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An Athlete's Career Progression

    Everyone goes through a learning process to acquire and optimize their athletic skills. At some point the physical and mental abilities to perform at the optimum level begins to deteriorate as a natural part of aging.

   In some individuals the aging processing can be delayed by continuing to participate in the sport, but at a lower level that does not involve the risk taking associated with pushing the body's physical limitations and increasing the risk of relatively minor injuries and major life changing falls.

   Elite athletes may become professional performers and/or product spokespersons, if their sport provides such opportunities, or use their competitive fame to become a well paid coach. 

   Skaters who do not make it to the top of their sport internationally, should consider acquiring a university degree while competing or after concluding their competition career. The following career paths require one or more academic degrees:
  • Semi related to the sports as -
    • An attorney practicing contract law specializing as an agent for athletes
    • A doctor specializing in orthopedic medicine
    • Sports commentator
    • Sports journalist
  • Unrelated to sports with a career as a -
    • Educator
    • Politician
    • Business Management
    • Venture Capitalist
    • Musician/Composer
    • Artist - painter, sculpture, fashion designer
    The personality of the athlete has a lot to do with the physical activities they pursue after retiring from  being a full time athlete or a part time college student playing on a varsity sport like football or basketball.

    Some athletes who have not reached an elite status may continue to strive to compete in various age restricted events as adults while working full-time. These individuals are very serious about continuing to compete and is an under exploited market that can be tapped if practice sessions are scheduled at convenient times.

Athletic Scholarships
    Athletic scholarships for undergraduate student athletes at Division I and Division II schools are partially funded through the NCAA membership revenue distribution. Division III schools offer only academic scholarships.

Requirements and credentials to become a highschool, college or university coach
   All Olympic Sports have their own amateur athletic associations that govern their sport. Many have professional coaching organizations that may establish criteria necessary to coach in their sport of choice. College and University varsity sports are administered under the umbrella of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Certification for coaching in NCAA events   College and University Physical Education Departments offer degree programs that lead to Careers in Physical and Recreation Education:
  • Training: Americans are becoming more and more focused on matters of health, there are positions opening up every day in gyms and work out centers across the country for educated trainers. A physical education degree can open doors to these positions as well as the more desired training careers in individual and team sports.
  • Recreation and Resource Management: These people plan group activities designed to entertain and promote health and well being. Positions include: Adult Sports and Facilities Manager, Aquatics Coordinator, Amateur Sports Coordinator, Director of Intramural Sports, Facilities and Equipment Director, Fitness Coordinator, Golf Course Manager, Marketing Specialist, Outdoor Recreation Program Coordinator, Recreation Center Facility Supervisor,  Resort Program Director, etc.
  • Teaching: Physical education jobs occur in all levels of education, from pre-school to university. Depending upon the specific level of specialty, physical education teachers may teach health and nutrition inside classroom walls in addition to sports education outside and in the gym.
  • Coaching:  At the high school level physical education teachers often perform the dual role of  coaching to earn a very modest stipend as extra compensation which they do more for love of the sport than the money. Long hours are just the beginning of a coach's responsibilities. A coach must also deal with a large group of young people, meddling parents, and being on the road.

    Coaches at the college and university level must deal with especially long and irregular hours, plus frequent traveling for away games and meets.
Competition for professional coaching positions is intense. Those chosen for these positions are experienced, passionate, and extremely talented. Positions often depend on the team's winning performance.
  • Research: Physical and Recreation Education professionals who hold advanced degrees may participate in research which could aid in discovering the most effective methods of exercise and movement through the study of kinesiology. Kinesiology is the science of human movement.
A career in research helps people to have a higher quality of life through effective nutrition and exercise. Pure research can lead to discoveries on how to actually prevent injury and illness from ever occurring.

     NCAA coaches, including but not limited to non scholastic, AAU, club, high school, junior college, preparatory school coaches and NCAA student athletes involved in coaching activities, are required to obtain the requisite approval.

    All individuals who engage in coaching activities at an NCAA certified event must be approved through the NCAA Participant Approval Program administered by LexisNexis prior to participation.  Event operators are instructed to require coaches to show a State or US Government issued picture ID during their event check-in procedures to ensure that only approved coaches are granted the ability to participate.


References:

Character Counts Sports Training Program for Coaches on Ethics  Ethics applies to coaches of Olympic or other elite athletes as well as coaches of recreational athletes. One dimension of professionalism is the requirement that coaches always put the welfare of their athletes above any personal interests.

  Coaching qualifications and ratings of sports that are not included in the NCAA system of sports competitions:
  • The Professional Skating Association rating system for US figure skating coaches.  The PSA Official Rating System is for coaches who want to validate their skating skill and teaching experience. Ratings are an assurance to clubs, rinks, skaters, parents, and the general public that the coach they hire is technically qualified to instruct at the level in which they are rated regardless of background and skating achievement.
Ratings are offered in Free Skating, Figures, Pairs, Dance, Group, Program Director, Synchronized Team, Free Dance, Choreography, and Moves in the Field. They are offered as four levels - Registered, Certified, Senior and Master.

Ratings consist of both written and oral examinations. Once a rating has been earned, a coach must maintain a minimum of 28 educational credits over a three-year period through attendance at educational events.
  • CEP Level 3 Manual - USA Hockey  The coaches' qualifications as well as their coaching education background is evaluated to improve the caliber and quality of coaching in amateur hockey. Coaching Education Required Levels established by USA Hockey requires that a of coaching education levels must be the minimum criteria for districts and/or affiliates.
The coaches education requirements must be monitored and enforced by the districts or affiliate leagues. All coaches must have the USA Hockey Coaching Education Program card by January 1 of the current season.
  • Speed Skating Coaching Qualifications  US speed skating offers five levels of coaching education, from Novice training to Level 4 training which features intense study of exercise physiology.
Resources:

The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:

Sports Specialization
PDF  High School Coaches Handbook
PDF   Schooling of Elite Skaters
Adult Recreation and Competitive Activities
Child Care Programs
Comparison of Athletes in Different Sports
Athlete Skill Progression
Retiree Mentoring Aspiring Athletes
The Elderhostel Experience

All materials are copy protected. 
The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.



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