Being a professional sprinter requires a great deal of commitment. Sprinters spend countless hours in preparation for competitions. The pursuit of competitive advantage can make it difficult to maintain full-time employment. Therefore, there are mechanisms in place for the sprinters to be able to support themselves.
Register with a Governing Track and Field Body
Affiliation is key when it comes to being able to earn. The elite track and field athletes are all members of professional organisations which sanction events and provide regulation for the sport. Two of these are the United States Track and Field (USATF) and the International Association of Athletics Federations. To be paid, some sprinters will require membership in multiple organisations.
Get a Coach
Money from the USATF organisation is paid directly to the athlete's coach, so this part is important. The coach is not an agent, because they do not usually control the athlete's assets. However, because the coach wears more than one hat, it's important they are trustworthy. Sprinters entrust them to guide them athletically and to distribute their income. The USATF requires that an athlete must identify his/her coach at the beginning of each year, and the stipend will be paid directly to the coach. In order to receive a stipend, coaches will be required to be members of USATF and adhere to its rules.
The economics of track and field follow the old adage: "To the winner goes the spoils." To be paid, runners have to perform well. Winning races allows you to be ranked within the governing bodies, and then those bodies will provide you pay based upon certain criteria. The earning potential is also increased by the endorsements you can acquire as your acclaim increases. For example, professional sprinter Usain Bolt makes an estimated £5 million annually because of his prowess on the track combined with his side endeavours.