Sport studies students learn all about the world of sports. This is good
training for would-be coaches and personal trainers, but it also prepares
you for a variety of careers in sport.
To become a coach or trainer, your best bet is to get a degree in sport
studies as well as the required certificates from specific sports' governing
Sport studies programs may also be called physical activity studies,
physical and health education, human movement studies, human kinetics or kinesiology.
Be sure the program you choose meets your interests.
The names of the programs may provide some clues. For example, Enid Brown
is the director of a program called physical activity and sport studies. "PE
[physical education] focuses on the teaching aspect of physical activity,"
"In our program, students may select courses that allow them to build a
program that could emphasize, for example, fitness and health, sport psychology,
athletic therapy, coaching, motor behavior."
In the U.S., many sport studies students choose to start out at a two-year
college. Most two-year programs award you an associate's degree or diploma,
and can be used as transfer credit towards a four-year degree.
"We offer the first two years for transfer purposes with options in sport
studies, physical fitness and wellness and a hands-on two-year transfer athletic
training and sports medicine option," says Vernon Houchins. Houchins is the
dean of the division of health, physical education and recreation at Vincennes
University in Indiana.
A sport studies program will teach you a lot more than just coaching skills.
"Our students are all required to take courses in the sociology of sport
and exercise and in the psychology of sport and exercise," says professor
Mary Louise Adams. "They may also take courses on the history of sport,
sport policy and sport as popular culture."
Students have to be more than just good athletes. The curriculum requires
many science courses. Greg Reid is chair of a physical education department.
He says prospective students should take lots of math, biology, chemistry
and physics courses before entering the program.
Get involved in sports and physical activities. "Thirty to 40 percent
of our selection criteria relate to previous sports participation and a leadership
background," says Colin Lorback. He directs a sport studies program.
"Involvement in coaching or managing a team, organizing a league or being
a recreation leader is also a way to determine your level of interest in the
field of sport and physical activity," says Brown.
Besides tuition and books, your costs may include athletic equipment for
the sports you play.
Occupational Outlook HandbookFor more information related to this field of study, see: Recreation
and Fitness Workers
PE CentralA resource with lots of good ideas for health and physical education
Sport Information Resource CenterFind out virtually anything about sports here