Why breadth is important for your career in sports

Do you think specialization in sports at an early age is better for success? Do you believe that the same perspective is applied to university education too? If you ask the NBA star Steve Nash, six‐time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady, and 20‐time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer, they would tell you no. No matter if you are a parent, a child or an adult, you will after reading or watching this understand why breadth is important for a career in sports.


The Author David Epstein has written a book called, Range – Why generalists triumph in a specialized world. Thanks to this and the Productivity Game, there are two easily digestible ways to understand this book and its core message. First, a short summary will be presented and after that, you can watch the short video explaining the book a bit further.

Late specialization to find your dream job

What is the common reason why the three sports athletes would say no? As the Productivity Game says it: Other than being among the greatest to ever play their sport, they were all ‘late specializers.’

  • Nash grew up playing soccer and did not start playing basketball until he was 13.
  • Tom Brady spent much of his childhood playing baseball; he was drafted into professional baseball before football.
  • Roger Federer sampled a wide array of sports before focusing on tennis in his early teens.

The concept of Range is to build up a toolbox with a range of several skills

Epstein says, “One study showed that early-career specializers jumped out to an earnings lead after college, but that later specializers made up for the head start by finding work that better fit their skills and personalities.”

Sportidealisten’s founder, Jakob, has talked a lot about his own sport management education and its program’s breadth. A lot of sport management higher education programs are delivered in breadth and as a student, you may question this after graduating. Was this really a step closer to my dream job in sports? You might perceive that you only have a base layer of skills. However, with the concept of Range and plenty of opportunities for volunteering at different sporting events, there are great ways to finding your dream job in sports.

I have no sports education, how can I work in sports?

If you haven’t studied any sport management related to education, don’t worry! There are still many volunteering opportunities in sports. If you haven’t volunteered before, don’t stress. Take your first steps into the world of sports and your dream job in sports by asking your friends about any sports clubs they know or browse on the web for sports clubs and ask them to volunteer.

Patience is key to finding your dream job in sports

Take your time and accumulate a range of experiences and skills, but when you feel like you’ve experienced enough and you know yourself well enough, go deep on an interest and get really good.

At the end of the summary, a Career Change checklist is attached, in order for you to control your status of range. Make sure to ask yourself:

  • Has my current job become too procedural?
  • Do I interact with a diverse group of people?
  • Am I still learning (exposed to new experiences)?
  • Have I tried many different roles before specializing?

If you didn’t say yes to two or more of these four questions, you might want to think about changing your career.

If you are interested to know more about this book, please have it a go with the Productivity Game’s great Core Message video (9 minutes).

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If you like this, you might want to go further and read these:

– How to get a job in tennis
– What a current sport management student needs to know
For employers and job seekers in the sports industry
3 ways to express passion for sports jobs

We want to help more people finding their dream job and also feed you with the latest news and lessons form the sports world. Do you have any feedback or advice or news, please share that to us. You can contact us or reach out LinkedIn.

See you soon with more lessons learned from the sports field that will enhance your creativity and your career in sports.

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