Sportsperson - Professional

Professional sportspeople participate in competitive sporting events in order to entertain audiences. They spend a great deal of time training, exercising and practising under the direction of a coach to maintain a peak level of fitness and to improve and refine technique.

This is a very competitive career and the lifestyle of a professional sportsperson is rigorous and disciplined, with very little time for leisure. They also have to pay strict attention to diet as this is essential for developing the energy and physique that will bring success in the field.

Professional sportspeople generate their incomes through their sporting performances. It is, however, impossible to maintain a peak level of fitness for an indefinite period, so many sportspeople diversify into related activities such as the endorsement and sale of sports clothing and equipment as well as sports journalism in preparation for a future career.

Personal Requirements

  • passion for sport
  • sporting skill and talent
  • dedicated
  • excellent health and physical fitness
  • competitive temperament
  • able to concentrate
  • stamina and self-discipline

How to Enter

No specific requirements

What to Study

Sports Coaching: The professional sportsman needs to obtain the services of the best coach that can be afforded.


Owners or managers of sporting teams (team sport)

Professional sportspeople in individual sports, such as boxing and tennis, are not employed by anyone, but may enter into partnership arrangements with their coaches and sponsors as they would probably be unable to compete at top level without financial and professional assistance.

Further Information

Sports Science Institute of South Africa SSISA
Private Bag X5
Newlands, 7725
Tel: (021) 659-5600

Exercise Teachers Academy
P O Box 694
Rondebosch 7701
Tel: (021) 683-8342

The South African Sports Commission (SASC)

Getting Started

  • develop your sporting skills and get and keep as fit as possible
  • enter as many sporting competitions or tournaments as possible
  • make an appointment to speak to a professional sportsperson in your field about this type of career

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