We are a Nation of sports fans—and sports players. Some of those who play a sport may even fantasize about becoming professional athletes—a dream that comes true for very few. Others are satisfied with the opportunity to be part of the play and still earn some pay in jobs as coaches, sports officials, and related workers.
This article provides a game plan for a career as a sports professional. It tackles the occupations of athlete; coach and instructor; sports official, including referee and umpire; and related workers (athletic trainer and scout), all of whom are paid to play a part in the widening world of sports. The occupations are described by the nature of their work, working conditions, employment and outlook, earnings, and qualifications and training requirements.