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Playing sports doesn’t just teach women how to play a game. It teaches them skills they will be able to use in other parts of their life. Fortune published an article by Beth Brooke-Marciniak about this very topic. Her argument can best be described by the following lines from the article:
“Something happens when girls play sports—they embody the experience of not just of winning, but the critical experience of losing. It’s that process of carrying on and clearing hurdles that really builds confidence. It’s an incredibly useful proving ground for business and leadership.”
Here are some other valuable skills that are learned on the field…
One could also argue that sports teach girls all about teamwork, which is one of the most important things for a person who wants to become a valuable asset to a company. Everyone who works in an organization is part of a team. Each member of a team has a specific role and the success of the company as a whole depends on that person’s ability to fulfill the responsibilities associated with their role. The same goes for a girl who serves as a member of a corporate team—or a sports team for that matter.
Efficiency is also something that’s applicable in a sports setting. When a team is running on all cylinders, the chances for success are greatly increased. That’s how it works within a company setting as well. A company that isn’t operating efficiently will have a hard time meeting milestones and staying under budget. Inefficiency is easy to discover when you look at the overall structure of a team. If there’s one person who’s not fulfilling their duties, the entire operation can be thrown off kilter.
A productive workforce is one that’s built on mutual respect. This is the way every team runs, whether that team is made up of boys, girls, or both. The members of a team need to respect each other. Regardless of a person’s age or pay grade, the other members of the company shouldn’t think less of one individual because of his or her perceived status in the business. Jealousy within any team will tear it apart from the inside out. It’s something that needs to be addressed before it has the potential to truly become a problem.
Assuming a leadership position on a sports team also prepares a girl to assume a similar position in an organization. Leading a sports team is not unlike leading a business. You have to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your teammates while formulating a strategy so you can help the team succeed moving forward. An effective team captain will likely have no problem becoming an effective business leader.
You’ve probably noticed that many prominent former professional sports stars have gone on to be great coaches. This happens often because being a skilled captain requires a player to have impeccable communication skills. Similarly this position also prepares someone to be an effective leader down the line.
These skills, among many others learned on the field, help people in all parts of their life. The business sector is only the beginning.