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How Playing Sports Early in Life Can Help Your Career

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Businessman spinning soccer

Did you play a sport as a kid? Perhaps your group of friends played soccer and you followed suit. Or maybe you were an excellent runner, a track star.

No matter how much experience you had with organized sports, it’s likely that your participation has affected your work ethic or career in some way. Research shows that women who played a sport as a child or teen benefit in the following ways:

  • Go further in their education
  • Land better jobs
  • Make more money: 82 percent of women in executive positions played an organized sport after elementary school. And one out of every two women who make $75,000 or more identifies themselves as an athlete.

How can playing sports really help you become more successful in your life and career? Here are a few things you learn while being part of a team:

The importance of hard work. Sports, as well as other hobbies, teach us that hard work can pay off – particularly if you’re not inherently great at the activity you enjoy.

Self-discipline. Playing a sport requires dedication and training, an important thing to learn for your future career.

Winning isn’t everything. Sometimes you lose. It’s a fact of life. And the sooner you can accept it, make the best of it and improve for next time, the better attitude you’ll have about challenges in life.

Always do your personal best. In life, there will always be someone better than you (and worse than you, for that matter). As long as you strive for your personal best and continue to improve, you shouldn’t measure success by comparing yourself to others.

What did you learn from participating in an organized sport? How does it affect your career today?

And if you didn’t play sports as a child, what other activities helped you learn these skills?

Heather R. Huhman is founder and president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for organizations with products that target job seekers and/or employers.

Brazen powers real-time, online events for leading organizations around the world. Our lifestyle and career blog, Brazen Life, offers fun and edgy ideas for ambitious professionals navigating the changing world of work.

  • http://www.mycollegesandcareers.com/ Sarah

    As cliche as it is, there is no I in team and developing teamwork skills early on in life is something that will follow you throughout your career. -Sarah

  • http://entryleveldilemma.blogspot.com Edward – Entry Level Dilemma

    While I agree with the research and it really isn’t new; I’m not sure what I can do now about not playing a team sport as a child. (My bowling doesn’t count, it’s really more of a bunch of individuals whose scores combine for a team score).

  • http://www.futurescrude.com crude oil futures

    Sometimes winning isn’t everything, but sometimes it means everything. It depends.

  • http://www.futurespress.com futures trading

    Yeah you’re right. Playing sport will show us the important of hard work. Only people who try will see the meaning of their work.

  • http://twitter.com/popartns PopArt Studio

    Well i see things that are have to do with human relationship can only improve your talk skills. It depends which sport you played in childhood.

  • Scouter

    Scouting teaches all these things and more.

    It teaches teamwork, self-reliance, personal development and responsibility.

    It also teaches the importance of service to others, citizenship, and leadership. Every Scout can be a leader – not just the team captain.

    The good news is that Scouting and other activities like sports co-exist beautifully. Team sports demand 100% commitment. The commitment Scouting seeks is 100% but does not rely on attendance at practices and meets – it’s a commitment a Scout makes to himself or herself to live his life according to the values of Scouting. The adventures that Scouts take part in serve to develop those values, and can be experienced in tandem with the other worthwhile activities a young man or woman is involved in.

  • Scottfmessinger

    I was going to talk about being in Marching Band, but I realized from a previous poster that Scouting helped too.

    I wouldn’t recommend scouting now though, due to the BSA’s very conservative, non-diverse, and religious viewpoints. It may just depend on the local troop leadership though.

  • http://twitter.com/mariahayess Maria Hayes

    Sports in childhood is one of the extra curricular activities which enhance individual skills depends that what activity like participating in sports like football, cricket or scouting etc increase your physique as well as taking part in other indoor activities makes your knowledge strong which may be very helpful in practical life for brighten your personality.