9 top tips to differentiate yourself in the crowded market of Sports Science

Students

9 top tips to differentiate yourself in the crowded market of Sports ScienceGet your head in the books
You should be aiming for a 2:1 or a 1 class honours grade. I would encourage you to be striving for deep specialist knowledge in about 2-3 areas by the time you graduate. You can achieve this through your final year projects and classes. This will show you can delve to a good depth. This is an important place to start though learning is a life long pursuit.
9 top tips to differentiate yourself in the crowded market of Sports SciencePractice Communication
When you have to do a presentation you should prepare as if your life depends on it! At the very least you should be talking about your subject regularly. The explanations you bring to a conversation are perhaps one of the biggest determinants of your success with clients. Ready yourself to be able to present to 5 year olds and professors on the same subject, in the same session. This will train you to keep things simple but accurate.
9 top tips to differentiate yourself in the crowded market of Sports ScienceGain experience
Don’t expect somebody to employ you if you haven’t been near a real person. It doesn’t have to be work experience with Sir Chris Hoy, necessarily, you will learn a lot helping athletes at a local club or general public at a gymnasium. For a student, this is extra-curricular, voluntary and self-generated – get over it and get off your arse. Experience develops your ability to translate your knowledge into impact, in the real world, but importantly it will practice your ability to develop rapport and gain trust.

Early Career Professional

9 top tips to differentiate yourself in the crowded market of Sports ScienceAsk questions
If you don’t ask questions about other people you won’t understand exactly how you can make a difference to their case, their unique make-up and at their stage on their journey. Asking questions is the number one signal that somebody is ready to work as a professional in sport. The opposite is that you lean back on the ignorant standpoint that you ‘know stuff’ and you need to shout about it. Telling, rather than asking, signals an inability to work effectively with others.
9 top tips to differentiate yourself in the crowded market of Sports ScienceReflect
In the early stages of your career the learning curve is steep. You can either sit back and enjoy the ride, soaking up the learning as you go or you can accelerate your learning by undertaking regular and rigourous reflective practice. It might seem like a ball-ache, but it is an investment in tomorrow.
9 top tips to differentiate yourself in the crowded market of Sports ScienceTeam up
As a professional you’ll begin to encounter novel, complex and unpredictable cases. You will need to be agile and creative to apply your existing knowledge and to develop solutions. However, by sharing your ideas with others you will be rounding your perspectives, harnessing new knowledge, creating more robust solutions and therefore benefiting and protecting yourself and your client. As your career unfolds the people around you and the people you can depend upon are increasingly important.

Experienced professional

9 top tips to differentiate yourself in the crowded market of Sports ScienceSupport others by sharing
Helping train and develop others isn’t just an act of altruism and kindness, it fast tracks and matures your own high-level perspectives. Many try to forego this step, being far more centred on their own training or development, the irony being that they are neglecting their own development in the process. A ‘go-to’ person never becomes so by neglecting others.9 top tips to differentiate yourself in the crowded market of Sports Science
Know your limits
As you become more experienced and sought-after it can be tempting to engage coaches, athletes and other professionals in areas that you don’t know a great deal about. Breadth is indeed important, but it is far more impactful to be able to say “I don’t know, but I do know someone who does”. A dangerous trap to fall into is to create dependency, by pretending you have all the answers, this is a path to the dark side and will lead to errors. When you’re not sure, bring other people in!
9 top tips to differentiate yourself in the crowded market of Sports ScienceAct on your ideas
With experience comes insight. Whether it be wrestling with problems, frustrations or experiencing highs and lows, if you are passionate about your profession you will have tried to work through potential solutions. You may have created interconnections between diverse areas, imagined what it would be like if it were resolved and assembled a path forward. Sport thrives on creativity and innovation and ultimately the field will stand still if people do the same thing over and over. So make the change you want to see!

About steveingham

Dr Steve Ingham is one of the UK’s leading figures in sport and one of the world’s leading performance scientists. He is steeped in high performance and has been integral to the development of Britain into an Olympic superpower. He has provided support to over 1000 athletes, of which over 200 have achieved World or Olympic medal success, including some of the world’s greatest athletes such as Jessica Ennis-Hill, Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Matthew Pinsent. Steve has coached Kelly Sotherton's running for heptathlon and to 4x400m Olympic medal winning success. Steve has worked at the English Sports Council British Olympic Association, English Institute of Sport, where Steve was the Director of Science and Technical Development, leading a team of 200 scientists in support of Team GB and Paralympics GB. Ingham holds a BSc, PhD and is a Fellow of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences. Steve is author of the best selling ‘How to Support a Champion: The art of applying science to the elite athlete’, discussing and inspiring the importance of learning and adapting to reach our maximum potential. Steve established Supporting Champions with the ambition of helping ambitious people to find a better way of creating high-performance. Steve hosts the Supporting Champions Podcast on sharing his pursuit of understanding and exploration in performance.

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