High-Paying Jobs For People Who Love Sports | MoneyUnder30 (2023)

Few people ever become professional athletes, but plenty get behind-the-scenes jobs in the sports industry. Here are just a couple of high-paying jobs for people who love sports.

Let’s face a cold hard, fact about sports: precious few people will ever make it into the level of professional athlete.

Not only are professional sports reserved for the best of the best, but there are some sports that don’t even have a professional level – at least not one that pays serious money.

So if you’re not a top athlete, but you love sports, how can you find high-paying sports jobs?

Fortunately, the number of sports-related jobs is much higher than the number of athletic positions in professional sports. As is the case with any of the glamour fields, there’s always a large number of people behind the scenes making it all work for the professional athletes on the field, the court, or the ice.

Below are 12 examples. We haven’t ranked them, because the salary levels can vary dramatically within the same field. But if you rise to the top of said field, you can earn many millions of dollars. That’s true of a lot of these jobs!

What’s Ahead:

Sports Manager

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A sports manager is someone who’s concerned primarily with the business side of sports.

In professional sports, the sports manager can be one of the most important people in the organization, all while being completely unknown to the team’s fan base. But you’ll be the person responsible for handling everything from team travel to charitable events to victory parades.

How much can you make?

The average salary for a sports manager is between $35,000 and $42,000, but it can vary widely based on geography and the type of sport.

For instance, a sports information director can earn $60,000, while an athletic director can earn $80,000, and professional sports managers can make anywhere from $200,000 and up, and even into the seven-figure range.

Education requirements?

You’ll need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree to become a sports manager, and both your salary and your position can move up more quickly with a Masters’ degree.

Physical Therapist

High-Paying Jobs For People Who Love Sports | MoneyUnder30 (2)

Physical therapists typically work with people who have injuries or are recovering from surgery. They usually serve the general public, but it’s possible to develop a specialization for sports.

(Video) 10 Highest Paying Sports Careers for Non-Athletes

How much can you make?

Your efforts at developing your career will pay off. The median annual salary for physical therapists is $89,349 per year.

With a specialization in treating athletes, you can exceed this salary level with more experience and a growing reputation.

Education requirements?

To become a physical therapist, you’ll typically need to obtain a doctor of physical therapy degree (DPT) or other professional degree.

You’ll also need to become licensed in the state where you’re practicing. You can start out working for a physical therapy practice, preferably one that specializes in sports medicine. But eventually, you can open your own practice, working primarily with athletes.

Sports Medicine Doctor

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Sports medicine doctor is a bit of a generalization, since there are doctors who work specifically in sports medicine, and others who work in sports related surgery.

How much can you make?

The average income is $239,595, though it can vary from one region of the country, as well as by specialization.

For example, if you’re the team doctor for a college or professional sports team, you’ll learn a lot more than one who works with high school or weekend athletes.

Education requirements?

Naturally, you’ll need medical school, as well as any state licensing requirements. And since sports medicine is highly specialized, it may be several years before you have sufficient experience to command higher compensation.

Golf or Tennis Pro

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In most cases, a golf or tennis pro will be associated with a country club. They’ll be there to provide assistance to members of the club, as well as private instruction for both individuals and groups.

How much can you make?

For tennis pros, pay averages $51,041 per year, while golf pros average $43,998 per year.

Either position depends heavily on both your experience level and the club you’ll be working at.

Education requirements?

There’s typically no formal education associated with either capacity. But proficiency and experience, as well as an ability to coach and handle people well, are definite prerequisites. Some kind of professional recognition, particularly as a player, is also a major advantage.

Sports Photographer

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Being a sports photographer definitely isn’t one of the higher-paying sports-related jobs. But if you love photography, and you love sports, this can be a perfect way to monetize a passion.

How much can you make?

The average salary in the field is a relatively modest $49,445 per year. But just as is the case with most other jobs on this list, you can earn a lot more depending on where and how you work.

For example, $35,000 is probably the going rate for sports photographers working for newspapers and magazines. But it’s much higher if you’re working for a dedicated sports publication, like Sports Illustrated.

(Video) High-paying jobs for people who love sports

As well, if you have a real talent for capturing the best plays in sports, you may be able to name your price as a freelance sports photographer.

Education requirements?

One of the major advantages (apart from being able to earn money from a hobby) is that it’s a relatively easy entry field. You typically need no more than a high school diploma, but plenty of on-the-job training is naturally a big help.

You may need to work with an experienced sports photographer, and supplement that work with do-it-yourself training in both the mechanics of photography and understanding what sports fans most want to see.

A major perk of the job: you’ll get a sideline spot at sporting events.

Commercial Diver

High-Paying Jobs For People Who Love Sports | MoneyUnder30 (6)

Commercial diver is probably the most unorthodox entry on this list. That’s because you won’t be working in a sports field, but rather applying a sports-related ability, which is underwater diving.

It’s a highly specialized field, involving working underwater doing primarily repair work to seabed structures. Think offshore oil and gas drilling, and related industries. It’s certainly not glamorous, but it will enable you to monetize your diving skills.

How much can you make?

The income is pretty solid, averaging $54,750 per year. But like all other fields, you can earn a lot more based on your experience, skills, and the industry or company you work for.

Education requirements?

Though there are training programs available, there’s no specific education level required. A stint in the Navy or Marines, particularly as a Navy seal, would be ideal. But you can also enter the field if you have significant diving experience, along with a spirit of adventure and a knack for repair work.

Media Sports Program Director

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This is a highly specialized occupation since the number of well-paying jobs is limited to professional sports teams, major college programs, and media outlets.

A media sports program director coordinates broadcast and programming personnel activities, handles program scheduling and event coverage, coordinates with other departments, and works with directors and production personnel in assessing the length and content of media presentations.

How much can you make?

You’re unlikely to find a position at a local high school. But if you do land a position, the average salary is a robust $74,389 per year.

Education requirements?

To enter the field, you typically need a bachelor’s degree in a media-related field. It also helps to have several years’ experience working in a media-related capacity. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to graduate from college and move directly into the field.

Team Trainer

High-Paying Jobs For People Who Love Sports | MoneyUnder30 (8)

Team trainers work at preventing, diagnosing, and treating muscle and bone injuries and illnesses. You can think of it as something akin to being a first aid practitioner with a team. But it’s more than that, because you’re working with team members on an ongoing basis, and are often aware of injuries and physical limitations they have. Your job will be to keep them healthy, and able to perform with- or minimize-certain injuries.

Jobs are primarily in colleges and universities, but frequently at hospitals and high schools as well. And if you’re one of the lucky few – as in no more than a few hundred – you may be in a high-paying, high visibility position as a team trainer for either a professional sports team or a major university sports program.

How much can you make?

The average salary is $43,736 per year.

(Video) Price Comparison: Highest Paid Jobs

Education requirements?

To enter the team trainer field, typically requires a bachelor’s degree related to the field.

Sports Reporter

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What sports fan doesn’t have deep experience playing “Monday morning quarterback”? But did you know you can actually get paid for it? You can do that by becoming a sports reporter. There are people who chronicle the game, write about the major plays, events, and calls, then usually throw in a (un)healthy dose of personal commentary. But it just might be one of the most enjoyable and influential jobs in the sports universe.

How much can you make?

To show how much fun it can be, a sports reporter typically is paid less than reporters in other categories, like politics or finance. For example, while the average income for reporters, in general, is $49,300 per year, it’s just $38,922 per year for sports reporters. We can suppose employers consider love of the game to be part of the compensation.

Education requirements?

To enter the field, you’ll typically need a bachelor’s degree in either journalism or communications. You’ll also need to have work experience or an internship with a newspaper, radio, or TV station.

And naturally, a keen interest in sports – in combination with an ability to articulate events on the field in a way that resonates with the audience. All will go a long way in determining how much you earn.

Sports Broadcaster

High-Paying Jobs For People Who Love Sports | MoneyUnder30 (10)

Have you ever watched a sporting event on TV, become annoyed at the announcers, and thought “I can do a better job”? If you think you can, it may be possible to break into the field of sports broadcaster, but it’s an admittedly tough climb. After all, nearly every sports fan in history has contemplated the possibility. And every year, thousands try.

Unfortunately, the best positions are few in number, and only a tiny handful of people reach the superstar level that puts them on a nearly equal footing with star players and coaches.

How much can you make?

Sports broadcasters earn an average of $41,800 per year. But this is one of those fields where average doesn’t tell the story. The highest-paid announcers among professional sports broadcasters can be as high as $75,754. But there are a handful of superstar broadcasters in major network sports that earn into the millions.

Education requirements?

To become a sports broadcaster you’ll need to have a bachelor’s degree in either broadcasting or communications. But experience is the real key. You’ll have to work your way up the ladder, going from local media, like radio and TV broadcasts in your local market, onto the regional or national scene. It’s a tough climb because it’s a very competitive field.

Sports Referee

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If you have a real passion for the technicalities of a certain sport – as in you’ve mastered the rulebook – you can turn it into a career as a sports referee.

How much can you make?

Unfortunately, it’s the lowest paying sports-related occupation on this list. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary is just $28,940 per year.

But one of the major advantages of this job is that there are more positions available than there are for others in the sports realm.

For example, you can become a paid sports referee for recreational sports leagues for children, high school sporting events, and all the way up to college and professional sports. The more local positions will pay no more than $10-$20 per hour. But at the college and professional level, rates could be much higher, especially with certain sports.

Education requirements?

Typically, you need only a high school diploma. And of course, it’s better if you spent a significant amount of time playing in the sport you plan to referee in. But attention to detail, and the rulebook – mixed with a healthy sense of fairness – is really the best resume.

Head Coach

High-Paying Jobs For People Who Love Sports | MoneyUnder30 (12)

(Video) Sports Career Options: Finding Your Sports Industry Fit

While most folks won’t become the head coach of professional sports teams, you can still coach at the high school or college level.

How much can you make?

There’s good news and bad news on the salary front. The median income for coaches is just $36,330. But that’s just the median. It takes in coaches of all types, but is certainly dominated by high school sports coaches and assistant coaches, with a smaller number of college coaches, and an even smaller count on professional coaches.

But if you want to dream big, head coaches in college and pro football commonly make seven-figure incomes. At the professional level, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick earns an estimated $12.5 million.

Education requirements?

To become a head coach, you’ll typically need a bachelor’s degree, along with consistent participation in the sport you hope to coach in.

Naturally, to get to the upper echelons of the pay scale, you’ll need to go through long stints as either a player or an assistant coach. The more successful that program is, the more success you’re likely to have in landing a top head coaching position.

Summary

You don’t have to become a professional athlete to make money in sports. As you can see from this list, there are plenty of high-paying jobs for people who love sports. Once you accept the fact that you’ll never make the pros as a player, it’s just a matter of narrowing down your specialization.

Much like a TV show or movie, they are usually dozens or even hundreds of people working behind the scenes to make sporting events happen. You can build a career around becoming one of them.

Are you game?

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FAQs

What is the highest paying sport job? ›

15 of the highest paying sports jobs
  • Sports editor.
  • Baseball coach.
  • Sports reporter.
  • Personal trainer.
  • Basketball coach.
  • Athletic scout.
  • Football coach.
  • Athletic director.

What career should I do if I love sports? ›

Top 5 Jobs in the Sports Industry in 2022
  • Exercise Physiologist. Job Growth Rate (2020-30): 13% ...
  • Athletic Trainer. Job Growth Rate (2020-30): 23% ...
  • Coach or Scout. Job Growth Rate (2020-30): 26% ...
  • Athletic Director. Job Growth Rate (2020-30): 8% (postsecondary education administrators) ...
  • Sports Data Analyst or Statistician.
2 Feb 2022

Which job is best for sports person? ›

Here is a list of 10 non-athletic careers in sports that may interest you:
  1. Sports journalist. National average salary: ₹390,000 per year. ...
  2. Sports commentator. National average salary: ₹14,196 per month. ...
  3. Sports writer. ...
  4. Sports photographer. ...
  5. Sports massage therapist. ...
  6. Sports event coordinator. ...
  7. Referee. ...
  8. Exercise physiologist.
15 Nov 2021

What career makes a million a year? ›

Some options include healthcare, certain fields of law, real estate development and finance. Each industry and career path is likely to have steps that lead to advancement opportunities that further increase earnings.

What is a fun career? ›

12 of the most fun jobs in every field
  • Fashion consultant.
  • Radio announcer.
  • Brewmaster.
  • Pet groomer.
  • Novelist.
  • Race car driving instructor.
  • Food critic.
  • Event planner.

How can I make money if I love sports? ›

But if you rise to the top of said field, you can earn many millions of dollars.
...
High-Paying Jobs For People Who Love Sports
  1. Sports Manager.
  2. Physical Therapist.
  3. Sports Medicine Doctor.
  4. Golf or Tennis Pro.
  5. Sports Photographer.
  6. Commercial Diver.
  7. Media Sports Program Director.
  8. Team Trainer.
2 Jun 2022

Can I make a career out of sports? ›

Recently, there is a surge in careers related to sports, such as being a sportsman or a professional athlete. Other than that, there are also fields in this career path like sports medicine, sports journalism and reporting, sports management, fitness trainers, etc.

How do I turn my passion for sports into a career? ›

Here's how you can get your career in sports off to a good start.
  1. Become an Expert. Whether you are looking to break into sports broadcasting, become a coach, personal trainer, sports manager, or other sports-related career, you have to become an expert, first. ...
  2. Education and Training. ...
  3. Many Potential Broadcasting Careers.

What jobs can I do with a degree in sport? ›

Jobs directly related to your degree include:
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  • Fitness centre manager.
  • Personal trainer.
  • Primary school teacher.
  • Secondary school teacher.
  • Sports administrator.
  • Sports coach.
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What are two sport related careers? ›

Careers in sports
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  • Sports development officer. ...
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Is sports a good career choice? ›

As per various researches, children who actively compete in sports do considerably well in their academics and daily lives. With that, more and more parents are giving their children the opportunity to have a career in sports than ever before.

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According to data that FinanceBuzz compiled from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), some low-stress jobs that typically yield a six-figure salary include mathematician, software developer, political scientist, physicist, chemical engineer, astronomer, and ...

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In this article, we take a look at what makes some jobs happier than others and list 31 of the happiest jobs you can do.
...
31 of the happiest jobs
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How can I make 120K a year? ›

Jobs that pay over $120K per year
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What career pays the most UK? ›

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What job makes you a billionaire? ›

Top 15 Careers That Can Make You a Billionaire
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What jobs make rich and famous? ›

Here are 10 jobs you should choose in 2021 to earn big bucks and get rich quickly:
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25 Dec 2020

What are the 5 happiest jobs? ›

The 10 Happiest and Most Satisfying Jobs
  • Dental Hygienist.
  • Physical Therapist.
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  • Optometrist.
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What job makes 100K a year? ›

Jobs that pay $100K a year typically require a bachelor's degree or higher. For example, according to the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program, physicians, surgeons, chief executives, lawyers, pharmacists, and dentists in the U.S. all earn more than $100,000 per year, on average.

Who is the richest female athlete? ›

  • The World's Highest-Paid Female Athletes.
  • Naomi Osaka: $53.2 million.
  • Prize money: $1.2 million | Endorsements: $52 million | Age: 25.
  • Serena Williams: $35.3 million.
  • Prize money: $300,000 | Endorsements: $35 million | Age: 41.
  • Emma Raducanu: $26.2 million.
  • Prize money: $3.2 million | Endorsements: $23 million | Age: 19.
27 Oct 2022

How do I get a job in sports world? ›

Top 10 Things to Do to Get a Job in Sports
  1. Get an internship. ...
  2. Get another internship. ...
  3. Attend the annual league meetings.
  4. Access league and team job openings. ...
  5. Best bet: Find someone that knows somebody. ...
  6. Consider sports-related jobs that put you into contact with sports teams.

What sports can I start at 25? ›

But the fact is, you can commence playing games like table tennis, badminton, lawn tennis etc. at any age. Such games are beneficial for your mental as well as physical health too.

Which degree is best for sports? ›

15 majors involving sports
  1. Exercise science. The main focus of an exercise science major is the process of human movement, also called kinesiology. ...
  2. Exercise physiology. ...
  3. Athletic training. ...
  4. Physical therapy. ...
  5. Sports communication. ...
  6. Sports management. ...
  7. Sports and fitness administration. ...
  8. Sports studies.

What sports jobs don't require a degree? ›

Top 15 sports jobs you can get without a degree
  • Sports editor.
  • Ski instructor.
  • Sports coach.
  • Sports coordinator.
  • Fitness trainer.
  • Referee.
  • Photographer.
  • Sports reporter.
18 Oct 2021

What sport has most passionate fans? ›

Soccer / Association Football

Is sport a good choice for a future career? ›

It teaches you discipline, hard work, communication. That's why hiring an athlete, a current or former one, should never be neglected. Having zero work experience in your CV due to spending all your free time in practice is not the same as choosing not to work.

What is the most passionate sport in the world? ›

It's full of tactics, athleticism, excitement, and the most passionate players, fans and managers in the world. The phenomenon of soccer exists in every crevice of the world.

How much does a sports scientist earn UK? ›

How much does a Sports Scientist make? The national average salary for a Sports Scientist is £32,965 in United Kingdom. Filter by location to see Sports Scientist salaries in your area. Salary estimates are based on 12 salaries submitted anonymously to Glassdoor by Sports Scientist employees.

How much do sports therapists make UK? ›

If you've been wondering 'how much does a sports therapist make? ', then the simple answer is that the average salary of a sports therapist is £35,700 per year. There are several factors that can increase your annual earnings, such as the size of the company you work for, your geographical location and your speciality.

What can I do with a PE degree? ›

What careers can I do with physical education?
  • Sports science.
  • PE teacher.
  • Physiotherapist.
  • Professional sportsperson.
  • Sports coach/consultant.
  • Sports policy at local and national level.
  • Diet and fitness instructor.
  • Personal trainer.

What is the hardest sport to become pro? ›

The 5 Hardest Sports to Make it to the Pros In (Statistically)
  • Ice Hockey. If you enjoy the majesty of gliding over the ice and the thrill of smashing into other adults, you might want to pursue a career in hockey. ...
  • Baseball. ...
  • Soccer. ...
  • Basketball.

What is the hardest skill to learn in sports? ›

Here's why. A unique blend of physics and neuroscience makes the skill astronomically difficult.

Which country is best for sports career? ›

Best countries for a Master's in Sports Management
  • The United Kingdom.
  • The United States.
  • Australia.
  • Germany.
  • Spain.
11 Jan 2022

What is the easiest high paying job UK? ›

15 best paying jobs you can do without needing a degree
  • Household Manager – £32,500.
  • Computer Games Tester – £37,000.
  • Chicken Sexer – £40,000.
  • Air Traffic Controllers – £40,000.
  • Computer Security Specialists – £42,500.
  • Train and Tram Drivers – £44,500.
  • Sales Manager – £46,000.
  • Member of Parliament – £82,000+
24 Oct 2022

What is the most chill job? ›

22 jobs for laid-back personalities
  • Social media manager.
  • Dietitian.
  • Graphic designer.
  • Massage therapist.
  • Copywriter.
  • Librarian.
  • Professor.
  • Archivist.
11 Aug 2021

What is the most peaceful career? ›

Hand Sewers. Hand sewing is probably one of the most relaxing jobs in the world. You have to use threads and needles to join parts of toys, garments, and books. Doing this does not require any brain complication or physical activity.

Whats a good lazy job? ›

21 Jobs for Lazy People That Pay Well
  • Survey Taker. There are tons of online sites looking to hire people to take surveys for money. ...
  • Online Shopper. Some people don't have time to shop in stores. ...
  • Line Stand-In. ...
  • Rideshare Driver. ...
  • Librarian. ...
  • Food Taster. ...
  • Professional Cuddler. ...
  • Hotel Sleep Tester.
12 Feb 2022

What are the highest stress jobs? ›

10 of the most high stress jobs in the U.S.―some pay as much as $208,000 a year
  • Anesthesiologist assistant. ...
  • Judge. ...
  • Phone operator. ...
  • Acute care nurse. ...
  • Obstetrician and gynecologist. ...
  • Public safety telecommunicator. ...
  • First-line supervisor of retail sales workers. ...
  • Nurse anesthetist.
18 Nov 2022

What is the best job for life? ›

Embrace the possibility of better work-life balance with high-paying jobs that offer flexible scheduling and the ability to work remotely. Flexible hours.
...
Top industries for work-life balance
  • Tech.
  • Real estate.
  • Aerospace and defense.
  • Finance.
  • Insurance.
13 Jul 2022

How can I make a 6 figure salary UK? ›

You may be able to earn a six-figure salary by freelancing or opening up your own business as an alternative. If you live in a smaller city or town, you may experience better opportunities in a bigger city. While the cost of living is higher, the chance of getting a higher-paying job is exponentially higher.

How can I get a six-figure job? ›

6 Secrets To Getting A Job That Pays 6 Figures
  1. Do Your Research. To earn 6 figures, you need to pick a profession that pays 6 figures. ...
  2. Persevere. A six-figure salary may not materialize overnight. ...
  3. Negotiate. Don't count on benevolence. ...
  4. Be Confident. ...
  5. Make a Plan. ...
  6. Take Some Risks. ...
  7. Network: No Woman is an Island.
22 May 2018

What job makes 200k a year? ›

Diverse jobs such as being an IT systems manager, financial officer, or even a social media marketer can earn you salaries of $200k with the right skills and opportunities.

What sport careers are there? ›

Sports and leisure
  • Athlete. Track and field athlete. ...
  • Bookmaker. Bookie, turf accountant, betting shop manager. ...
  • Cinema or theatre attendant. Usher. ...
  • Cycling coach. Cycling instructor. ...
  • Diver. Divers work underwater at sea, or in rivers, lakes, canals and reservoirs.
  • Events manager. ...
  • Fitness instructor. ...
  • Football coach.

How do I stop being obsessed with sports? ›

Moving Forward
  1. Get rid of Satellite and Cable TV. ...
  2. Stop following and frequenting sports-related media online. ...
  3. Reconnect with old hobbies and discover new ones. ...
  4. Get rid of sports clothing, paraphanelia, etc. ...
  5. Don't make a big deal out of it. ...
  6. Don't stress when you do encounter sports.
21 Sept 2016

Is a sport degree worth it? ›

This is a degree that comes with a wealth of career options. Gyms and other exercise facilities are rapidly becoming more popular, so there is a growing demand for experts in the field. Many Sports Science graduates become coaches, psychologists, agents, personal trainers or sports government workers.

What is the most skilled sport? ›

Top Ranked Skill Sports
RankingSportRating
1Tenpin Bowling87.4
2Swimming (200m Free)86.9
3Weightlifting86.2
4Water Polo85.8
6 more rows

What is the hardest sport to get in professionally? ›

Here are the top 5 hardest sports to make it pro in (statistically).
  • Ice Hockey. If you enjoy the majesty of gliding over the ice and the thrill of smashing into other adults, you might want to pursue a career in hockey. ...
  • Baseball. ...
  • Soccer. ...
  • Basketball.

When should I quit my sport? ›

When you realize that you don't want to go to practice and you're no longer excited to compete, those are two key signs,” says Kyba. To be clear, everyone has days where practice feels annoying or a competition seems unpleasant. Don't quit the first time you don't feel like heading to practice after school.

Can I become an athlete at 25? ›

Though the age of 25 is not bad to start playing as general. But if you are thinking to be professional, then it is too late because most new players who join the field are below the age of 20. Most of the professionals reach their top-most stage between the age of 21-25.

Why do I love sports so much? ›

People like sports because they need an escape from real-world troubles. People like sports because it provides a sense of belonging, a connection to a wider world. In other words: There is no single answer to why people watch sports, because the answer doesn't lie in the game, it lies inside the individual.

Are extreme sports attractive? ›

The results revealed that 57% of women found climbing attractive, making it the sexiest sport from a female perspective. In second place was extreme sports (56%), followed by football (52%), and hiking (51%). At the bottom of their list came aerobics and golf, with just 9% and 13% of the vote, respectively.

Why do people get so worked up over sports? ›

Every fan as felt the amazing feeling of winning and the somber mood after a team loss. When your team wins, your body releases neurotransmitter dopamine, a chemical that your brain produces that affects your mood.

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