Professional sport is one of the riskiest fields in which to work; every day players around the world suffer injuries ranging from minor to serious, and the sportsman with no insurance may wonder what the future holds. Here are seven ways to protect yourself.
Some sports are riskier than others, and within those sports some players are also at more risk than others. Older players and those with a history of injuries or illness, for example, will probably face higher premiums than a 20-year-old star in perfect shape. If you’re a sports professional, getting a bespoke form of insurance that covers on and off field activity is a must.
Career ending injury
When putting together your insurance package make sure there is some provision for the worst-case scenario; this may be included in the personal insurance. A good package should provide 24-hour cover in any country (if you play abroad, for example), and cover anything from surgery and hospital fees to funeral expenses.
As a professional your motor insurance might also be higher than the average, since you take part in what is regarded as a high risk job. Your vintage/sports car will probably be expensive, you may have to drive considerable distances (promotional events, testing, away games, etc) and you might also regularly carry expensive equipment such as golf clubs, boots and racquets. Got for as much insurance as you can afford.
If you make a decent wage from what you do – and many sportsmen in the upper echelons of their sport earn extravagant amounts – then your home might be packed full of the latest technology, art, kitchen gadgets, designer clothing and vehicles. Perfect targets, therefore, for cowardly thieves, and every season at least one Premier League footballer finds themselves a victim. Take steps to protect your property and contents, with regular reviews.
Protecting yourself in life means more than just your physical health. One day you’ll have to retire, probably at some point in your 30s or very early 40s depending on your sports, and then your income will shrink. Yes, you might continue to enjoy sports in a semi-pro or amateur footing, but the prize money and wages will shrivel. Plan ahead and seek advice on a pension from your club, coaches or colleagues – you may be able to pick the age at which you choose to start taking money.
As well as the money that you’ve put aside for later life (see above) you’ll still, presumably, want to work, or perhaps you’ll want to remain within the sport that you enjoy. By studying in your later 20s as a coach/trainer/nutritionist you’ll give yourself a chance at moving into a backroom staff role, or perhaps you’d like to do something completely different in business; a qualification in accounting, perhaps.
We could have chosen a multitude of fitness and nutritional tips as advice for the pro, but that really depends on the sport you’re playing. The diet and exercise regimes of an NFL athlete and a marathon runner will clearly be very different, for example. But if there is one universal piece of advice for any sportsman – indeed any person at all – it’s to get enough sleep to let your body repair itself and your mind rest so you can perform at your best when you take the field.