Networking in Sports: How to Successfully Network in Sports Industry?

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Competition is increasing by the day and the sports industry is not immune to it. Whether you want to succeed in vault jump, boxing, there will be a big crowd of equally talented people possessing the same dream.

To make it big, athletes today need nothing but the best of training, coaching, diet, guidance, etc., among others. But in a country of 1.3 billion individuals, it may be one of the most daunting tasks to get the best of both the worlds. The situation is similar for sports professionals as well. Although the situation is improving, sports is still a niche sport in the country. Getting the right clients that could elevate your portfolio may be difficult to get by.

Networking is thus the most essential thing for both – athletes as well as sports professionals. It not only helps in getting you the right coach or the right client but also getting vital leads and exposure. Networking can not only boost your chances of success, but it will also help in getting it fast and early. In the sports industry, it’s not what you know that matters– it’s who you know.

Also, Read | Sports Manufacturing Industry: Why is it the Best Time to Invest in One?

Just imagine what would have happened to a talented boy named Sachin Tendulkar had his brother, Ajit not introduced him to the legendary cricket coach Ramakant Achrekar.
This was an instance of networking which turned a boy who was a bully in his school, into one of the most revered cricketers in the world. Such is the power of networking.

You may have the best of dedication and ability but you need the right personalities to take you to the next level. Before we dig deeper into networking, it is vital to know what networking is exactly.

What is Networking?

Networking, to put it simply, is the process of the meeting (getting networked) the right people. Or meeting the people who help you meet the right people. Networking helps in gaining professional contacts, exchange of vital information and an improved perception.

It can be formal or informal in nature and may take in many different forms, through an exchange of business cards at events, or through simply striking up a conversation on your travel.

Developing strong contacts can be really vital, going forward in the career. With a strong network in the industry can open the door to the sport of your dreams. With the right amount of contacts, you could gain big grounds in a shorter time. The experience one gets both on and off the court could be the edge amongst otherwise stiff competition.

Why is Networking Important for Athletes?

No matter in which sport you’re competing in, knowing the right people can pay off. When it’s done well, networking can lead to more exposure and more opportunities to progress up the sporting ladder.

Ever felt a need to have the right trainer who is compatible with your playing style, or has a proven track record in alleviating your talent? Or do you frequently struggle with a recurring injury and wished that you had a doctor specialized in sports-related injuries, rather than ordinary doctors who have a hard time understanding your issues?

Well, then networking is the answer to all your woes. Through networking, you could get in touch with some of the best experts in the sports industry. With sports being one of the shortest career options, you would want to get results almost instantly. Networking will bail you out and help you get to the next level.

Why is Networking Important for Sports Professionals?

Life can be difficult for a sports professional without some really good athletes on one’s portfolio. “Good clients attract good clients,” they say and it is cent percent true in the sports professional’s case.

There are athletes looking out for a talented professional like you to elevate their career.
No matter who you are, a sports doctor, psychologist, fitness trainer or a dietician, unless you don’t network, you would not get to know about them.

How to do networking? (for athletes)

Talk.

One of the best things that upcoming or established athletes can do is talk to their colleagues, coaches or any other person connected to the issue. Suffering from a recurring shoulder injury. Talk with an athlete in the same sport who had the same injury. Want to bring a change in your diet to improve on-field performance? Talk with a local dietician and gain his/her perspective. International sports tours and competitions are the best places to discuss these things since there is a conglomeration of sportspersons from around the world.

How to do networking? (for sports professionals)

Sports Professionals can attend industry events, expos and meetings in order to kickstart with networking. Socializing with some of the industry experts would help in getting vital contacts as well as a lot of exposure.

You never know who is looking out for whom. Just make a casual approach onto people in these social gatherings, share your knowledge and the query with it. You won’t believe it, but people actually like to help people. If you demonstrate enthusiasm to learn new things, people would graciously feed you with valuable information, insights that would be valuable going forward in your sports career.

Sports gatherings thus are beneficial to achieve this objective, since you will get to rub elbows with many like-minded people in the industry.

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Monish Gadiya is an editor at KreedOn. He is a thorough tech-enthusiast and believes that innovation is the answer to all the problems prevalent in the society. Monish graduated from University of Pune with a degree in civil engineering before pursuing a post-graduate diploma course in intellectual property rights. A die-hard football fan, he has represented his college at various football competitions.

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