Performance Sports ScientistJob Description:
Sports scientists use knowledge of how the body works to help people improve their health or sporting ability.Job Category:
What you will do:
You could work with elite sports professionals, or in research, healthcare or industry. Your day to day tasks will depend on the type of organisation you work for.
- help sports coaches and sports therapists to improve individual and team performance
- work with doctors to help people improve their health through exercise and fitness
- look at ways that health and fitness can be used to prevent or treat medical conditions like diabetes, heart conditions or cancer
- take part in research projects
- offer advice on the design and manufacture of sports equipment
- knowledge of biology
- knowledge of psychology
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
As well as:
- the ability to work closely with athletes, coaches, and sports professionals to optimize performance, design training programs, and monitor progress (teamwork skills)
- the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning
- to enjoy working with other people
- excellent written & verbal communication skills
- strong analytical skills and attention to detail
- a passion for sports and human performance (drive)
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
You could take a degree in sport and exercise science. Courses that cover the 3 foundation subjects of biomechanics, physiology and psychology, will keep your job options broad.
Alternatively you could do a degree in a science related subject followed by a postgraduate qualification in sports science.
This may include subjects like:
- physical education
- natural sciences
It’s becoming more common for sports scientists to have or be working towards a postgraduate qualification.
Some universities will expect you to have studied physical education or a science subject like biology. A degree in sport and exercise science or in another relevant subject may also help you to gain entry to a degree in sports science.
Experience as fitness instructor, lifeguard, coach or through volunteering, for example with a sports club, may improve your career prospects.
It will help you stand out in a competitive jobs market if you have additional qualifications like:
- First Aid
- gym instructing
To become a Performance Sports Scientist in the UK, you should focus on GCSE subjects that provide a strong foundation in science, particularly biology and sports-related topics, such as:
- Biology: Biology is a core subject for understanding human anatomy, physiology, and the principles of sports science.
- Physical Education (PE): PE can provide insights into sports training methods, biomechanics, and exercise physiology.
- Mathematics (optional): Basic mathematical skills can be beneficial for analyzing data related to athlete performance.
- Chemistry (optional): While not mandatory, studying Chemistry can be helpful in understanding physiological processes and nutrition.
- Physics (optional): Physics can provide insights into biomechanics and the principles of movement in sports.
- English (optional): Strong communication skills are important for conveying scientific findings and collaborating with athletes and coaches.
Working Hours and Environment:
A typical week consists of 37-39 hours of work. You could be required to work evenings/weekends attending events or appointments.
You could work in a public or private hospital, on a sports field, at a research facility, in an office, at a client’s business or at a fitness centre. Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time.
Career Path & Progression:
You could find work with universities, schools and colleges, large sporting organisations, public and private enterprises and local authorities. It’s also possible to become self-employed or to work as a consultant.
You could also move into a related career area, like sports development or performance testing and research.