Sports management is a growing area of study for many, especially athletes who aspire to have a career in a sports-related field after they have finished competing. When considering a minor, it is always a good idea to look at related fields or areas that would complement or enhance a sports management degree.
Sports management deals with more than simply working with athletes, coaches and athletic trainers. This field of work is often synonymous with administration. Dr. Valda Henry of Dominica News Online describes effective communication skills as being mandatory for success. Athletic directors, administrators, owners and managers need to communicate effectively in public appearances and with their staff. In the field of sports management, you must be able to consult and collaborate with athletes, coaches, trainers and others; knowing how to talk to each group appropriately is invaluable.
A background in physical education is also extremely valuable in the field of sports management. Understanding the mechanics of how the body works will help you relate to athletes and staff. Very little is more frustrating for athletes or coaches than having someone with no knowledge or experience of sports make all the big decisions. Physical education and sports management programs are usually housed within the same college department because of their similarities. In fact, Valparaiso University notes specifically that sports management programs incorporate aspects of physical education.
In their book "The Economics of Sport," Sandy et al. noted that sports is a multibillion-dollar industry. That's billion, not million! Collegiate and professional sports shuffle billions of dollars around within their respective budgets. A strong understanding of business dealings, such as accounting, budgeting, scheduling and other general business skills, is particularly beneficial for a sports manager. Additionally, it is important to have a firm grasp on finances and budgets.
A minor in coaching also has multiple benefits, especially if you want to work as a college or high school athletic director. Coaches must operate their own sports budgets, and a coaching minor can get you acquainted with sports financing. Also, understanding coaching from an administrative standpoint is helpful when solving problems and complex situations as a manager. Institutions such as Liberty University understand the relationship between coaching and sports management and offer coaching as one of two required minors for sports management majors.
Sabrina Prieur is an expert on education, health, fitness, physical education and sports/athletics. She has a BS in health and physical education, a master's degree in education, and a PhD in leadership with a concentration in sports management and administration. A collegiate professor and athletics administrator, she's taught and coached various sports in the public schools and inner city.