What is an athlete?
An athlete is someone who possesses a natural or acquired ability for physical or sporting exercise, particularly to be performed in a competitive nature. An athlete is normally physically strong, agile, and has the stamina to compete and participate in organized and officiated sporting events.
What does an athlete do?
An athlete generally does the following:
- Attend scheduled practices and training sessions to develop your skills.
- Exercises and practices under the direction of coaches, sports instructors or athletic trainers.
- You stay in top physical condition by training and following special diets.
- Take instructions from coaches and other sports staff on strategies and tactics.
- Play or compete in your sport, obeying the rules of the sport.
- Evaluate how they did after each event, identifying their strengths and weaknesses.
When playing a game, an athlete must understand the strategies of the game while obeying the rules and regulations of the sport. The events athletes compete in include team sports such as baseball, softball, hockey, and soccer, and individual sports such as golf, tennis, swimming, and skiing. The level of play varies greatly, with sometimes the best from around the world competing in events broadcast on international television.
Being an athlete involves more than competing in athletic events. Athletes spend many hours each day practicing skills and improving teamwork under the guidance of a sports coach or instructor. They watch the videotapes to critique their own performances and techniques and to learn the tendencies and weaknesses of their opponents to gain a competitive advantage.
Some athletes work regularly with strength trainers to gain muscle and endurance and to prevent injury. Many athletes push their bodies to the limit during practice and play, so running injury is always a risk; even minor injuries can put a player at risk of replacement.
Because competition at all levels is extremely intense and job security is always in question, many athletes train year-round to maintain excellent form, technique, and peak fitness. Few people who dream of becoming a paid professional athlete manage to beat the odds and make a full-time life in it.
What is the workplace of an athlete like?
More than half of all athletes are employed in the sports entertainment industry. Those who participate in competitions that are held outdoors may be exposed to all the weather conditions of the season in which they play their sport. Additionally, they must travel to sporting events, which may include long bus rides or, in some cases, international air travel.