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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 & 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

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