Professional Athlete  What They Do

Just the Facts


Athletes and Sports Competitors Career Video



Competes in athletic events.

This career is part of the Hospitality and Tourism cluster Recreation, Amusements and Attractions pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Attends scheduled practice or training sessions.
  • Participates in athletic events or competitive sports, according to established rules and regulations.
  • Exercises or practices under the direction of athletic trainers or professional coaches to develop skills, improve physical condition, or prepare for competitions.
  • Maintains equipment used in a particular sport.
  • Maintains optimum physical fitness levels by training regularly, following nutrition plans, or consulting with health professionals.
  • Assesses performance following athletic competition, identifying strengths and weaknesses and making adjustments to improve future performance.
  • Receives instructions from coaches and other sports staff prior to events, and discusses their performance afterwards.
  • Represents teams or professional sports clubs, performing such activities as meeting with members of the media, making speeches, or participating in charity events.
  • Leads teams by serving as captain.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Work in this occupation involves keeping or regaining your balance more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of special protective items such as a breathing apparatus, safety harness, full protection suit, or radiation protection
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Maintaining a body position that prevents falling when in an unstable position
  • Moving the arms, legs and torso together when the whole body is in motion
  • Using muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring
  • Short periods of running, jumping, or throwing
  • Bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Exerting oneself physically over long periods of time without getting out of breath
  • Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying objects
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours
  • Overnight travel
  • Seasonal work
  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

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