Performance Careers Background

Career Routes in Sports Performance: Comprehensive Guide

Here is our comprehensive guide on career routes in the dynamic world of sports science and sports medicine. Whether you’re a budding professional exploring your options, an established expert considering a shift, or simply curious about the diverse career paths in this exciting field, this guide offers valuable insights. We explore various disciplines, examining job availability, specialisation trends, and the potential earning capacity at different career stages. From the precision of biomechanics to the holistic approach of sports psychology, each profession is a unique blend of science, skill, and passion. Let’s unlock the possibilities and navigate the landscape of these rewarding careers.

In this article, we’ll;

  • Explore the World of Biomechanics: Understand the role of biomechanics in sports, focusing on movement analysis and injury prevention.
  • Ergonomics in Sports: Discover how ergonomics contributes to athlete performance and equipment design.
  • The Pivotal Role of Medicine in Sports: Learn about the critical contributions of sports medicine in athlete health and injury management.
  • Nutrition for Peak Performance: Uncover the importance of nutrition in enhancing athletic performance and maintaining health.
  • Performance Analysis: Dive into the data-driven world of performance analysis and its impact on sports strategies.
  • Embracing a Performance Lifestyle: Explore how balancing life and sport leads to sustained athletic success.
  • Physiology’s Impact on Athletes: Examine how understanding the body’s responses to exercise can optimize performance.
  • Physiotherapy in Sports: Get insights into the role of physiotherapy in injury recovery and prevention.
  • The Psychology of Sports: Understand the mental aspects of sports performance, from motivation to mental health.
  • Strength and Conditioning for Athletes: Learn about the crucial role of physical training in enhancing athletic ability.

Biomechanics in Sports: An Undervalued Force

In the realm of sports, biomechanics has emerged as a critical discipline, intertwining the complexities of mechanical laws with the human body’s movements. It’s a field where physics meets physiology, where every action and reaction is not just a movement but a carefully analysed sequence aimed at enhancing performance and reducing injury risks.

The Role and Responsibilities of Biomechanics in Sports

Biomechanics experts are like the backstage crew in a theatre production; they ensure that the performance (in this case, an athlete’s) is flawless, efficient, and safe. Their primary role involves analysing athletes’ movements to understand the mechanical aspects of their actions. This analysis leads to insights into how athletes can optimize their performance, whether it’s a sprinter exploding off the blocks or a swimmer slicing through water.

The responsibilities extend to injury prevention and rehabilitation. By understanding the stresses and strains on the body during various sports activities, biomechanists can advise on technique modifications, equipment changes, and training regimes that reduce injury risk.

Key Sports Investing in Biomechanics

Track and field, swimming, cycling, and team sports like football and rugby are heavily invested in biomechanics. In these sports, the difference between gold and silver, or winning and losing, can be a matter of milliseconds or millimetres, making the biomechanist’s input invaluable. High-performance teams in these sports often have dedicated biomechanics staff, equipped with cutting-edge technology to analyse and enhance athlete performance.

Challenges in the Field

The main challenge in sports biomechanics is the translation of complex data into actionable insights. Athletes are not robots; they’re dynamic, with varying abilities and styles. Biomechanists must balance scientific rigor with practical applicability, ensuring that their recommendations are both technically sound and realistically implementable.

Another challenge is keeping pace with technological advancements. The field is rapidly evolving, with new tools and techniques constantly emerging. Staying abreast of these changes and integrating them into practice is a continual learning curve.

Opportunities Abound

The opportunities in sports biomechanics are as diverse as the field itself. There’s a growing demand for biomechanics expertise in developing training programs that are individualized and injury-preventive. Additionally, there’s an increasing interest in applying biomechanical principles to equipment design – from running shoes that enhance performance to swimwear that reduces drag.

Collaboration with other disciplines, such as sports psychology and nutrition, opens up avenues for holistic athlete development, where physical performance is optimized alongside mental and nutritional well-being.

Future Directions

The future of biomechanics in sports is as exciting as it is unpredictable. One direction is the increased use of wearable technology and AI to provide real-time biomechanical feedback. Imagine sensors and software so advanced that they can offer instant advice on technique adjustments during training or competition.

Another direction is the integration of biomechanics with virtual and augmented reality. This could revolutionize training, allowing athletes to simulate and practice in a variety of virtual conditions, honing their skills in a controlled yet realistic environment.


Biomechanics in sports is not just about understanding how the body moves; it’s about optimizing those movements for peak performance and safety. As sports continue to evolve, the role of biomechanics will only grow in importance, offering exciting opportunities and challenges. It’s a field where science meets sport, data meets dynamism, and where the pursuit of excellence is a never-ending race against the forces of nature.

Ergonomics in Sports: Enhancing Performance and Preventing Injury

Ergonomics, often perceived as a discipline focused on improving workplace environments, plays a crucial yet sometimes underappreciated role in the realm of sports. This field is pivotal in optimising performance, ensuring athlete safety, and enhancing the overall sporting experience.

Role and Responsibilities

Ergonomists in sports are tasked with understanding how athletes interact with their equipment and environment. Their primary role is to design or modify equipment, gear, and even training environments to improve performance and reduce the risk of injury. This involves a deep understanding of human anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics. Ergonomists work closely with athletes, coaches, and other sports science professionals to tailor equipment and environments to individual athletes’ needs.

Key Sports Investing in Ergonomics

Sports that heavily rely on equipment and technology, such as cycling, rowing, and motorsport, heavily invest in ergonomics. In these disciplines, even the slightest improvement in equipment design can lead to significant performance gains. Ergonomics is also crucial in team sports like football and basketball, where footwear and playing surfaces are constantly being optimized for performance and safety.

Challenges in the Field

One of the primary challenges in sports ergonomics is balancing performance enhancement with injury prevention. While certain equipment modifications can improve performance, they may also increase the risk of injury. Another challenge is the individual variability among athletes, making it difficult to design one-size-fits-all solutions. Additionally, staying abreast of technological advancements and integrating them effectively into sports equipment and environments is a constant challenge.

Opportunities in Sports Ergonomics

There are significant opportunities in sports ergonomics, particularly in the realm of technology integration. The use of sensors and biomechanical analysis tools can provide deeper insights into how athletes interact with their equipment. There’s also a growing interest in sustainable and environmentally friendly sports equipment, opening new avenues for innovation in material science and design.

Future Directions

The future of sports ergonomics may see a greater emphasis on personalization and sustainability. Advances in materials science could lead to the development of more adaptive and responsive equipment. There’s also potential for greater use of virtual and augmented reality to simulate and optimize sporting environments and equipment. Additionally, the integration of AI and machine learning could provide more personalized and dynamic ergonomic solutions.


Ergonomics in sports is a critical field that bridges human physiology and equipment/environment design. Its role in enhancing performance and preventing injury is invaluable. As technology continues to advance, the field of sports ergonomics is poised to become even more integral to the sports industry, offering innovative solutions tailored to the needs of individual athletes and teams, while also considering the environmental impact of sports equipment and practices.

Nutrition in Sports: Fuelling Champions

Nutrition in sports is a fascinating and complex field, blending the science of how our bodies process food with the art of optimizing that process for peak athletic performance. It’s not just about what athletes eat, but when and how they eat it, turning nutrition into a strategic component of their training and competition regimes.

The Role and Responsibilities of Sports Nutritionists

Sports nutritionists are the masterminds behind the dietary strategies that fuel athletes. Their role is multifaceted, involving the development of individualized nutrition plans that cater to the specific needs, goals, and challenges of each athlete. This includes calculating caloric intake, balancing macronutrients, and ensuring adequate hydration.

Their responsibilities extend beyond meal planning. They educate athletes on the importance of nutrition, advise on supplements, and often collaborate with coaches and other support staff to integrate nutrition strategies into overall training and recovery programs.

Key Sports Investing in Nutrition

Virtually all sports recognize the importance of nutrition, but endurance sports like marathon running, cycling, and triathlon, as well as weight-class sports like boxing and wrestling, place a particularly high emphasis on it. Team sports such as football, rugby, and basketball also invest heavily in nutrition to optimize team performance and recovery.

Challenges in the Field

One of the biggest challenges in sports nutrition is the individual variability in athletes’ responses to different diets and supplements. What works for one athlete may not work for another, making personalised nutrition plans essential. Clean sport is something you have to play an active role in too, if you don’t know your onions when it comes to supplements, testing, banned substances, batch testing – you’re potentially liable.

Another challenge is keeping up with the constantly evolving science of nutrition and debunking the myriad of nutrition myths and fads that can mislead athletes and coaches.

Opportunities Abound

The field of sports nutrition is ripe with opportunities. There’s a growing interest in understanding the role of micronutrients and gut health in athletic performance. Personalised nutrition, based on genetic and metabolic profiling, is another exciting frontier, offering the potential for highly tailored dietary strategies.

Collaboration with other disciplines, like psychology, can also enhance an athlete’s relationship with food, addressing issues like eating disorders and body image concerns, which are prevalent in many sports.

Future Directions

The future of sports nutrition is likely to see a greater emphasis on holistic, personalized approaches. Advances in technology, such as wearable devices that monitor nutritional status and metabolism, could provide real-time feedback, allowing for dynamic adjustments to dietary plans.

Another area of future growth is the integration of sustainability and ethical considerations into sports nutrition, aligning dietary choices with environmental and ethical values.


Nutrition in sports is more than just eating to win; it’s about understanding and harnessing the power of food to enhance performance, recovery, and overall health. As research continues to uncover new insights into how our bodies use food, the role of nutrition in sports will become increasingly sophisticated and integral to athletic success. It’s a field where science and practice blend seamlessly, each meal a step towards victory.

Performance Analysis in Sports: Where numbers can overwhelm and create advantage

Performance analysis in sports has undergone a seismic shift, thanks to the advent of artificial intelligence (AI). This field, once reliant on manual data collection and subjective observations, is now a high-tech domain where AI-driven analytics offer profound insights into every aspect of athletic performance.

Role and Responsibilities of Performance Analysts

Performance analysts are now common place on most top teams, crunching away in the background, turning raw data into actionable insights. Their role involves collecting, processing, and interpreting data related to athletes’ performances, often in real-time. They work closely with coaches and athletes, providing feedback that can shape training programs, tactical decisions, and in-game strategies.

Key Sports Investing in Performance Analysis

Sports like football, basketball, and cricket are at the forefront of utilizing performance analysis. In these sports, the ability to analyse vast amounts of data quickly can provide a competitive edge, whether it’s identifying weaknesses in an opponent’s defence or optimizing an athlete’s training regimen.

Challenges in the Field

One of the main challenges is the sheer volume and complexity of data. Analysts must sift through mountains of information, from biometric data to tactical formations. Another challenge is ensuring that the insights are communicated effectively to coaches and athletes, who may not have a technical background.

AI: The Game Changer

AI has revolutionized performance analysis by enabling the processing of vast datasets far beyond human capability. Machine learning algorithms can identify patterns and trends that would be impossible for a human to discern. AI can also predict outcomes, such as injury risks or the potential success of a particular strategy, by analysing historical and real-time data.

Opportunities with AI Integration

The integration of AI opens up exciting opportunities. One area is the development of personalized training programs, where AI algorithms analyse an athlete’s performance data to tailor training to their specific needs. Another is the use of AI in scouting, where machine learning models can help identify promising talent by analysing performance metrics.

Future Directions

The future of performance analysis with AI integration looks incredibly promising. We can expect further advancements in wearable technology, providing even more detailed data for analysis. Real-time analytics will become more sophisticated, offering coaches the ability to make tactical decisions based on live data during a game.

Another exciting development is the potential for virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to be integrated with AI for training purposes. Athletes could train in virtual environments that simulate real-game conditions, with AI providing instant feedback and strategy adjustments.


Performance analysis in sports, supercharged by AI, is transforming how athletes train, how teams compete, and how games are strategized. It’s a field where technology meets human endeavour, creating a synergy that pushes the boundaries of what’s possible in sports. As AI technology continues to evolve, its impact on sports performance analysis will only deepen, making it an indispensable tool in the quest for athletic excellence.

Performance Lifestyle in Sports: Balancing the Equation

In the high-pressured world of sports, performance lifestyle is a crucial, yet often overlooked, aspect. It’s about striking a balance between an athlete’s rigorous training and competition schedules and their personal life, ensuring overall well-being and sustainable performance.

Role and Responsibilities of Performance Lifestyle Advisors

Performance lifestyle advisors are akin to life coaches for athletes. They support athletes in managing the demands of their sport while also helping them develop personal and professional skills. Their responsibilities include advising on time management, career planning, personal development, and sometimes even financial management.

Key Sports Investing in Performance Lifestyle

Sports with high physical and mental demands, such as athletics, swimming, and gymnastics, are increasingly recognising the importance of a balanced lifestyle for sustained performance. Team sports like football and rugby are also investing in this area, acknowledging that a player’s off-field well-being directly impacts their on-field performance.

Challenges in the Field

One of the biggest challenges is the constant pressure athletes face to perform, which can lead to burnout, stress, and mental health issues. Balancing training, competitions, personal life, and sometimes even academic or professional commitments can be overwhelming. Performance lifestyle advisors must navigate these complexities while respecting the athlete’s personal boundaries and sporting commitments.

Opportunities in Performance Lifestyle Management

There’s a growing recognition of the importance of mental health in sports. This shift presents opportunities for performance lifestyle advisors to work more closely with psychologists and mental health professionals. There’s also an opportunity to use technology, like apps and online platforms, to provide more accessible and personalised support to athletes.

Future Directions

The future of performance lifestyle in sports is likely to see a greater emphasis on holistic well-being. This could include more integrated support systems, where coaches, medical staff, and lifestyle advisors work in tandem to support the athlete. We might also see more use of technology, like wearables and AI-driven apps, to monitor and support athletes’ mental and physical health.


Performance lifestyle is about ensuring that athletes can perform at their best, not just on the field, but in all areas of their lives. It’s a vital part of sports that goes beyond physical training and tactics, focusing on the athlete as a whole person. As the world of sports continues to evolve, the role of performance lifestyle in nurturing well-rounded, resilient, and mentally strong athletes will only become more critical.

Physiology in Sports: The Science Behind Peak Performance

Physiology in sports is a fascinating and complex field, delving into how the human body responds and adapts to physical activity. It’s the backbone of athletic performance, providing insights that help athletes push the boundaries of what’s physically possible.

Role and Responsibilities of Sports Physiologists

Sports physiologists were often the go-to appointment (back in the 90s) and with the advent of S&C careers, nutrition – physiologists have had the responsibility for the full scope of human physiological responses divided up and as such have a much narrower scope to influence. They analyse athletes’ physiological responses to exercise and provide insights to optimise performance. Their responsibilities include conducting fitness assessments, developing training programs, and researching ways to enhance endurance, strength, and speed. They also play a crucial role in injury prevention and recovery.

Key Sports Investing in Physiology

Endurance sports like marathon running, cycling, and swimming heavily rely on physiological insights to enhance performance. Team sports such as football, rugby, and basketball also invest significantly in physiology to improve players’ stamina, speed, and recovery processes, but this is much less common.

Challenges in the Field

One of the main challenges is the individual variability in athletes’ responses to training and recovery protocols. What works for one athlete may not work for another. Additionally, keeping up with rapidly advancing technology and research can be daunting. Sports physiologists must continuously update their knowledge and skills to provide the best advice.

Opportunities in Sports Physiology

The increasing use of wearable technology and data analytics in sports offers exciting opportunities for physiologists. These tools provide a wealth of data on athletes’ physiological responses in real-time, allowing for more personalised and effective training programs. There’s also growing interest in understanding how different environments, like altitude or heat, affect performance, opening up new research areas.

Future Directions

The future of sports physiology is likely to see a greater emphasis on personalised support vs generalised programmes. Advances in genetics and biotechnology could enable more tailored training and nutrition programs based on an athlete’s unique physiological makeup. We might also see more integration of AI and machine learning to analyse data and predict performance outcomes or injury risks.


Sports physiology is at the heart of athletic performance (if you excuse the pun), providing the scientific understanding necessary to push the limits of human potential. As the field continues to evolve with technological advancements, its role in enhancing athletic performance, preventing injuries, and promoting long-term health will only grow in importance. The future of sports physiology is not just about understanding the human body better, but also about leveraging technology to apply this knowledge in more innovative and effective ways.

Psychology in Sports: The Mind Game Behind Peak Performance

Sports psychology is a dynamic and essential discipline in the realm of athletics, focusing on the mental aspects of performance. It’s about understanding how psychological factors can affect performance and how participation in sport and exercise affect psychological and physical factors.

Role and Responsibilities of Sports Psychologists

Sports psychologists wear many hats. They work with athletes to improve performance through mental skills training, such as goal setting, visualisation, and concentration techniques. They also help athletes cope with the pressures of competition, recover from injuries, and maintain motivation. Beyond performance enhancement, sports psychologists play a crucial role in mental health, addressing issues like anxiety, depression, and burnout.

Key Sports Investing in Psychology

While all sports can benefit from psychological insights, those with a strong mental component, such as golf, tennis, and gymnastics, particularly invest in this area. Team sports like football, rugby, and basketball also recognise the importance of mental strength and team dynamics, increasingly incorporating sports psychology into their training regimes.

Challenges in the Field

One of the biggest challenges is the stigma around mental health in sports. Athletes may be reluctant to seek psychological help for fear of being perceived as weak. Another challenge is the subjective nature of psychological interventions – what works for one athlete may not work for another, making it difficult to standardise approaches.

Opportunities in Sports Psychology

There’s a growing recognition of the importance of mental health in sports, creating more opportunities for sports psychologists. The rise of social media and the increased pressure it brings on athletes also opens up new areas for psychological support and research. Additionally, there’s an opportunity to work with non-elite athletes and the general population, promoting mental well-being through sport and exercise.

Future Directions

The future of sports psychology might see more integration with technology, such as virtual reality and biofeedback, to simulate competitive environments and train mental skills. There’s also potential for greater collaboration with other disciplines, like neuroscience, to better understand the brain’s role in performance. Personalised mental training, tailored to individual athletes’ psychological profiles, could become more prevalent.


Sports psychology is a critical component of the athletic world, addressing the mental aspects of performance and well-being. As the field evolves, it will continue to play a vital role in helping athletes overcome mental barriers, enhance performance, and maintain a healthy balance between their sporting and personal lives. The future of sports psychology is not just about mental toughness; it’s about understanding the complex interplay between the mind, body, and environment to help athletes achieve their full potential.

Strength and Conditioning in Sports: The Powerhouse of Athletic Performance

Strength and conditioning (S&C) is a vital discipline in sports, focusing on developing an athlete’s physical capabilities to enhance performance and reduce injury risk. It’s a blend of science and practice, where knowledge of physiology, biomechanics, and sports science is applied to design effective training programs.

Role and Responsibilities

S&C coaches are tasked with developing tailored training programs that improve strength, speed, endurance, and overall athletic performance. They conduct fitness assessments, set training goals, and provide guidance on proper technique. Injury prevention is a key aspect, involving exercises that strengthen muscles and improve flexibility and balance. They also work closely with other sports professionals, such as physiotherapists and nutritionists, to ensure a holistic approach to the athlete’s development.

Key Sports Investing in S&C

While all sports benefit from S&C, those with high physical demands, like rugby, American football, and athletics, heavily invest in this area. Sports that require explosive power and strength, such as weightlifting and sprinting, also prioritise S&C in their training regimes. However, even sports where physicality might seem less central, like golf or cricket, increasingly recognise the importance of S&C for performance enhancement and injury prevention.

Challenges in the Field

One challenge is balancing the need for intense training with the risk of overtraining and injury. S&C coaches must carefully monitor athletes’ workload and recovery. Another challenge is the diverse needs of athletes; a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work in S&C, requiring coaches to be adaptable and knowledgeable about different sports and athletes.

Opportunities in S&C

There’s growing recognition of the importance of S&C at all levels of sport, from grassroots to elite, creating more opportunities for professionals in this field. The rise of technology in sports, such as wearables and data analytics, offers new tools for monitoring and enhancing athlete performance. There’s also a growing interest in S&C for youth athletes, focusing on long-term athlete development.

Future Directions

The future of S&C might see a greater integration of technology, using data analytics to tailor training programs more precisely to individual athletes’ needs. There’s also potential for more interdisciplinary work, combining insights from sports psychology, nutrition, and biomechanics for a more holistic approach to athlete development.


Strength and conditioning is a cornerstone of sports performance, essential for athletes across all disciplines. As the field evolves, it will continue to adapt, integrating new technologies and scientific insights to enhance its impact. The role of S&C coaches is not just about building stronger athletes; it’s about fostering resilient, well-rounded individuals who can perform at their peak while maintaining long-term health and well-being.

Physiotherapy in Sports: The Backbone of Athlete Care and Performance

Physiotherapy in sports is an indispensable discipline, focusing on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of injuries, as well as the enhancement of athletic performance. As such they are often the first appointment a backroom team makes. It’s a realm where medical knowledge meets physical training, requiring a deep understanding of the human body and its response to physical stress.

Role and Responsibilities

Sports physiotherapists are responsible for the assessment and management of sports injuries, rehabilitation, and the development of strategies to prevent injury recurrence. They work closely with athletes to understand their specific needs, tailoring treatments that range from manual therapy to exercise prescription. A significant part of their role involves educating athletes on injury prevention and body mechanics, ensuring long-term health and performance sustainability.

Key Sports Investing in Physiotherapy

High-contact sports like rugby, football, and hockey heavily invest in physiotherapy due to the high risk of injury. However, its importance is acknowledged across all sports, including individual disciplines like athletics, swimming, and gymnastics, where overuse injuries are common. Even in less physically demanding sports, such as archery or shooting, physiotherapy plays a role in managing musculoskeletal issues.

Challenges in the Field

One of the main challenges is managing the expectations of athletes and coaches, particularly around recovery times. There’s also the challenge of staying abreast of the latest research and treatment techniques in a rapidly evolving field. Another significant challenge is the need for individualised care; what works for one athlete may not be effective for another.

Opportunities in Physiotherapy

The growing recognition of the importance of injury prevention in sports opens up new opportunities for physiotherapists. There’s also a trend towards more holistic approaches to athlete care, where physiotherapists play a key role in interdisciplinary teams. Advances in technology, such as wearable devices and biomechanical analysis tools, offer new ways to assess and treat athletes.

Future Directions

The future of sports physiotherapy may see an even greater emphasis on injury prevention, with physiotherapists playing a more proactive role in athlete training and conditioning. Integration of technology for better diagnostics and treatment, and personalised rehabilitation programs based on genetic and biomechanical information, could become the norm.


Physiotherapy is a critical component of sports, ensuring athletes stay healthy, recover effectively from injuries, and perform at their best. As the field continues to evolve, sports physiotherapists will likely play an increasingly prominent role in shaping the way athletes train, compete, and recover, ensuring their physical well-being is always at the forefront.

Sports Medicine: The Intersection of Healthcare and Athletic Performance

Sports medicine is a multifaceted discipline that sits at the crossroads of healthcare and athletic performance. It’s not just about treating injuries; it’s about understanding the unique demands of sports and how they impact an athlete’s body. This field is crucial for maintaining the health and enhancing the performance of athletes, from amateurs to elite professionals.

Role and Responsibilities

Sports medicine professionals are tasked with a broad range of responsibilities. They diagnose and treat sports-related injuries, provide advice on injury prevention, and assist in rehabilitation. Their role extends to managing chronic conditions, and even addressing psychological issues related to sports performance. They work in tandem with other professionals like coaches, physiotherapists, and strength and conditioning experts to provide a holistic approach to athlete care.

Key Sports Investing in Sports Medicine

While all sports can benefit from sports medicine, those with high physical demands or injury risks, such as football, rugby, athletics, and gymnastics, particularly invest in this area. Sports medicine is also crucial in endurance sports like marathon running and cycling, where overuse injuries and nutrition play significant roles.

Challenges in the Field

One of the primary challenges in sports medicine is balancing an athlete’s desire to return to play with the need for adequate recovery time. There’s also the challenge of staying current with the latest medical advancements and treatment protocols. Another significant issue is the ethical dilemma of performance enhancement within the boundaries of fair play and health.

Opportunities in Sports Medicine

The field of sports medicine is ripe with opportunities, especially in research and the development of new treatment modalities. There’s growing interest in personalised medicine, where treatments and training programs are tailored to an individual’s genetic makeup. The integration of technology, such as wearables and AI-driven data analysis, offers new insights into athlete health and performance.

Future Directions

The future of sports medicine may see a greater emphasis on injury prevention and performance optimisation. Advances in regenerative medicine, like stem cell therapies and tissue engineering, could revolutionise injury treatment. Personalised medicine will likely play a more significant role, with treatments and training regimens tailored to the individual athlete’s genetic profile.


Sports medicine is a vital component of the sports industry, ensuring the health and well-being of athletes. As the field continues to evolve, it will likely play an increasingly significant role in not just treating injuries, but in preventing them, and in enhancing overall athletic performance through a comprehensive, personalised approach.

Numbers game?

What about the number of jobs out there? What about the competitiveness of each field? What might I earn? This is a difficult one to pin down for you, but generally there have been 3 major trends;

  • Expansion of the number of full and part-time jobs over the last 20 years, around the world and across the whole sporting landscape of Olympic and Paralympic, professional team and individual sports, elite, sub-elite, university and schools
  • Salaries have stagnated, in part due to government departments that fund Olympic and Paralympic systems fighting for investment with the global financial crisis in 2008, instabilities in global markets – all meaning more money being available is not likely. In professional systems, wages are more variable, but are hampered by owners and CEOs who have a variable understanding of the ROI from investing in quality expertise, i.e. spend millions on players that then have second rate advice and guidance.
  • The number of graduates to jobs ratio – is making it very difficult to stand out from the crowd. There is no getting around the fact that you have to do more to differentiate yourself in a crowded market. No one is going to phone you out of the blue to offer you a job, but you do stand a chance of getting selected if you have done a good job doing something similar before

Here are my musings of the state of play, in terms of numbers of jobs, competitiveness, potential for career earning at each stage. This is just my view. If you think I’ve got it wrong – comment here;

Table: Thoughts on competitiveness and earning potential throughout career

Sports Performance ProfessionNumber of JobsNumber of People SpecialisingEarning Potential Early CareerEarning Potential Mid-CareerEarning Potential Charging Private Clients
MedicineMediumMediumHighVery HighVery High
Performance AnalysisHighHighLowMediumMedium
Performance LifestyleLowLowMediumMediumHigh
PhysiotherapyVery HighHighMediumMediumLow
PsychologyHighLowLowMediumVery High
Strength and ConditioningVery HighVery HighLowMediumMedium

– Does not include ‘moving into management’
– Number of Jobs: Indicates the relative availability of jobs in the field compared to other disciplines.
– Number of People Specialising: Reflects how many professionals are specializing in this area compared to other disciplines.
– Earning Potential Early in Career: Compares the earning potential at the early stage of a career within this discipline to other disciplines.
– Earning Potential Mid Career: Compares the earning potential at the mid-point of a career within this discipline to other disciplines.
– Earning Potential Charging Private Clients: Compares the earning potential when charging private clients within this discipline to other disciplines. Does not include support for very high net-worth individuals.
– Low: Lower compared to other disciplines.
– Medium: Moderate or average compared to other disciplines.
– High: Higher compared to other disciplines.
– Very High: Very high compared to other disciplines.

Ratings with Monetary Values:
–       Low: Earning potential less than £28,000
–       Medium: Earning potential between £30,000 and £60,000
–       High: Earning potential more than £70,000
–       Very High: Earning potential greater than £150,000
or equivalent hourly rate.