Whether you are a sports enthusiast or simply watch the Super Bowl for the commercials, most of you have participated in a team sport in the past, even if it was just in high school gym class. Sports can play an important part in your career as leadership experience on your resume, as an interim activity while you search, or simply as an abundance of lessons learned.
If you are currently faced with extra time on your hands that you do not wish to fill with volunteer activities, consider playing on, managing, or coaching a sports team. Here are some lessons that you can learn from participating in a team sport that can easily be extrapolated into your life and career.
- Teamwork – By now I am sure that you've heard the statement, "There's no "I" in team". In sports, you learn to get along with a variety of people who are all on the team for the same reason. Playing on a team teaches you the importance of setting goals and then working together to achieve them. No matter what job you are in, teamwork is also the key to your success.
- Rules – Team sports have rules and, in the workplace, breaking rules usually has greater consequences than in some other areas of your life. In the workplace, some rules are bendable but you should be sure that you know which ones they are before you start bending them.
- Winning is Better Than Losing – You cannot possibly argue this point. If you are competitive, you always want to win the game, but hopefully not at any cost. For instance, you want to win by playing fair, not by cheating. In the workplace, being competitive can possibly cost you both friendships and respect, so while you want to win, it's important to do it on your own terms without following what the crowd is doing.
- Losing Isn't as Bad as You Think It Is – When you lose a game, your coach guides you towards improving your game for next time. The same goes for your job responsibilities. Sometimes you succeed and other times your performance needs some tweaking. Mistakes help you learn. If you were absolutely perfect, life would be boring.
- Leadership – If you have been a team captain, even if it was a long time ago, it is still a beneficial addition to your resume. Being elected or anointed captain is an honor which is readily acknowledged by recruiters as early lessons of management.
Absolutely Abby’s Advice:
Team sports teach us a variety of life lessons that are easily adaptable to your career. They also offer excellent networking opportunities and companionship and play a role in stress management and fitness. You may have piles of dust on your volleyball, soccer ball, tennis racket, baseball glove or football, but once you dust them off, the desire you once had to join the team will resurface faster than you thought possible.