I’ve played competitive sports my whole life and still continue to play recreationally. Sports are great for having fun and exercising, but they are also great for fine tuning skills off the field. There are many parallels that can be drawn between competitive sports and business. The reason I say competitive, is because there is a large difference between playing for “fun” and playing to “win”. In business, we typically play to “win” hence the the distinction of competitive sports. Here are some ways in which playing on one of these teams can positively influence your business career:
Sports are very achievement driven. Achievements are given to both the team and individual players. Typically teams play to win championships or titles and individuals strive to win awards recognizing stellar performance. The ability to win these various awards is a huge incentive to perform both on a personal level and as a team. This same concept applies to business. Every individual team member must b striving to do their best while working as a cohesive unit. You’re achievements are met when your team can hit certain milestones, like revenue and or customer targets. Individually, your achievements may be rewarded in the form of a promotion or raise in pay. These skills can be taught both in the office and on the field.
Every great sports team has a leader, they are typically named the “Captain” of the team. When times are hard, these individuals are expected to step-up and lead their team even under the harshest circumstances. Leadership is hugely important in business. Even if you aren’t a natural leader yourself, it is still very important to be able to identify individuals with leadership qualities and position them accordingly within your business and or life. A strong leader will not only attract others to want to work with you but will also keep team morale high even during the rough patches. Strong leadership qualities will take you far in every facet of life, always look to improve your ability to lead and inspire others, especially in business.
Communication is key on any sports team. No team-sport is won by an individual, success relies on strong team chemistry. A large part of team chemistry is how they are able to communicate with one another. This can be compared to the business world as well. Business is all about using your network to your advantage and reaching out to those who can help push you forward. Communication is the key to utilizing your network and working efficiently amongst your team. I started to learn these basic communication skills when I was six years old playing on my first soccer team, and i’ve been taking every opportunity on and off the field to improve them.
It is important to constantly look to learn new skills no matter what activity or profession you are working in. More often than not, you can draw parallels between activities and apply skills you learn from one into another. The parallel between sports and business is fairly clear, and there are plenty more comparisons to be made. These were just a few to take note of, and if you are or were an athlete, apply to your business career.