What’s the recipe for success in life? Parents work hard to prepare their children for life on the other side of the school environment, for the hard work that is making a living. Often sport is seen as being a piece of the puzzle that prepares kids by padding their college resumes or by filling their time with a positive activity that brings self confidence, but really athletics also prepares kids to be fantastic members of the workplace. It’s important that kids learn the skills that will make them successful employees, and athletics is an amazing preparation.
Athletes make great employees, regardless of their sport. That’s good news for both companies that are interested in hiring as well as for parents who are interested in raising kids who will go on to be successful in life! In this post we’ll explore how athletics in general offer a big boost to those who practice them in terms of becoming strong members of the workplace. Be sure to check out the sister post to this one, which delves into how fencing in particular creates great employees.
Why do athletes make great employees? Here are seven great reasons.
1. Strong Communication
Strong communications skills are a hallmark of well developed athletes, because they learn to both receive feedback and use it constructively themselves, as well as how to give good, constructive feedback to others. Smooth and effective communication is an essential skill on the field/strip/court and in the office.
2. Listening to Superiors
In many ways coaches serve the same functions as bosses do – providing structure and instruction. Athletes learn to follow the instruction of the people who are in charge. That’s an important skill for employees to have, o
3. Time Management
Of everything that people have to learn to manage in life, time is perhaps the most challenging but also the most important. Balancing all of the commitments that are on the table is no easy task, but when students practice a sport they learn to juggle the things that are pulling on their time. Athletes tend to be well organized, which leads to being well organized in the workplace. They also learn to prioritize tasks and to reach out for assistance.
We think of many sports as being individual sports, but in reality almost all sports are made up of teams and groups that work together towards a common goal. In sport, young people learn how to both follow a leader in order to progress forward, but they also learn how to take control and assert themselves when it’s necessary. Athletes learn to work together with their teams, even though they might be competing against one another. That kind of synergy is the hallmark of business.
5. Goal Setting
Sport isn’t just for fun (though it is fun) – athletes are concerned with achieving goals. Athletics involves learning to push distractions out of the mind in order to focus on getting to the place where you want to be. This is especially true of competitive athletes, but it’s also true of non-competitive athletes. Practicing this sport involves learning to set short term and long term goals, a skill that is essential to the workplace.
Needless to say, by definition nobody can compete better than athletes. Let’s admit it – life is competition. Work is competition. You compete with other companies, markets, technologies. And competition is tough. There are ups and downs, with those people who are behind you catching up, as well as there being leaders who are watching your back so that competitors don’t overcome you. Athletes are very adept at navigating the competitive challenges of life.
Part of the greatness that is sport is that there are winners and there are losers. Students who play sports learn quickly what defeat feels like, and more importantly they learn how to pick themselves up and keep going when it happens. A big problem that employers have is that people don’t know how to handle the ups and downs that can come with life, they get discouraged and give up when it gets tough. What companies really want are employees who will stick around when things are bumpy. Sport helps students master resilience, a skill that transfers beautifully to the workplace.