Sports management programs are a popular choice among college students today. While some have dreams of working as professional sports agents and helping the next generation of athletes land million dollar deals, others just love sports and want to work around athletes. These degree programs often allow students to pick a concentration in an area like sport marketing, sport administration, health and wellness or coaching. No matter what concentration a student picks, that student will likely want to know how they can get some practical experience before graduating.
One way sports management students can gain experience is through youth coaching programs. These programs are open to younger children and help them learn more about the game and how to play. Many schools and local districts have a high need for coaches willing to volunteer their time. Students can work with their players after school and on weekends to ensure that they know the fundamentals before playing their first game. Those with more sports experience may want to look for coaching opportunities with older students. Even local high schools may need coaches before the season starts.
Colleges and universities today offer students the chance to do internships and get course credit for working in a specific field. Those in a sports management program will want to talk to their advisers to find out how they can apply for internships that the school already knows about. Schools may list these open positions in the career development office or on an online job board. Students also have the option of finding their own internships. They will need to present information about the work they want to do to the school to get permission and to get course credit.
Even the smallest of colleges or universities will have a few sports teams. Many students think that they can only play on collegiate teams and worry that they are not good enough to make it through the tryouts for those teams. Schools also have intramural sports that are a little more laid back. These teams might include disc golf and other fun sports. Players can participate in those sports and join those teams to gain the teamwork and leadership experience that so many employers look for on resumes. That experience may help students some great paid internships too.
Independent Study Projects
Students enrolling in sports management programs should talk with their advisers about possibly doing independent study projects at a later date. Many schools only offer these courses for students at the junior or senior level. Students will need to pick a topic, present it to an adviser and gain approval to work on the project. An independent study project is usually worth one to three credits, though the amount of credits given often depends on the amount of work done by the student. Students can study a trending or new management topic that they did not study in one of their classes.
Schools like Adelphi University offer sports management degree programs for students who want to work with professional and amateur athletes after graduating and for those who want to work in the sports industry. Those students can gain practical experience through internships, coaching programs, independent study projects and as a player on a college team.