Sport Science

Do you want to work with coaches and athletes to improve performance and assist them in achieving their ultimate goals?

Student running with measurement equipment

What do these roles do?

The title of Sport Scientist can be a generic term used in reference to all disciplines of applied sport science or it may be a role title in itself. Roles relate to training load planning, physical testing and assessment, performance analysis, biomechanics, skill acquisition and load management. The role works closely with other professionals such as strength and conditioning, sport coaches, sport medicine and therapy providers.

Some roles require you to specialise in one discipline, such as performance analysis, but it is also common to have a general sport science role which requires you to undertake duties in multiple disciplines. This will be dictated by the requirements of the sport and athletes you would be working with. It is also highly likely to specialise as your career progresses and experience of the disciplines is evolved.

Where are the jobs?

Sports scientists can work in high performance sport, sport pathway programs and community settings. Jobs in the high performance environment are highly competitive much like the nature of the sport. Roles exist in professional sport codes (e.g., all football codes, netball, basketball), state institutes and academies and in some universities, particularly overseas. The jobs are universal so the opportunity to pursue a career overseas is also very realistic. In many instances Australia is seen as a leading nation in these professions and in high demand globally.

Sport Science professionals working in pathway programs and community settings can fulfil a range of different roles. They often work with coaches to design training programs and supervise training sessions. They may analyse the performance of teams and athletes and provide feedback and identify opportunities to enhance performance.

You may also provide advice about how to maintain the health and wellness of athletes. There is a need to make sure that community sport has a positive impact on our communities. There are also opportunities to promote grass roots participation in sport by organising introductory training courses and working with sporting clubs to provide structured athlete development pathways to the elite level.

Job titles to search

  • Sport Scientist
  • Strength and Conditioning
  • Performance Analyst
  • Physical Performance
  • Physical Preparation
  • Sport Physiologist
  • Skill Acquisition Specialist
  • Biomechanist
  • Performance Manager
  • High Performance Manager

Skills required for the job

  • Performance Technology
  • Sport Analysis Software Packages
  • Excel & Data Management Competency
  • High Level Interpersonal Abilities
  • Commitment to Continual Improvement and Professional Development
  • Exercise Prescription
  • Exercise Coaching
  • An understanding of the sport you are working in
  • Knowing how to support and work with a coach
  • The ability to apply your Sport Science knowledge
  • Group management skills
  • Effective oral and written communication skills

How to develop your skills

Experience and demonstrated competencies are the key to gaining an opportunity in Sport Science. Many roles are advertised but pre-determined short-listed so it is important to gain entry level experience through voluntary opportunities that help develop a broad network. Attending conference and professional course or workshops are another way to continually build unique and valuable skill-sets. Additionally, by seeking active involvement in your governing associations and seeking accreditation is essential for employment. The Australian Strength and Conditioning Association (ASCA) and Exercise and Sport Science Australia (ESSA) are the key professional bodies for these roles. Some key activities you can undertake are;

  • Volunteer to provide a basic Sport Science service at a community level organisation
  • Seek out opportunities to work with other Sport Science professionals
  • Find a mentor to help you develop as a professional
  • Make the best use of the practicum unit in your course
  • Seek feedback from the coaches and athletes you work with

What units or courses to study at Deakin

To work as a Sport Scientist you should undertake the Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science then pursue major study areas in Strength and Conditioning, Applied Sport Science or a practical combination of related majors.

You may wish to then consider undertaking our Master of Applied Sport Science or one of our specialist Graduate Certificates in Sport Performance Analysis or Strength and Conditioning. Alternatively we also have a Graduate Diploma in Applied Sport Science.

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