Why Your Next Hire Should be an Athlete
Sports provide athletes with more than a favourite pastime or hobby. The experiences that are made possible through sport shape people by instilling values and traits. These traits and values are directly transferable to everyday life, especially in the workplace. Here are a few traits and values that are strengthened through participation in sport, along with a brief explanation of why they are valuable in the workplace.
Will to Win
The most obvious trait developed through sport is an insatiable desire to compete. To me there is nothing more exciting than competing. Competition brings out a sort of relentless motivation in people that is unique. I think this desire to be the best you can be is invaluable. Athletes are goal driven, and in the business world you are constantly striving to set new benchmarks in the form of quotas, deadlines, and market share.
Athletes have a natural appreciation for feedback loops. Feedback is what makes athletes better. The process goes as follows: study, train, execute, get feedback, modify, and repeat. In business, feedback loops are essential to innovating and improving performance. It is important to constantly ask yourself- “How can I become better than I was yesterday?”
As an athlete, you are constantly told to focus on efficiency; every movement should be made with purpose. You should make a habit of reflecting and asking Why? Why did I do that? Why did I go there? Is there a better way? Without purpose, you will not operate at an optimal capacity. It goes without saying that people who work with purpose are a valuable asset to any organization.
Successful athletes are more coachable. Because athletes have a desire to improve, they are receptive to advice. The best athletes are those that respect their coaches and what they teach. In the work place it is immensely beneficial to seek mentorship. The best way to learn is through someone else who has already experienced what you have yet to face.
In sport, you are required to work both individually, and as a team. Building these skills from an early age is valuable because they go a long way in the workplace. Sometimes you will be required to take a leadership role, other times you will have to take a step back and accept direction from others. Both in sport, and in business, you work as a collective unit to achieve a common goal.