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Sports professional

Sports professionals are skilled and talented sportsmen and sportswomen, who are paid to compete in their chosen sport.

Potential salary
Working hours
44 to 46 variable
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • persistence and determination
  • customer service skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • physical fitness and endurance
  • knowledge of human resources and employment law
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device


  • compete in matches and competitions
  • keep up and improve your skills with regular practice
  • maintain your general fitness and stamina by training
  • make sure your diet and lifestyle help you to achieve peak performance
  • take advice from coaches, nutritionists, exercise professionals, sports psychologists and doctors

You could work on a sports field or at a fitness centre.

Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers and you may spend nights away from home.

In the more physical and contact sports, your career would usually be short. Many professionals finish their sporting career by the age of 35.

After your career ends, you could stay involved in sport by moving into areas like coaching, refereeing, team management, sports journalism or sports centre work.

You can get more details on what it takes to become a professional sportsperson from Sport England.

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