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Sports career pathway offers a chance to explore industry

Alberto Ruiz gives a presentation in a Sports Literature class. This is one of many classes in the Sports Career Pathway, which is open to all students. The classes introduce students to different aspects of sports.

Many students are unaware that Paly offers a wide range of classes that can prepare them for a career in today’s ever-expanding sports industry. 

Most prominently, there is a “Sports Career Pathway” that provides an in-depth introduction to the industry, including hands-on work experience.

Students can take advantage of the three main branches in the pathway: medicine, business and journalism. 

All of these classes are different ways that someone could earn a living in the sports industry. 

Unlike other pathways at Paly, students need not commit to the entire pathway in order to take the classes within it. These classes are open to everyone, not just athletes.

A unique feature of the Sports Career Pathway is its emphasis on preparing students for future work experience. 

For example, Getting into the Game is a course designed to provide students with the opportunity to explore a multitude of sports careers in order to develop a clearer sense of the many options available. 

Another course titled Work Experience applies the skills learned from Getting into the Game, giving students the opportunity to spend their time working in the industry and gaining hands-on experience. 

Before students begin working, however, they must choose one of the three branches of the pathway to pursue, choosing between medicine, business or journalism.

Classes in the Medicine branch such as Sports Medicine, Kinesiology and Sports Nutrition prepare students who are interested in career paths that deal with physical fitness and the treatment and prevention of injuries.

With these skills, one could become an athletic trainer, treating injured athletes both on and off the field, or a fitness trainer, helping athletes get into shape and stay healthy.

For those who love sports but love to talk about them even more, classes such as Intro to Journalism, Sports Literature and Photography will provide them with the necessary tools to enter the journalism sector of the sports industry.

Senior Seattle Hmelar, who took Sports Literature last year, said he may have found a potential career for himself in sports journalism.

“I originally signed up for the class because I needed the credit, but as the year progressed I realized that I also had a passion for journalism. I’ve always been passionate about sports, but never knew that I could express it through writing.”

Senior Seattle Hmelar

While this type of work is what many normally associate with the sports industry, it’s not the only way to earn a living in sports. Classes such as Business Law, Design and Communication & Leadership teach students about the often underappreciated business side of the sports industry. 

In this sector, students learn the skills needed to become a general manager, sports agent, public relations assistant or marketing assistant. Many of the jobs in the sports industry are located behind the scenes in these positions, so those who are passionate about sports but more talented in business may find a nice equilibrium in this sector will fit right in here.

When one combines their love of sports with refined communication skills, they can become a sports commentator or a journalist, both of which come with increased access to the games and athletes.

Sports Medicine teacher Stacey Kofman encourages all students to take a sports career class.

“Students should be excited about careers in the sports industry, from being coaches to agents, fitness coaches to medical providers, and front office staff to team presidents and CEOs,” Kofman said. “Even if one is not intent on a career in sports, I would still recommend my sports med class or another sports career class. You may want to go into medicine, physical therapy or exercise sciences, and the Sports Med class, specifically, gives you some background knowledge.”

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