Sports Management and Educational Athletics
By Tom White
It is important to differentiate between two contrasting areas of emphasis within graduate sport studies: sports management versus educational athletics. Clarifying these differences will assist prospective students make an informed decision regarding the course of study that best is suited for them.
Sport management programs prepare students for a variety of professions, including sport program directors, marketing and promotions, corporate sales, sporting goods, athletic directors, and business managers of health and country clubs. Students enrolled in sports management programs learn specific skills for roles in the areas of sport marketing and promotions, facility management and planning, activity programming, and events management.
Over the past 30 years, there has been a rapid growth in sports management programs at the undergraduate and master’s level in universities across the country. Between 1980-2010, the number of undergraduate sports management programs grew from just three in the U.S. to over 300. Students seeking to prepare themselves for sports business employers and in related fields are currently enrolling in one of many sports management programs offered across the country.
As the #1 graduate program in the nation, the master’s degree in Coaching and Athletics Administration at Concordia University Irvine prepares students to serve as leaders in athletics that are focused on an academic environment.
These programs exist to prepare young men and women for the next level of life, not the next level of athletics.
In this course of study, interscholastic and intercollegiate athletic competition is viewed as an extension of the classroom and an educational activity designed to provide opportunities to teach life lessons through athletic participation. Through participation in such programs, people learn values and skills that help prepare them for the future. Leadership, goal setting, teamwork, decision making, perseverance, integrity, ethics, sacrifice, healthy competition and overcoming adversity are inherent in the interscholastic athletic framework and also support the academic mission of schools.
These programs exist to prepare young men and women for the next level of life, not the next level of athletics. Wins are achieved through athletics by developing successful athletes and teams. But more importantly, wins are achieved through the educational experience by developing successful and responsible students, leaders and community members.
Graduates of Concordia Irvine’s Master’s in Coaching and Athletics Administration program across all 50 states are equipped with the knowledge and practical skills needed to impact lives through sport.
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