Millions of kids all over the world grow up dreaming of becoming a professional athlete. They dream of hitting home runs out of big league stadiums and scoring touchdowns in front of large crowds.
But for every World Series champion and Super Bowl contender, hundreds of people work behind the scenes to help athletes achieve their goals. While the athletes are the most visible part of a team, a lot happens off the field, too. Here are some of the most important jobs on a pro sports team. They might not be playing the game, but these people are dedicated to helping the team win, just like the athletes:
General Manager: The GM of a team is a pretty high profile position. General managers are responsible for building the team and compiling the athletes that will play the game. They draft players out of college, sign free agents and make trades. GM's have to make sure that the players they put on the team are a good match, both in terms of talent and in personality. Players on a team to should get along as friends as well as teammates. One of the main roles of the general manager is to solve problems. If a baseball team needs improvement on its pitching staff, it's the GM's job to find a new pitcher who will be able to help the team.
Trainer: Throughout the course of the long season, players will always get some bumps and bruises. The trainer's job is to identify and treat injuries. They tape up jammed fingers and ice sprained ankles. They help players stretch before practices and games so they don't pull muscles. The trainer is one of the most important members of a team. They work hard to make sure minor injuries don't get any worse so that the players can heal and get back onto the field as soon as possible.
Travel Secretary: Pro sports teams travel a lot, going from city to city for road games. The travel secretary makes sure that all the details are taken care of. They book hotels and flights and handle luggage. They make sure all the equipment gets to where it needs to go. Most importantly, they make sure that the players stay comfortable and rested. Travelling can be very tiring, but a good travel secretary knows how to keep the players in good shape for game day.
Media Relations: Not every fan can get to the stadium or arena to watch the game. Millions watch on TV, listen to the radio or read about their favorite players in magazines, newspapers and online. A team's media relations department helps manage this process. Media relations staff members help set up interviews with players and make sure that the TV and radio broadcasts go smoothly. Fans are a very important part of pro sports, and the media relations department helps bring the games to the fans.
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