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How to Break Into Your Sports Career Zone With More Confidence

career zone

Pain. Stress. Frustration. We’ve all been there. Especially when it comes to getting into our sports career zone – or lack there of.

Today I’m going to share with you a simple two-step tactic that will calm your fears, ease your mind and put you on track to launch a successful career in the sports business industry.

As someone who’s been helping college students and young professionals with their careers for many years, one of the most common themes I hear from those trying to break into sports is this: “I’m frustrated and really stressed out.

If you can relate, there is a solution.

The Spectrum of Stress

Maybe you’re on one end of the spectrum where you feel uncertain about your future because you’re still in college. Or maybe you’re on the other end – stressed beyond belief – because you’ve already graduated, you’re in debt up to your eyeballs and you have zero employment prospects for your sports career.

OK, now take a deep breathe and relax. Regardless of where you are on the stress-spectrum, I can help you. I wrote this article for you.

Remember this: All you need is just one “You’re Hired!” and all the worry, pain and heartache related to your sports career will disappear.

The Root Cause of Frustration

To understand the cause of frustration, let’s look at the key difference between a smooth and successful career zone launch and compare it to one filled with frustration.

A smooth career launch is based on career clarity. And a frustrating career launch is always cloudy and filled with uncertainty. The primary difference is having a clear understanding of what exactly you want to do in sports. The more specific you are in defining your profession, the more clarity you’ll have, resulting in a smoother transition into the business. Without career clarity, you’ll experience a cloud of confusion.

Career Clarity in Action


To see career clarity in action, meet EJ Holland (@EJSports4). EJ is a senior at Southern Methodist University majoring in journalism and minoring in sport management (@SMUSportMgt).

EJ’s career clarity is evident. “After graduating from high school,” says EJ, “I decided to attend SMU because I wanted to be in a sports mecca like Dallas, giving me the best chance at breaking into sports.”

“I started out as a writer for the student paper, The Daily Campus, and at the start of the spring semester of my freshman year, I became the sports editor. It was a nice little accomplishment for me, and that’s when I started to map things out.”

EJ currently holds down three sportswriting jobs with The Dallas Morning News, Fox Sports and the Dallas Cowboys. He hasn’t even graduated yet but he is already headed straight for his career zone.

EJ was profiled in my free ebook, 50 Proven Ways to Break Into Sports, along with 49 other sports execs, including those with Nike, ESPN and the New York Yankees. Get your free copy here:

A Two-Step Tactic to Get You Into Your Sports Career Zone


To achieve a smooth and successful career launch, there’s a two-step tactic that will help you start out on the right track.

Step One

The first step is to identify a profession in sports that’s a good match with your God-given talent and your skill set. But just as important, it needs to be a profession that you are extremely excited about. When you’re enthusiastic about what you’re trying to accomplish, you’ll be able to overcome the challenges you’ll face.

If you’re at the entry-level phase of your career, keep in mind that whatever profession you target could have several stepping stone type of positions. It’s your job to do a little legwork and find out what those jobs are.

It helps if you have a solid understanding of The Sports Business Universe™. The SBU is made up of eight different business sectors in the industry. Do a little research and figure out where you can add value. There’s a good chance you can add value to multiple business sectors because many of the same professions cross over into all eight sectors.

Step Two

The second step is to identify the employers that hire people in your chosen profession. With over 8,000 sports employers in the United States, you have plenty of prospects to choose from. Of those who hire people in your chosen field, make a list of the top 40 companies you’d love to work for. And be sure to include the person’s name who does the hiring.

This two-step tactic will get you pointed in the right direction toward your career zone and help you avoid the pain and frustration of not knowing where you’re going. After that, the rest is simply an exercise in self-marketing, which we’ll cover in future posts.

If you need some help, shoot me an email: And always remember, I’m in your corner!

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