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Sports are popular no matter where in the world you’re from. From a young age, children are encouraged to participate in sports such as flag football, soccer, cheerleading, and so on through their local recreation centers or schools. Who wouldn’t want to cheer their child on and encourage them to make friends? People who stick with sports through their formative years get a special skill that can help them beyond the field: they learn how to be a leader. For some people, being a leader is natural, but for people who have played sports, it’s a lifestyle.

Teamwork

Perhaps the most obvious skill would be how to work as a team with other people. While on a team, you have to collaborate with other people to accomplish what you set out to do, whether it be completing practice drills or winning a game. In the workplace, teamwork can be applied in a number of ways: delegating tasks to members of your team, working together efficiently with a number of different personalities, and motivating everyone to strive for the end goal. With good leadership, the team can grow and enhance productivity for group projects and campaigns. 

Goal-Orientation

When on a sports team, the ultimate goal is to win the game you’re playing. Players practice daily to be their very best, and some won’t stop bettering themselves until they’re at the peak of their performance. Their goal is to win their sport, and in the workplace, their goal will switch to achieving success within the company. These people have learned to see past outside influence and focus solely on what they’ve set out to do, which is critical when tight deadlines come into play.

Communication

Communicating with teammates is critical to being successful on the field or court. Without openly communicating with one another, the possibility of failure increases dramatically. No one, after all, is a mind reader, so being open about where you’re going on the field or who you’re passing the ball to is vital to sports. The same can be said for leadership in the workplace: people who played sports previously are likely to continue that line of communication with their teammates, which creates a sense of community, and they’ll be more receptive to constructive criticism toward their work.

Those, of course, are only three skills that are established while being on a sports team. They can better their time management skills, become more resilient in the face of failure, have a strategic mindset when looking at the big picture—all traits that can be found in great leaders. Children may be running around and kicking a ball across a muddy field today, but in 10-15 years, expect to see those same children leading the pack while they’re at work.