Sports-minded employees in the workplace

Sports-minded employees in the workplaceImagine that you are an athlete who enters the corporate world where an eight-hour workday has to be successfully accomplished in order to reach the finish line. Can the same discipline, attitudes, and values she learns in sports be applied at work and serve as a key to success?   

Being an athlete requires discipline and passion. From school tryouts up to tedious trainings, these exercises can be mentally and physically challenging to these individuals. There are a lot of trainings, formal or informal, that every sporty person should undergo to get high on this competitive endeavor. But then, what about in the corporate world? What is it in life that awaits her in the workplace?

Passionately trained through hard-work and determination, athletes can tend to be more assertive and ambitious at work to reach their desired goals. However, there is no such thing as overnight success. It takes months and even years of preparation to reach a certain competitive level. As Malcolm Gladwell says in his book Outliers, it takes 10,000 hours of practice to master a skill. But for me, the attitude of a person is equally important. If an individual has a strong mind to handle distractions and temptations that might creep into one’s focus, then it can be a key factor for a person to succeed. 

Athletes also learn from their mistakes and understand their weaknesses to rectify them. This enables them to release their full potentials, making them better versions of themselves. For every bit of success, it cannot be avoided that they will face failures along the way. But they must have the guts to prepare for the next battle. As basketball legend Michael Jordan said: “Never say never because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.” Fall seven times, stand up eight.

Athletes play to win. This means that if the company accepts sports-minded individuals in the workplace, they are likely to exert effort to become champions at work. They are committed to success. Also, disciplined athletes are always present during practices—no excuses. These individuals always find a way to learn more, to be better, and to look for ways to do things. Imagine what these individuals can possibly accomplish with their continuous pursuit of success.

Sports-minded employees can be great team players and leaders, too. These individuals understand the importance of collaboration and cooperation within teams. They also welcome constructive criticism. They are used to receiving feedback on their performance. They do not blame others for their mistakes; they take responsibility for their errors. Through this constructive criticism, athletes are able to improve their future performance.

Needless to say, efforts must be undertaken to utilize sportsmanship and professionalism at work. The workplace can be a big playing arena, and healthy competition should be welcomed. Human resource practitioners, however, must guide these individuals, and remind them not to be overcome with pride if they succeed; and not to lose hope if they don’t immediately climb up the corporate ladder. In the corporate world, the objective of the organization is to win as one team and as one company.

Are you ready to be like an athlete in the workplace? 

Fedelis Marie Panganiban is a Master of Business Administration student at the Ramon V. Del Rosario College of Business of De La Salle University. She welcomes comments at The views expressed above are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official position of DLSU, its faculty, and its administrators. 

Topics: Malcolm Gladwell , Michael Jordan , athlete , sports
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