University of Florida

Athlete Development

Athlete Development is an emerging area of expertise and opportunity. The curriculum is designed to help students diversify their knowledge and develop well-rounded skill sets for a myriad of positions including director of player engagement, director of player development, director of student-athlete development, and athletic director.

The Athlete Development specialization includes 12 credit hours of designated, elective coursework in the UF Sport Management Department that complement the 18 credit hours of APK concentration coursework.

Athlete Development is designed to meet the academic requirements for certification through the Professional Association of Athlete Development Specialists (PAADS). Drawing from the latest research, you’ll gain a diversified understanding of the social, economic, and legal structures that impact the individual development of athletes. The specialization includes an emphasis on facilitating athlete support through:

  • Financial Literacy
  • Media Literacy
  • Professionalism and Behavior
  • Mental and Emotional Health
  • Character Development
  • Career Development
  • Transitions


Elective Courses (12 credits):

SPM 5181 – Athlete Development (3 credits)

This course will provide an overview and study of the main skills utilized by athlete development specialists, including how to manage the intersection of elite athletes and sport media, athlete career development, and the fundamentals of athlete personal finance. Learn how to effectively develop public relations plans, identify and implement tools for athlete career transition and assist in enabling financial security.

SPM 6726 – Sport Law (3 credits)

This course looks at the legal effects of regulating and managing amateur and professional sports and wellness programs. Topics include injury liability, risk management, constitutional rights of athletes, and contract negotiation.

SPM 5016 – Sport Sociology (3 credits)

This course is taught in a seminar-style manner, with student-led presentations and discussions. Through the reading of journal articles and book chapters, as well as review of current events, students will use sociological concepts, theories, and research to critically examine social issues in sport. These issues include, but are not limited to: racism, sexism, classism, discrimination, homophobia, violence, the media, and the influence of sport on youth culture, family life, and the economy. This course relies heavily on student interaction and participation.

SPM 5506 – Sport Finance (3 credits)

With the massive growth of revenues within the sports industry over the past 25 years, competent managers within the sport industry must have a sound understanding of finance topics — loosely defined as the management of money — and how to use them in their everyday managing duties. This class will equip aspiring sport managers with the skills to enhance their financial decision-making in a management role, and show them how to apply concepts to the continually evolving landscape of the sports industry.

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