It’s no coincidence that businesses of all types hire professional athletes as motivational speakers. On the surface, it may not seem like the world of sports has a lot in common with industries like information technology or healthcare, but the principles that help a dedicated athlete succeed can be directly applied to a range of other business scenarios. It can also be incredibly inspiring to hear the stories of individuals who have perfected their craft, trained their bodies into peak physical shape, and overcome personal and professional obstacles in their rise to fame and success.
Here are the five biggest business lessons that companies and organizations can learn from professional sports.
- Teamwork. It goes without saying that successful athletes need to learn how to work with their teammates, coaches, agents and managers. Professional athletes have mastered the skills of collaboration, trust, and communication and these skills can be directly applied to the business world, especially to small companies and startups.
- Perseverance. Most professional athletes are intimately connected with failure. In order to achieve success in the sports industry, you have to overcome many obstacles and hurdles, including physical pain and limitations. Founders and business leaders who have created successful brands say they also learned to persevere through major failures and setbacks.
- Attention to detail. In sports, a fraction of a second or a slight miscalculation of angle can determine the outcome of a game. Athletes train themselves to pay acute attention to detail, which is also a critical business skill.
- Calm under pressure. When athletes are “in flow,” they can keep calm and clear headed even under enormous pressure, such as a ticking clock and loud cheers or boos from fans. This meditative flow state is important in business, especially when stakes are high.
- Celebration. Professional athletes celebrate their victories with teammates and supporters and form strong bonds with their support network both on and off the court or field. In business, it is important to take the time to celebrate successes, however small, and use victories as an inspiration and launching pad for the next venture.
Athlete On Demand was founded by a former pro athlete who understands the sports industry and the valuable lessons professional athletes have to share.