How Team Sports Can Prepare You for Business Success

There’s no question about it: kids (and kids at heart) love participating in team sports. In 2011, 21.5 million children between the ages of 6 and 17 played a team sport. And, as ESPN says, “Youth sports is so big that no one knows quite how big it is.”

Whether it’s soccer, basketball, football, baseball, hockey or rugby, playing an organized sport is a great way for both kids and adults to stay in shape, build close relationships and learn about themselves. Another benefit that many people don’t think of? Being part of a team can also help people prepare for business success.

Participating in a team sport is about more than just having fun. It’s also about doing your best to support the goals of a group of your peers. If you’re looking for ways to prepare for your own future success in business, or you want to establish a solid foundation for your kids, it’s worth your time to consider participating in a team sport.

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Below, we’ve put together a list of the Top 5 benefits of playing a team sport:

1. Team sports teach the value of collaboration and cooperation

There’s no way to find success as a team if individual teammates can’t collaborate and cooperate. While it might seem simple to create a strategy for a football team, everyone knows that individual personalities and abilities can have a big impact on the success of the team. When you play a team sport, you learn how to negotiate these challenges in order to achieve success.

As a team player, you’ll have to learn to collaborate with individuals whose personalities work well with yours – as well as with those whose personalities don’t mesh so well. While it might be difficult at times, you’ll learn that cooperation and compromise ultimately leads to the success of the team as a whole.

2. Team sports teach the art of strategizing and following through

When it comes to career success, nothing is more important than knowing how to strategize – and how to follow through. Throughout your career, you’ll need to make a plan and follow it in order to reach your goals. When you play a team sport, you’ll learn all about strategizing. No matter the position you play on the field, you’ll need to develop a strong understanding of the big picture. You’ll also learn how to develop and understand strategies that you can apply to individual games, as well as your season (or career) as a whole.

3. Team sports teach respect for peers and authority figures

It’s impossible to find business success if you can’t demonstrate respect for both your co-workers and your bosses. Of course, doing so isn’t always as easy as it sounds. When you play a team sport, you learn how to respect even those with whom you disagree.

You’ll also learn how to follow a leader even when you’re not sure what the plan is, or if you agree with it. What’s more, you’ll also learn how to diplomatically and respectfully disagree with the opinions of your peers and coaches. This is an essential skill that will help you negotiate for what you want in your career.

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4. Team sports teach the value of establishing and accomplishing goals

When you play a team sport, you set both personal and team goals. Then, you learn what you need to do as an individual player and as a unified team to reach those goals. It’s no different in the business world. No matter the sport you play, you’ll learn how to set reachable goals and how to figure out what you need do to reach those goals. These are lessons that will serve you well in your professional life, whether you’re working as part of a team to develop a new product or you’re setting career goals for yourself.

5. Team sports help to develop perseverance and determination

It’s no secret that the path to career success can be riddled with obstacles and discouragement. If you play a team sport, you’ll learn how to face obstacles head on, so that you can work past them and reach your goals. In fact, there may be no better way to craft perseverance and determination than to jump into a sport you’re not familiar with, set goals and remain determined to reach them. By playing a sport, you’ll also learn the value of being satisfied when you set and reach small goals on your way to bigger successes.

Do you think team sports can help pave the way toward professional success? Let us know in the comments!

Abby Perkins is Editor in Chief at Talent Tribune, where she writes about jobs, workplace culture, and human resources technology. She’s also a former soccer and softball player and forever lover of team sports.

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