone has done for badminton. You could fly from one school to another to hold cricket camps like Brijesh Patel. Physical fitness trainer, gymnasium instructor, sports journalist or just a coach are as celebrated as a sportsperson. It’s only up to you to make it bigger that your career in the game. Good luck.

Should I Stop Studying?
Sports career will not require you to be very academic, most sportsmen today have played their way to the top. You don’t need a degree in Physical Education to be a Sachin Tendulkar or Leander Paes. This does not mean that you stop studying. While you are practising for a game everyday, you will have to manage your studies at school and college as well.
Schools and colleges are also important for sportspersons. Almost every player of note started his career in school and then played for his college before donning state and finally national colours.
In several sports like squash, billiards or tennis, you might need to go abroad for further training. If you are good at studies, then you can go to a good college in Europe or USA on a scholarship and get trained there.

How do I get noticed?
You need to play, play and then get out there and play some more. By which we mean that you need to participate in tournaments at all possible levels, from interschool tournaments to college, to clubs wherever you get the opportunity. There are people out there whose jobs are to talent-spot. But unless you’re actually out there competing in tournaments, you will not be spotted.
If you’re in the Sports Authority of India or at a private coaching academy, you stand a much higher chance of being picked up by sponsors, because these are the places they look at first. Certain schools and colleges in the country that have a good reputation sports-wise are also hangouts for talent spotters.
Otherwise, you’ll have to get out there and seek sponsors yourself. You’ll have to approach the public relations department of the corporates you’re looking at and try and convince them to nurture your talent. Be prepared for rejection, but also be persistent.

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