There comes a time when a sport no longer becomes a hobby but a passion. If you feel you’ve mastered the basics or perhaps even conquered your sport on an intermediate level, it could be time to give yourself a new challenge surrounding your sport. Here are some of the major ways that you can progress to a professional level.
Every sports from football to mountain biking to even pilates has a competitive side. If you haven’t yet tried competing in some kind of event, it could be time to give it a go. A competition is the perfect tangible goal to make you want to get better. Keep competing until you start winning and then up the stakes when you feel ready by taking on bigger competitions.
Specialize or diversify
Once you’ve got proficient at a sport, a good way to progress is either to specialize or diversify. Specializing could mean finding a team position that you’re good at and honing your skills or it could mean finding a niche within your sport such as synchronized swimming or doubles tennis. Alternatively, you could diversify and try a new sport related to your own. If you do boxing, you could try another martial art such as kickboxing or taekwondo. If you like mountain biking, you could try road biking.
Now that you’re of a certain ability it could be worth upgrading your sports gear. This could mean buying a better pair of running shoes or a professional hockey stick. You may be able to personalise your gear. For example, if you do outdoor sports such as motorcycling you may be able to get custom-built protective armour. Professional gear can be expensive, but if you’re into your sport enough you’ll get your use out of it.
Get professional training
Getting some professional training could be the next step in your sporting passion if you feel as if your ability has started to plateau. This could involve getting a personal trainer to help you run or a swimming instructor to help you swim faster. In some sports, you may already have a coach or instructor but may want to take things up a notch and seek out a more esteemed trainer who may have even worked with other professionals before. Such trainers may be selective as to who they train, whilst others may simply charge more – consider this when seeking out a professional coach.
Become a trainer yourself
You may have reached a level where you want to pass on your knowledge. Generally becoming an instructor or coach will require a certain level of experience in your sport and some sort of teaching qualification from a professional body. This can be a good challenge and having students/clients will keep your motivated. However, you should be aware of the costs involved in becoming a trainer – as well as paying for your teaching qualification, you may have to buy equipment, rent a premises, pay insurance and pay an ongoing license fee.