Athletics: It’s More Than Just A Game

If someone were to analyze a football, basketball, or softball game, they may be impressed with an athletic play or cheer on a particular team. Ultimately, they would come to the conclusion that the point is to win the game. Still, win or lose, it is just a game. Although winning is the goal all athletes want to reach, athletics is much more than just a game. Athletics, especially at the collegiate level, is a laboratory for the growth of future A-player employees. An A-player is a top-level employee who is a great leader, role model, and achieves success. Hiring one A-player will change a business dramatically and with proper tactics to retain valued employees, A-players will attract more high quality workers.

According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) the percentage of athletes who continue their athletic careers professionally is minuscule. 1.6% of all NCAA football players will play in the NFL, 0.9% of all women’s basketball players get the opportunity to play in the WNBA, and 1.4% of men soccer players continue their college career at the professional level. In the 2013-2014 academic year, 472,625 athletes participated in 23 NCAA sports across the country. Unfortunately, the possibility of playing professionally are very slim and many talented athletes must move on from athletics and enter the workplace after graduating from college.

The good news for many businesses is that athletes are raised to be excellent employees. I believe a businessman should hire an athlete as his next employee because: Name Image Likeness

1. Athletes are achievement oriented
2. Athletes are resilient
3. Athletes are strong communicators
4. Athletes are team oriented
5. Athletes are excellent with time management

Most athletes have a burning desire to be competitive. An athlete not only competes against an opponent, but they also fight for a position on the team with other teammates. Collegiate athletics is a business and each athlete is expected to produce or playing time and/or spot on the team can be in jeopardy. Achievement oriented individuals refuse to be complacent and tend to never be satisfied. It is important to continually give athletes goals to strive for in the workplace. Competing is fun for them and a business will benefit immensely from an athlete’s competitiveness.

Athletics promote resiliency and overcoming adversity in order to become successful. Overcoming adversities arise in different forms throughout an athletic career. Athletes are expected to cope with injuries, adjust to uncontrollables like an umpire’s strike zone and compete to the conclusion of a game even if it feels like a victory is out of reach. Those who are resilient achieve greatness. For example, in 2004, the Boston Red Sox were down three games to the Yankees for the American League Championship Series. It would have been easy to throw in the towel but the Boston Red Sox refused to give up and the baseball team showed their resilience by winning four games straight and then onto win the World Series. Athletes refuse to let the uncontrollables bring them down; they will fight, scratch, and claw to reach their goals. An employee with this mentality will be an impactful member of the business and will contribute to creating a culture of success.

Especially in a team sport, an athlete is required to have strong communication skills. On the field, their job is to communicate with teammates in order to perform plays and encourage positive actions through supportive cheering, thus creating a unified atmosphere. Communication is not limited to verbal messages but is any information that is exchanged from one person to another. Successful athletes are coachable and communicate consistently with their coaches and team members. Coachability is critical because without buy-in from both the coaching staff and teammates, communication becomes fragile or broken causing indecisiveness, lack of trust, and a lack of confidence. As a manager, you want your employees to whole-heartedly trust the process, be open to constructive criticism, and communicate through behavior, feedback, and allowing oneself to be coachable. Because an athlete is achievement oriented and competitive, they tend to be one step ahead of non-athletes and will comply for the success of the business.

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