Are Today’s Athletes Tomorrow’s Leaders?
Great leaders rarely solve problems alone, nor do they tackle obstacles by haphazardly delegating to others. They recognize that a well-organized team is their best weapon. They understand that leadership is not a solo performance, but rather the ability to bring out commitment, focus, goal-orientation, and unique strengths in their teammates.
Sound familiar? It’s Sports 101.
The link between life skills and sports is no secret. We introduce sports to children in part because they offer first-hand proof of leadership and working hand-in-hand with team members. They also demonstrate the power of uniting around a cause to achieve goals together. And as our world becomes increasingly complex and diverse, it is the uniters who will prevail.
An athletic career yields more than strength and motor skills. Professional athletes’ spatial and interpersonal awareness translates directly to leadership positions, in which one must account for the actions, trajectories, and abilities to surround teammates in real time. Far from being an abstraction, this mindset is a marketable trait that both the public and private sector desperately need.
Professional athletes also excel at commitment, an attribute that is the key ingredient in delivering quality results and defeating impossible odds. From steadfast historical figures to Silicon Valley game-changers, the story is the same: commitment is the number one component of success. In professional life, we are expected to commit to many different goals and to see them through to completion. And for athletes, commitment to the job is not a bonus — it is a prerequisite.
In our world of smartphones and constant distraction, the ability to focus is more desirable than ever in leadership roles. Sports require athletes to hone a razor-sharp focus to deliver maximum output under pressure, which puts them ahead of the curve when it comes to real-world hurdles and interruptions.
Finally, professional athletes are on the front lines of moral management. They understand how rallying around a single goal can unify and bring out the best in people. This makes athletes exceptionally perceptive of momentum and its importance to productivity.
At Retired From Sports, we believe that as time marches on, it grows clearer that the next generation of leaders will need to bring people together. They will need to inspire, to motivate, and to demonstrate by example that commitment and teamwork are the only way forward. This tremendous task is perhaps best entrusted to those with thorough training in team-based leadership— a distinction that athletes possess in wholesale quantity. If you’re a former professional athletes, let Retire from Sports help you ace your next phase of leadership, with everything from athlete consulting and retirement planning to business consultation.