Even though most athletes do not have a long list of ex-jobs and experience in specific business fields it’s important to consider what they have been through during their athletic career, which in many cases can be even more valuable than a job listed on your resume.
Even if the athletes do not have many skills or experiences listen on paper (on their resume) they probably still have more familiarity on how to handle and go about many common business challenges and situations that might arise in a competitive surrounding or at a company.
I have thought about multiple aspects where athletes might be just as good or even outperform “normal” non-athletes when being in the business world:
- Athletes are achievement oriented. To say at least.. Most athletes in college started playing their sport at a very young age. They have learned how to focus and exclude external forces to win. It’s the same in the business world: it’s important to being able to focus with a lot of noise around and on your specific task.
- College athletes are resilient. To get to this level in their sport they have most likely fallen more time than they have won. But they always get back up to keep working towards their goals and improve what needs to improve for next time. Athletes never want to let down their coach or team. In the business world this is an essential skill: to always keep working toward your goals no matter what and never wanting to disappoint employees or the boss.
- Athletes are strong communicators. Athletes have had a relationship with either a coach, a team, or both and know how to react and accept both negative and positive feedback and also how to provide feedback for others. In the business world, the aspect of being able to handle constructive criticism is gold worth!
- Athletes manage time well and are used to work under pressure. Student-athletes have to figure out how to get everything to work with classes, homework, practices, team activities, travels, missed information, social life, and more. And do I even have to say why good time management is essential in the business world? Also, athletes are put under a lot of pressure for handling school together with their sport. Being able to come out successful in both is impressing!
- They are team- oriented as well as comfortable with working alone. Athletes are used to having a set goal and work together with their team to reach there. Athletes do also have individual goals they have to work on on their own. Being a good team player but at the same time work well alone is very valuable at any job today.
- Athletes strive for balance. Athletes know the importance of good nutrition and sleep. They know what is essential for a winning concept in the long run.
There are multiple more aspects of all the hidden important business skills athletes have but I have to stop at some point..
With all this in mind, remember how good business people most athletes actually can be even without a great resume, and if they do have some working experience as well… Well isn’t that like the icing on the cake!