Why We Love Former Athletes in The Workplace (And You Should, Too!)

The next time you see athletic experience listed on a resume, pay attention. While athletic achievements don’t always guarantee greatness in the business world, they do indicate a candidate who has gone through rigorous training and faced grueling challenges. This kind of life experience is likely to have led them to develop some pretty awesome skills, the kind of skills that can be extremely valuable in the workplace. So if you want superstar employees, consider making your next hire a former athlete or someone who possesses the same highly desirable skill set.

Here are the typical athlete traits we look for regardless of their past athletic experience.

Dedication to What They Do

When faced with a challenge, a true athlete has the grit to rise to it and keep on going. They work out, they practice and they sweat. They devote countless hours to their training schedule, they are extremely dedicated to their craft and often wake up early for practice. Athletes aren’t scared of hard work and they can apply that drive to the workplace as well as on a sports field.

Determined to Be the Best

If you want your business to beat all your competitors, then fill your workforce with athletes. Focused on winning and goal-oriented, athletes strive to outshine their competitors. They have a will to win and a refusal to lose that just keeps pushing them forwards. Wouldn’t you like a bit of that competitive edge in your team?

Know How to Deal with Failure

Handling failure is part of the life of any athlete. What makes them really special is their ability to experience disappointment and loss but keep on going. Athletes have dealt with failure in the past and it only makes them more determined to excel in the present. They have an admirable tenacity that can be a powerful resource in the workplace.

Masters of Discipline

Discipline is essential to athletes. They show control over many aspects of their lives – their diets, their workouts, even the time they get up in the morning. Athletes know that discipline is necessary to achieve exceptional results. They can adapt the rigor of their training regimes to their jobs. They will prepare for an important meeting in the same way they would prepare for a big match.

Understand and Embrace Teamwork

Athletes tend to embody team spirit better than most. Most sports are team based or involve an element of training as a team. So if you want a truly collaborative employee, then an athlete is the best way to go. They are used to being part of a team and understand the need to pull together as well as the need to be adaptable. They understand how different roles work together to achieve an end result, they realize the importance of effective communication and they are more than willing to support their teammates.

Comfortable in Leadership Roles

It’s likely that at times an athlete has had to step up and act as a leader for their team. They know how to make decisions and how to motivate their teammates to work harder. This means that athletes often excel in managerial or supervisory positions. Even if this isn’t the role you’re interviewing for, keep in mind that it may be a possible progression path for the former athlete employee.

Have a True Passion

Athletes often care deeply about what they do and that level of passion can extend to the office. Having employees who are genuinely invested in the company is a huge asset. Passionate employees work harder and convince other people that your business is outstanding. Athletes are also wonderful at selling because their enthusiasm is contagious.

Highly Coachable

Being used to a coaching environment means athletes are often quick learners and highly adaptable. They are willing to be taught by others and respond well to constructive feedback, using it to fine-tune their skills and improve their performance.

Perform Well Under Pressure

Athletes have almost certainly experienced moments in their athletic careers where they’ve been under a huge amount of pressure. If they’ve been able to handle that pressure and still do a great job, then you can be pretty sure they’ll be equipped to handle all the stresses and strains of the workplace.

A Strong Work Ethic

Athletes know that in order to be the best you have to work harder than anybody else. They are willing to put that extra effort in. They will do whatever it takes to excel. If you can harness this winning attitude, it can be a very powerful force to have in your business. Let’s face it, who doesn’t want employees who work hard to achieve the best results possible?

To discuss attracting and retaining high caliber talent to your business, contact Theresa today!