In today’s job market, applicants face fierce competition for jobs and they must go above and beyond the traditional measures in order to be a legitimate candidate. It is more important now than ever that individuals are able to exercise leadership abilities even when the role they are applying for isn’t necessarily a “leadership position”. Playing a sport is one way to develop certain skills that can be used on and off the field. Sports can provide players with the decision making, communication, and organizational skills needed to be a good leader for their team, and in turn in life.
In the workplace, or in life, leaders are always able act decisively and think creatively on their feet. People have a tendency to get bogged down in decision making, often trying to take time and be calculating when moving forward – particularly when it comes to high-stake decisions. An interview with marketing director of information management solutions at Dell Software, John Whittaker, from Business Insider, explores the importance of decisiveness in the business world. Whittaker says it is better to course-correct than miss out on important opportunities as a result of over-thinking. During a sports game, players aren’t afforded time to mull things over as they have to make split second decisions. Over time, their ability to make the right decision in the moment is strengthened. This skill can translate into day-to-day life.
When participating in a sport, it is important that one have skills such as time management and organization. Talent and hard work lose effectiveness if there is no organization and preparation before the game no matter how talented the individual may be. Team leaders have to meet and plan in advance for their event. They must coordinate what drills to run at practice and what responsibilities to delegate to the other players. These practices of preparation translate into daily tasks such as preparing for a meeting or managing a team at work. Leaders will ultimately be successful when they have the ability to organize and delegate.
Possessing effective communication skills is one of the keys to success in life and is found as a common trait shared among leaders. In an article from Forbes, author Mike Myatt discusses the importance of communication in any leadership role. The most effective leaders are intuitive and able to communicate successfully. Myatt says, “the number one thing great communicators have in common is they possess a heightened sense of situational and contextual awareness.” Playing a sport strengthens situational and contextual awareness and forces players to communicate effectively during high-pressured situations. Not only do sports players have to communicate on the field, they also have to meet off the field as well. Off the field, players must strategize and explain their ideas to a team, giving them a specific advantage over non-sports players. Be it on or off the field, sports players are more equipped to be leaders in their lives as a result of the training and preparation a sport can provide.