Why Sports Teach Success?

by Krantcents · 15 comments

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Participation in sports teach skills in leadership and success.  When you think of sports, you think of physical activity, but there is much more.  Most companies operate as a team which means it is similar to a sports team.  Winning teams are not necessarily the most talented, but one that can work well together to meet an objective.  If you do not participate in sports in school what are you learning, the 3 R’s?

If you just spend time playing games on your computer, you lose!  Young people cannot just sit and entertain themselves without playing some computer games on their mobile devices.  I think society is in trouble if this continues.  If repetitive tasks are needed, you will have the skills.  Is everything a game?  Real life is much more complex!  It gives us the false impression that everything is entertainment and can be resolved in a short period of time.  How are you honing your skills?

The first rule of sports is showing up.  You practice and develop skills.  At some point a coach decides to put you in and you perform.  What did you learn?  You work hard, practice and demonstrate your skills.  If you are good and play well together as a team you will succeed.  Along the way, you learn about your team mates and learn to trust each other will do their part to help the team succeed.  Working together for a common goal is a large part of team building and leadership.  You may not always win, but you learn a lot along the way.

Sports is not just physical activity, it is mental too.  You have to learn plays, do your part and interact with your team members.  It sounds easy, but team building is never easy because you need to take individuals and have them work together toward a goal.  Learning how to interact with other children their age and abilities help  team building, communication and social skills.  These are just some of the skills which make great leaders.

Many people overlook the importance and discipline of sports.  It is hard work to practice every day.  Some may say it is a lot like work.  You have a chance for leadership much earlier than you would in a work environment.  In team sports, leaders are determined by the team.  It is the individual that the group will follow when needed.  Some call it a popularity contest, but I see it as a demonstration of performance.

High school or college sports add the dimension of grades.  To remain eligible, you must maintain minimum grades.  I cannot think of any other situation that simulates a work environment than team sports in school.  Only Olympic or professional competition would take it to a higher level.  Sports teach perseverance, time management, patience and discipline. These life lessons are transferable to the work environment too.

Often, sports give students who may not be academic an opportunity to achieve success.  Who are the leaders?  Generally speaking, most entrepreneurs and corporate leaders are former athletes.  They learned responsibility and accountability in sports.  In sports, you learn how to deal with failure and turn it into success.  Besides the physical benefits of sports, it builds confidence, problem solving, decision making and self esteem.

Wrap Up

I believe in sports and games!  They teach us so much and are fun.  Just to be clear, I advocate games where you interact with other people.  Games that isolate have limited benefits.  Besides the military, I cannot think of too many opportunities for learning leadership skills other than sports.  Participating in sports have many benefits physically, mentally and emotionally.  It will give you confidence in anything you do.  Sports teach Success.

Photo by:  cmaccubbin

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{ 14 comments }

Lance@MoneyLife&More July 4, 2012 at 4:23 am

Sports can definitely be a great learning experience for anyone. There are other ways to learn leadership skills but sports is definitely a great one.

Krantcents July 4, 2012 at 7:15 am

You’re right, but sport is a fun way of learning leadership and the skillss of success.

AverageJoe July 4, 2012 at 5:58 am

This is why I’m an advocate for sports and board games for my kids. In sports you have a team relying on you (as you said above), in board games you’re getting a mental workout, but are interacting (and often negotiating) with the other players around the table. Far better than video games, in my opinion.

Krantcents July 4, 2012 at 7:16 am

Aside from the skills of the game, you learn how to get along with other people. There is something to be said about winning and losing and overcoming adversity.

Marissa @ Thirty Six Months July 4, 2012 at 8:45 pm

Sports are amazing at teaching quite a few different skills. Soccer taught me a lot about team work, and success.

Krantcents July 5, 2012 at 7:32 am

Obviously, I agree! Although sports may not be for everyone, participation can teach you many things.

Roshawn @ Watson Inc July 4, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Intellectually, I totally see the connection. Personally, I have always been more musically inclined. What I think would be really beneficial, particularly for professional athletes, is if they put the same diligence that they use to become professionally successful to managing the fruit of that success.

Krantcents July 5, 2012 at 7:34 am

Although I believe in sports, playing an instrument and academics have their place too. Athletes need to be well rounded too.

Eddie July 5, 2012 at 4:56 am

I’m a huge advocate on sports, and organized sports. I played soccer since I was 7, and coached the game on-and-off for 7 yrs. Sports teaches you discipline, respect, responsibility, team-work, and intellectually it challenges you.

Krantcents July 5, 2012 at 7:36 am

And so much more. It is an opportunity to learn life skills in a different or more fun situation.

MoneySmartGuides July 5, 2012 at 6:52 pm

This is a great analogy. I played sports all through high school and then in random rec leagues during and after college. A lot of the things I learned about success came directly from sports. I’m sure I would have figured the stuff out without sports but I’m glad I learned it when I did.

Krantcents July 6, 2012 at 7:38 am

I agree! I think sports may be the closest environment to work and the skills you learn can be used at work.

Denise Gabbard July 11, 2012 at 6:31 pm

You are right, of course. As I was reading this post, I started thinking about high school and the decidedly non-athletic kids. Some of those “nerdy kids” have managed to be quite successful…so I think Master’s programs might be a third place that leadership skills are taught well. But I bet they use sports analogies…cannot tell you how many sales/finance/management meetings I have been to where that was the case–most of us can relate:)

Krantcents July 11, 2012 at 7:58 pm

You remind me of finance department meetings where we used those terms as well. I remember a few, “Let’s huddle” or “touch base”. I think grad school is a good place for leadership skills as well, although I am thinking skills you can learn as early as high school.

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