I had a different idea lined up for this blog post until I realized it was going up on Valentine’s Day. So, bear with me as I attempt not to do a complete disservice to this unofficial holiday.
With Valentine’s in mind, there is obviously only one theme that makes sense…Love!!! And with love in mind there is one clear important motto that I am sure most of us have heard, and said, throughout our careers.
Do what you love…..And love what you do.
Working in all levels of sports can be incredibly exciting, exhilarating, rewarding, etc. It can also be equally challenging, gruelling, exhausting and not nearly as thrilling as people envision. I read a great post recently that was geared towards a group of Sports Admin students and outlines the realities of working in the sports industry. Everyone envisions this magical world where you get to watch every game from the sidelines and one day rush the field with the team to celebrate their big championship. Reality?? Working in this industry means doing all of the little things that nobody else notices. I learned this hard reality my first year out of school while working in pro football. I had a huge passion to be heavily involved in all of the exciting on-field promotions. What was one of my key jobs?? Assigning and managing staff radios to ensure none of them went missing. This was done in a back room with no TV, radio, or access of any kind to know what was happening during the game. Instantly the glamour faded and reality kicked in. But, this was one of the hundreds of tasks that needed to be done on a game day and I was the chosen person to make it happen.
But, in spite of being assigned many tasks that lacked glamour and excitement, I quickly realized something. This is where I want to be. Working in sports is so unique and exciting. My first job out of school was a basic office job in sales with no connection to sports. How long did I last there?? One week!!! Why?? Because I was too young still and too passionate about working in sports that I was not ready to give up on my dreams.
So why do we do it?? Why do we have so much passion for a job that is not nearly as exciting as other people envision?? I can’t speak for others, but here are a few big reasons for me:
- Fuel the passion. Like most people in this industry, I have lived and breathed sports for my entire life. I came to the realization early on that my dreams of being a pro athlete were not going to happen and this provided me with an avenue to still pursue my dreams
- Feed the competitive drive. Most sports enthusiasts also have an undeniable competitive nature. While working in this industry isn’t quite the same as playing, the next best thing is being connected to these teams and enjoying the typical highs and lows of a season
- Being part of a team. I can’t speak for other work environments, but I doubt very many compare to the connections and comradery that take place as part of a group like this.
I paint a picture of a job that is continuously taxing and painful, which is a little misleading. Although some weeks it feels that way. But let’s be honest. For those who truly have the passion, this industry is a hell of a lot of fun. I consider myself incredibly fortunate to work in an industry that I love and provides unique and exciting opportunities on an almost daily basis.