Sports Teaches the Importance of Teamwork
At Street League, we use the power of sports to support youth employment. because? Because sports teach you many transferable skills. One of the fundamental qualities that athletes of all ages can learn from the sport is teamwork. Teamwork motivates people to contribute their efforts and brings diverse groups together to achieve a common goal. Acquiring these skills is an important skill for success in all areas of life.
Team sports mimic many of the experiences you might find in a typical work environment. For example, you have a captain, who will be your captain or coach, and then you have teammates, who may play different roles than you, but they all have the same goal.
Being an effective teammate on and off the field requires good communication, self-discipline, decision-making and accountability. Below we explore each of these soft skills in more detail, and how they relate to sports and employment.
The most important skill young people can learn is how to communicate effectively. Involving young athletes in sports can strengthen their communication and listening skills by interacting with their peers and following instructions from coaches. In any job, an employee who can successfully communicate with colleagues, supervisors and clients is always an asset to a company, and this skill can often set a candidate apart from the competition. . At all levels of an organization, effective communication is key to increasing productivity and maintaining healthy working relationships. This is especially true now, as the COVID-19 pandemic forces many to work from home, with less direct communication, or in organizations with employees spread across multiple offices.
In sports, while talent is important, it can only get you so far. When asked about the key to success, countless athletes cite self-discipline, and for good reason. Becoming a skilled athlete takes effort, and effort requires discipline. Self-discipline will help you succeed in any career. Almost all employers are looking for candidates with these qualities because they make you trustworthy. Some examples of self-discipline skills include planning, time management, and focus. If you are disciplined, you can stay focused despite obstacles, distractions, or lack of motivation. In sports, you can learn self-discipline by participating in activities of your choice, participating in practice even if you don’t want to, and focusing on being the best version of yourself.
Pass or shoot? Play offense or defense? Decision-making is essential in sports, and the quick and decisive decision-maker dominates the game or competition and feels in control and confident. The game provides a framework in which participants learn to control their natural “fight or flight” responses and make rational decisions under stress. This ability to work under pressure makes a person better able to meet deadlines and perform well under pressure in the future. Naturally, different employers are looking for different things, but almost all companies want employees who can make effective decisions. The truth is, everyone has to make decisions, big and small, at work every day.
Responsibility encourages players to work for the team’s success, not just themselves. In a work environment, responsibility means being on time, cooperating well with other employees, maintaining a consistent quality of work, and completing all assigned tasks. Teaching young people personal responsibility through play helps them understand that mistakes can happen and the importance of learning how to correct them in a safe environment. Empowerment, whether in sport or at work, also means setting goals and working towards them, because you own your future.