How Athletic Attributes Shape a Successful Career
Athletics have always been a part of my life. I’ve been hooked ever since my mom took me to my first Pee Wee basketball practice at age 8. At the time, my eight-year-old self was just happy to make friends, and find a positive outlet. Little did I know, I would immediately start learning valuable lessons that would shape the rest of my life. Throughout the years my love for sports continued with tennis, softball, running and skiing. Each sport brings something to the table, but altogether they have taught me key fundamentals and habits that use in everyday life, especially my career. Here are a few:
Goal setting and the execution of goals is one of the most important skills that an athlete learns. In order to become the best you can be, you need to have this foundation to be able to know where you’re at and where you want to be. Set goals at work; daily goals, weekly goals, monthly goals and yearly goals. Keep growing and marching forward.
Athletes don’t let time commitments become an excuse. I know athletes who row crew and get up at 4:45 AM each morning to be on the water at 5:30 AM. They work long hours at their job, fit in other hobbies and a social life and somehow get up the next day to do it all over again. So, if there’s that class you want to take or skill you want to expand, make it work!
There’s no “I” in team.
You can’t win a game all by yourself. Even the No. 2 ranked tennis champion in the world, Novak Djokovic relies on his coach for guidance. Athletes learn how to work with their peers through differences, hardship and success. They know how to utilize other people’s wisdom and skills to rise above and successfully make decisions. If you struggle to work with others, approach things with an open mind. See what people bring to the table because it’s only going to make your work stronger.
Practice makes perfect you better.
Let’s be real, I know it’s hard to believe Steph Curry was not born with a basketball in his hand. He practiced day in and day out for thousands and thousand of hours. You can too. If you’re not good at public speaking, practice. If you get nervous when writing a company email, take a writing class. And if you would love to be a manager, become a mentor.
Proper breathing is crucial in sports like running, yoga and swimming that you breathe properly. It helps your muscles receive the oxygen needed to stay strong. In the workplace if something isn’t going your way or you feel overwhelmed, remain calm and simply breathe. It’s a calming solution that brings clarity and helps you stay strong.
In a sport like baseball, you can anticipate the ball is going to get hit to you by analyzing hitters and knowing their stats. Use this skill at work. Find your numbers team. They have a tremendous amount of data that can help you towards your goal. Whether it’s Google Analytics or a financial analysis, numbers are out there and they’re your friends.
When working on a team, you become real close. Take the ideal friendship goal of the New England Patriots. They play 4 preseason games and 16 regular season games all over America for over 6 months. They probably spend more time with their fellow players than with family. You can tell that they get along and it shows. Athletes have a tendency to build a community that’s healthy and supportive because getting to know one another is crucial for a thriving work environment. So, show support at work. If a coworker is raising money for a good cause, pitch in. If someone just wants to chat, listen. Building these relationships will not only produce better work, it’ll build your network and help you with your career for years to come.
It’s simple, work hard. An athlete does not become better if they don’t give it their all. Aly Raisman didn’t get to the Olympics twice before the age of 22 by giving 50%. So, if you are truly passionate about what you do, give it all you got.
Whether you’re an athlete or just a spectator, there’s a tremendous amount that can be learned from athletes. These are just a few but if you want more, you can’t go wrong with the 2004 classic, Miracle. If you haven’t watched it, watch it now! Drop everything you’re doing and stream it! If you have watched it, pop some popcorn and watch it again. You can’t go wrong with infusing your life with these fundamentals. It’ll make all difference in your career.