Playing a sport can teach you a lot about what kind of person you are and how you can work to achieve your goals. Whether you’re already successful in your career, just starting out after college, or maybe someone who is in a transitional phase, you probably already realise that your motivation and your drive for success comes from the same innate drive to win, as you get when physically competing.
Today we’re going to harness that energy and teach you how the lessons that we learn in sports can help drive you to succeed in other areas of your life - because you can’t win if you’re not in the game.
Be a team player
Being a team player is one of the first things that we learn when we start playing sports. You need to work with your team so that you can succeed. Even if you play a solo sport such as golfing, you know that you’re doing your best when you’re working in sync with your coach, your caddy and have the support of people around you. Knowing there are others relying on you keeps you motivated.
When you’re striving for the next best thing in life, whether it’s starting your own business or learning a new passion, it’s important to know how to work with people and understand how mutual support can help you achieve your goals. Remember that being a team player goes both ways, as you can’t expect support if you can’t provide it. Working together is a guaranteed method to success.
Have a positive attitude
If you’re a competitive athlete or have ever played any kind of team sport, you are aware of the fact that the day that you and your team are going to lose, is just around the corner. Your opponent is too far ahead and at this point you just want this match to be over. However, you can’t just give up and hang your head in shame. You know that you have teammates and you need to keep playing your best until the last second. Your positive attitude is going to keep yourself and your teammates afloat.
Maintaining a positive attitude is what will keep you motivated when you’re facing an uphill battle in life, personal or otherwise. The ability to take stock of your circumstance and push forward while keeping your eye on the prize. You might not feel like an all-star right now, but if you keep trying, you’ll win the next round.
Practice Makes Perfect
Jack Nicklaus didn’t pick up a golf club for the first time and became a pro. Michael Jordan didn’t purchase a basketball and become magically drafted into the NBA. They practiced. They practiced and then they practiced some more, fine tuning and honing their abilities well after they had won their first titles and all the way into retirement.
The above should be applied to everything that we strive to do. Practice doesn’t make perfect – ongoing hard-work and dedication when tied to that practice, does. Who wants to sit on the laurels of being “pretty good” at something? Not you! You want to be the best, you want to work harder, smarter and become an expert in what you do.
Understand your weaknesses
When you’re playing sports, you might find that there is something that you simply cannot do. Maybe you throw the perfect fastball, but your throwing distance falls short (literally), that’s okay – you probably realised soon after that you’re the perfect third baseman instead of an outfielder. It’s okay to have a weakness and rely on your other teammates to use their strengths, to help you win the game.
When you’re working towards your goals in life you should have the same attitude. You’re not going to be great at everything, no matter how hard you try; which is why it’s fantastic to have friends, family or colleagues to lean on in tough times. Identify what your weaknesses are, work to improve them and never be afraid to ask for some extra help.
Most importantly - Enjoy yourself
Recall back to a time when you were on the field, whether competitively or just for fun, and you stopped to catch your breath, looked around and thought “I’m having a great time”. Sometimes whether you’re winning or losing, the rush and the adrenaline of the game is enough to put your brain into a euphoric state.
This feeling – the “stop and smell the roses” emotion is something that should be harnessed and cherished when we’re working towards our goals in life. It allows us to give a moment, to enjoy the ride that we are on and harness that enjoyment to help propel us further into our goals and dreams. None of the most successful people in the world hate what they do – they have to stop and enjoy it for a while.