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Is being a prodigy a necessity in the sports industry?

Will I be disadvantaged in the sports industry if I am not a prodigy in a specific sport? As many professional athlete have experience and training from a young age, does it count if I am a latecomer in the sports industry and have little experience?

#athletics #sports #ConnectedbySports #late bloomer

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Paul’s Answer

Being a prodigy is really not a requirement, if you wish to pursue a future in this field.

I think an excellent example of this element can be found in Charlie Weise. Charlie by no means was a great athlete. Matter of fact he did not even play sports in college. But he had a lot of determination and a never ending willingness to learn and improve his sports knowledge and skills.

He also was willing to start at the bottom and work his way upwards. Over time Charlie started to get noticed, because his knowledge of football and offensive schemes started to get the attention of coaches.

Over a period of years he worked his way up to becoming the offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots, and after winning some Super Bowl's, he was appointed as the head coach of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. And this guy never played sports in his life.

If you look around in our society, you will find many examples of this. There might be a so called financial genius, who never took a course in business or finance, but learned from just reading a magazine article. There is the auto mechanic, who never took a class in high school, but can fix nearly anything he or she touches, just because he worked on restoring the car in the garage every day. These skills can be developed with industriousness and a never ending enthusiasm for the subject. Jerry and Marge Selbee, won a lot of money, in lotteries, because they paid attention to details that others missed. Learning is very similar. If you do cross word puzzles, you will notice at the beginning you are very slow and inefficient. But over time you get better, to the point you can complete one in a short period of time.

I am a firm believer that professional skills can be developed. The growth mindset states that you may not be proficient at something right now, but over time with development, maturity, and emphasis on specific skills and hard work, that you will eventually become better and achieve the goal you pursue in life.
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hello Nievedha!

Just to let you know, you don't need to be a whiz kid in sports to make it big. Sure, a lot of pro athletes started training when they were kids, but it's never too late to jump in and shine. The world of sports cherishes those who show grit, put in the hard yards, never give up, and always strive to get better.

Emeritus Professor of Nutrition Sandra Capra wanted me to address the Brisbane Dietitians in Private Practice about my nutrition education software. It got their interest the mathematics that computer programming capacity could perform.
One of these Dietitians was training the Brisbane Broncos Football Team. Investigating their phenomenal wins after that!

This has relevance to you and your sports success. Physical capacity depends upon the use of advanced nutritional guidelines. We need physical performance enhancement; not just in strength, but endurance, and other body functions.

Remember, being a star in sports isn't all about natural talent or being a wonder child. Some folks might have a head start with inborn skills, but that's not the be-all and end-all. Plenty of top athletes have climbed their way to the top through pure grit, discipline, and tireless effort.

One big secret to making it in sports? A rock-solid work ethic. It doesn't matter if you're a prodigy or a late bloomer, what counts is your commitment to training and getting better. Athletes who are ready to sweat it out and push their boundaries often outshine those who just rely on their natural gifts.

Being a quick learner is another ace up your sleeve in sports. Starting young might give you more time to hone your skills, but it doesn't guarantee a win. Late starters can still get in the game by focusing on effective training methods, getting advice from seasoned coaches, and being open to learning from their fellow athletes.

Plus, having experience in other areas can be a bonus in sports. Skills like discipline, teamwork, leadership, and resilience that you've picked up from other activities or jobs can boost your success as an athlete. These skills can be learned at any age and can balance out any disadvantages you might feel as a late starter.

So, while being a prodigy might give you a leg up in sports, it's not a must-have for success. Dedication, hard work, never giving up, always getting better, and transferable skills - these are your tickets to a successful sports career. Whether you're a late bloomer or have little experience, with the right attitude and dedication, you can still reach for the stars in sports.

Top 3 Trusted Reference Publications or Websites Used:

1. ESPN - www.espn.com
2. Sports Illustrated - www.si.com
3. The Guardian - www.theguardian.com
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Tricia’s Answer

If you love sports, it’s never too late. The opportunities in sports are endless - to be a professional athlete that’s harder. Think about what you like about sports and what you are good at academically and then start thinking about where you enter the field. Sports + Math can = career in sports medicine, sports training; statistics: Sports + Art/creative = sports marketing, advertising or sales; Sports + writing = sports journalism or broadcasting. Get clear on your interest, gain knowledge you need (college, certificate), and so you commitment to whatever organization you want to work in/for.

Tricia recommends the following next steps:

Determine the area of sports you are most interested in
Determine what you are good at or enjoy doing academically
Gain the knowledge needed to be proficient in that area
Demonstrate a commitment to wanting to be part of the organization ( may be volunteering, connecting with others that already work there , etc.)
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Christopher’s Answer

I am guessing that you are really meaning do you need to know someone to get into whatever sports industry you are interested in. Its true that knowing someone or being the child of someone who is very helpful, but if you have the dedication and work ethic to succeed, you can still be successful. A good place to start is being student or graduate assistant at a college. From there you can branch out to different areas. A friend of mine started that way and now he is an assistant coach for a major D-1 college football program. Find an opening and work hard.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the great advice! Nievedha
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Maria’s Answer

There are many paths one can take to work in the sports industry. Being a professional athlete (golfer in my case) isn’t the only way to do so. Therefore, I encourage anyone to consider not only being a professional athlete as a way into the sports industry, but explore the many other avenues, including a sports lawyer, manager, support staff, social media creator, or reporter. Each member of my team is essential and a part of my success.
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Riley’s Answer

Not necessarily! It is definitely best to get into this industry as early as possible because the average retiring age is so young, but it is not a necessity. If you devote your life to practicing your sport and take every opportunity you can, you will definitely have a good chance at pursuing your dreams.
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John’s Answer

It's really up to you. Desire, dedication and commitment will allow you to chase your goal. Seek out teachers and mentors. Read, read, read on your subject. Eyes on the objective, not the obstacles. I am thinking now of this statement: "Whether you think you can or can't, you're right."
Thank you comment icon That's a great quote! I needed to hear that! Thank you. Nievedha
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Ron’s Answer

The term "prodigy" only means they are good for their particular age and have potential to be great in the future. It's kind of like not being the tallest in elementary school then by the time you are in high school, you pass everyone. If you have the size to compete and the passion/drive to get better every day, the sky will always be the limit. You can always improve skills, can't teach getting up and wanting to work everyday.

Ron recommends the following next steps:

Find a player you want to be like
Find out what makes them great from others
Find out their routine and story (they may be just like you!)
Dedicate yourself to doing something to get better everyday
Set goals and crush em!
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Nadia’s Answer

Additional question: what kind of career do you have in mind? Is it more like a sports manager, a marketing person, PR or rather a coach etc.? If it's the first group, although I haven't worked in the sports industry, I believe it's pretty similar everywhere: what counts is how you are going to "sell" your talent, skills and experience. You may be a latecomer, but if you justify you application in an attractive way, it may actually be your advantage. For example: You are a latecomer, but it's a result of a well thought out decision that presents you as the person who has a strategy for their life. When it comes to coaching; I met a person who did not consider himself as the greatest sports player, but he was an awesome coach. He said that it was because this role was more about the strategy, motivating people and knowing the rules and not having high scores.
If your question is about becoming a professional sports player, I think it varies case by case.
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Cindie’s Answer

Hi Nievedha. You ask a very interesting question. The sports industry, as you can imagine, has a lot of parts to it. In addition to the players, for pro organizations, you have the business owner(s), and in all organized sports, there are sports operations that include all facets that you would find in any business like finance, marketing, public relations, sports talent management and so forth.

As far as being a player in a sports, I wouldn't say you have to be a prodigy, but you do need to have a notable talent for the sport that causes you to rise above many. And the higher you desire to go as a player of sports not only should your talent be that much better but you should be willing to sacrifice a lot in terms of time and your personal relationships. If you play on a college team, you'll travel a lot during your season and perhaps off season so you won't be able to participate in some activities in college like a lot of other non-sports students. In the pro ranks, you'll travel a lot, so it'll be challenging to have a personal or family life. You'll certainly have to find the right person who will understand that your job is a traveling job, and if you have kids, child care will largely fall on your partner.

With that said, you can be the very best sports player you can be given your talents and work very hard and make it big in college and maybe the pros, but if your talent and hard work are not enough to make a career of being a player, you can use your knowledge as a player in other areas of the sports business. If you like to teach and develop talent, you could be a coach. There are many, many examples of outstanding, winning coaches who were not the top players. You could be a trainer. You could be a sports news caster. You could be in any facet of sports business management including marketing, finance, accounting, human resources, etc. Sports is a business.

So the short answer is, if you want to be a player at the top ranks of a chosen sport, yes, you need to be talented *and* you need to be a hard worker and be willing to sacrifice some personal aspects---at least for a period of time--of life in order to be very successful in sports. But even if you cannot make a career of being a player, you can certainly rise in any area of the sports industry.

Whatever you decide to do, I hope you will, above all, believe in yourself and challenge yourself to make the most of the unique talents that you have. You live in a day and time that needs you to be the best you you can be.

Best wishes for great success!
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Sophia’s Answer

I work for the production department at ESPN. I have no previous experience as an athlete, but I have experience from college in production and television media. Companies and teams are looking for candidates who can perform the job well. So it is very important to have relevant work experience. If you are working in production, I would try to work/intern/shadow at a local news station or sports team. Just try to get involved in as much as possible. Even if you feel like you're late to the game, start creating content and work towards your goal. Depending on the job you're pursuing, you may need more experience than other jobs. My best advice is to look for professionals who are working your "dream job" and see how they progressed to that point. Use them as a guide to discerning what you need to do. Everyone's path is different, but you can get a good idea from seeing what others have done to get to that point.
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Benmaamar’s Answer

Being a prodigy is not a strict necessity in the sports industry, but it can certainly provide certain advantages. A prodigy is typically someone who displays exceptional talent and skill at a very young age, often surpassing their peers in their chosen sport. Prodigies tend to possess natural abilities, such as superior physical attributes or exceptional hand-eye coordination, that give them a head start in their athletic development.

While being a prodigy can give individuals a significant advantage, it is not the sole determinant of success in the sports industry. Hard work, dedication, discipline, and a strong work ethic are also crucial factors in achieving excellence in any field, including sports. Many successful athletes have achieved greatness through years of intense training, coaching, and perseverance, despite not being considered prodigies in their early years.

Moreover, success in the sports industry is not solely dependent on natural talent or physical prowess. Mental toughness, strategic thinking, teamwork, adaptability, and resilience are equally important qualities that can help athletes excel in their respective sports.

It's worth noting that the sports industry is vast and diverse, encompassing various sports and disciplines. Different sports require different skill sets and attributes. Some sports may place a higher emphasis on natural talent and physical abilities, while others may prioritize technical skills, tactical understanding, or mental acuity. Therefore, the significance of being a prodigy can vary depending on the sport in question.

Ultimately, while being a prodigy can provide certain advantages in the sports industry, it is not an absolute necessity for success. Hard work, perseverance, and a combination of various skills and qualities can enable individuals to achieve greatness in sports, regardless of their initial level of talent.
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Itrat’s Answer

Hello Nievedha!

The concept of being a prodigy in the sports industry is often associated with exceptional talent and early success. However, while being a prodigy can certainly be advantageous, it is not a strict necessity for success in the sports industry.

Many athletes who achieve greatness do so through a combination of hard work, dedication, perseverance, and effective coaching. While natural talent can provide a head start, it is often the ongoing effort to improve skills, mental resilience, and strategic planning that ultimately leads to success.

Furthermore, success in the sports industry is not limited to athletes alone. There are numerous roles within the industry, such as coaching, sports medicine, sports management, sports journalism, and sports marketing, where individuals can excel based on their expertise, passion, and commitment, rather than solely relying on prodigious talent.

In conclusion, while being a prodigy can be advantageous in the sports industry, it is not a strict necessity. Hard work, dedication, and a strong work ethic are equally, if not more, important factors in achieving success in this field.
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