Competitive Sports Career Preparation

Success in competitive sports requires more than physical abilities, such as coordination and talent. Physical and mental training and financial planning for professional athletes should be pursued by those who seek a career in competitive sports.

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A professional athlete’s greatest asset is his or her body. Therefore, these individuals should use the best training equipment available and complete extensive training programs to maintain their health, protect against injuries and improve their performance. For example, they should complete exercise programs with varying intensities, and their exercises should work more than one muscle at a time. Competitors should also train extensively in their sport to produce effective muscle memory. However, prior to training or competitions, they should complete appropriate warm-up exercises to prepare their muscles and increase their temperature and blood flow.

In addition, working out with a buddy or group may help players stay motivated during training. These environments tend to be competitive and supportive because the group is focused and holds its members accountable.

Athletes should pay close attention to their bodies to identify early warning signs of fatigue and muscle strain. Individuals who experience soreness or stiffness after a workout or during a rest period should complete low-intensity exercises, such as walking, to loosen up their muscles.

Competitors should also relax their muscles via deep tissue massages and rest periods. At least seven hours of proper sleep is also suggested. Finally, they should adopt appropriate eating and water-drinking habits.


Much of athletes’ success is based on their mental state, but most spend little or no time on mental preparation and conditioning. These individuals should be confident, motivated, diligent, consistent, focused and calm.

Therefore, players should pursue structured and customized mental conditioning. For example, they should participate in visualizations of success scenarios, positive self-talk and goal setting. Competitors should evaluate their expectations and mindsets while facing and overcoming their fears. Success requires a positive attitude and self-image, so athletes should focus on building these capabilities. Just like physical conditioning, mental skills require time, hard work and patience to develop.


Because competitive sports careers tend to be somewhat short, athletes should plan for their financial futures. They should pursue financial management education so they are able to participate in their financial planning and auditing processes. They should also work with a reputable financial planning company.

If you are planning a career as a professional athlete, in addition to your physical training, consider pursuing mental training and financial planning to ensure a successful career and retirement.

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