How to Advance as an Athlete

How to Advance as an Athlete

Professional athletes make their living by competing and playing in sporting competitions. To become a professional athlete, you need drive, determination, and adept skills in the sport you compete in. If you think this is the career for you, you should aim to compete at the highest level. There are many ways to get here, but there are a few essential steps that all potential athletes need to go through.

Starting Out

Most professional athletes get their training by participating in high school, college, or club teams. Playing sports at a college level is significant since you are likely to be scouted at college. Thus getting to college is extremely important for a professional career; therefore, scholarships can be a great stepping stone many potential athletes need.

Sports scholarships reward students’ hard work and provide them with funding to further shine at a college level. They financially assist students who show potential for further success and a brilliant career as an athlete. Furthermore, they help change an athlete’s path by helping to balance the student-athlete life.


Physical training for athletes is very intense. Be prepared to train at a high intensity, for which you will need stamina and dedication. Every athlete differs; however, training programs all maintain a similar approach.  You will need to eat well, rest accordingly, and stick to a strict schedule of physical exertion. Consider this a lifestyle as well as a career. Days off will also incorporate training. Becoming a professional athlete takes dedication to the training program.

Other Skills You Will Need

Alongside intensive training and dedication to a particular sport, there are several soft skills that athletes will need to succeed in this career. There are three primary skills any athlete will need. Firstly, if you are playing a team sport, you will need to work well with other members—you will likely need to cooperate and delegate, which takes interpersonal skills. Secondly, concentration is essential to focus for long periods – this takes stamina, and you will have to train to build up your attention. Finally, decision-making; most sports require you to make instant and precise decisions on the field or the court—there is no time to delay or else you could lose crucial points.


Maintaining focus is essential if you want to succeed as a professional athlete—especially at the beginning of your career. The competition is high, so many people are vying for similar jobs and places on teams. Keeping your focus will show any prospective coach that you are willing to go that extra mile to succeed on the field or the court. Focus at this intensity can have a substantial mental and physical toll on anyone. To avoid burnout, athletes should keep close friends and family around for support and know it is ok to rest and recover when needed. Talk to your coach and make sure the level of focus you keep is a healthy one.

For all future athletes, get ready for an inspiring and high-intensity career.