One of the things I love most about sports is how the lessons you learn transcends the actual sport itself. What I mean by that is in order to become a great competitive athlete you have to tap into the same energy that’s required to build a fortune 500 company, become the top sales person at work, become a successful entrepreneur, or develop healthy relationships. You have to become the best version of yourself in order to reach the upper echelon of any endeavor. Here are 10 ways competitive sports prep kids for future success.
There is nothing more American than competition. The spirit of competition is what’s developed our best companies, top CEO’s and of course our finest athletes. When kids grow up playing sports they are building their competitive drive. Learning what it takes to be the best or win a championship is a skill, and that can start with youth sports.
One of the most important qualities a young person can have is the ability to relate positively to her/his peers. Especially in a way that helps them accomplish something greater than what they would have done alone. This is the essence of teamwork, and can be found on the basketball court to the board room; Individuals who are so in-sync that they almost anticipate what each other will do in the future as if they share the same brain. No one builds anything alone. There’s an old African proverb that says “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”. Sports teaches kids teamwork to help them go far in life.
#3 Communication Skills
Failure to communicate well in life can lead to not winning over a potential client at work, not landing your dream spouse, or even failed friendships. The need to communicate effectively is seen all over the competitive sports arena. Identifying, processing, and communicating what’s seen happens fast and in real time in competitive sports and exposing kids to these types of environments can help them succeed professionally, and personally in their future.
This is one of my favorite aspects of competitive sports because as an athlete your results are often a direct reflection of your preparation. In team dynamics, athletes may not always be able to control their results, but they’re often held accountable to their teammates. Did you do everything in your power to help your team win? When sports are over, we must still be held accountable to someone, and take responsibility for our actions. Whether it’s our families, our bosses, or friends, being accountable helps us become better people because we understand that your actions affect others.
#5 Leadership Skills
In order to be a good leader you must first become a good follower. What better arena can kids learn these skills than youth competitive sports? One of the first components of competition is the ability to execute a play, and this is usually drawn up or called by the coach. In that way the coaches are the leaders, and the players must follow their lead. The players who can execute plays the best are typically ones named captains. And so the skills of followership and leadership play out. If you want to lead a team or organization you must first show that you can carry out the mission of its current leader. I would argue that competitive sports build leaders in a way that school never could.
Owner, Boost Training Systems in Corona, CA
Level 1 & 2 Coach Bommarito Performance