How You Play the Game: Business Lessons Learned from Sport



What are the main benefits of playing a sport?

  • A healthy and fit body.
  • Trophies and awards.
  • Fan following of the opposite gender… Yes!
  • Money and fame.

Usually, people list the above four things, especially the third and fourth ones, when asked the benefits of sport. But these are not the only benefits; there’s much more to gain from sport.

Sport – any sport, if pursued with dedication – can teach us life skills that come in use in all parts of life whether personal or professional. Probably this is why, as the competition is getting tougher, a lot of business executives are turning to sport to acquire skills that would help them win in business and in life as a whole.

For those of you who know the benefits of sports and pursue one – Keep going! For those of you who find it hard to believe that sport can help you win in the boardroom, read on.

Patience and Perseverance – Among the most important lessons that sportspeople learn from the beginning, are these two. All players know that to excel and win, they need to have patience and persistently work day in and day out to master their discipline. Sport helps build the mental strength and acquire the patience needed to single-mindedly pursue a goal.

Strategising and Execution – A well thought-out strategy and flawless execution are required to win in sport. Sportspeople become trained in taking in a 360-degree view of the game, their own strengths and weaknesses, and those of their competition. They then use this to build a strategy for the game. Over time, they also become master executioners of this strategy. Similarly, all these qualities are most necessary if you want to succeed at work.

Team work – Though we all work in teams, a lot of us find it hard to put the team’s or the organisation’s interest before our own. Sport, especially team sports like football, cricket, rugby, etc., teach us to let go of the “I” and embrace the “us” or “we”. It teaches us to look at the bigger picture, even if it means that the winning score might be made by someone else from the team.

Embracing Failure – Not even the greatest sportsperson won on day one. Sports-people learn to deal with failure early in the game. They know that there will be another day, another game, and another chance at winning. Till then, they just need to keep practicing and perfecting their game. This is perhaps one of the greatest lessons to imbibe from sport. We all need to learn to take failure in our stride, not lose faith in our abilities, and keep going.

Sportsmanship – Apart from all the above qualities, sport also helps inculcate the spirit of sportsmanship in us. It teaches us to lose gracefully, play fair, and maintain integrity at all times. Sport supports character building, which is one of the main things that makes a good person, and a leader worth following.

And, as an added benefit, the body you may build – from consistent workout, leading to admiring glances in the corridors… A great confidence booster, is it not?

Mike Friday, our co-founder, and one of the world’s leading Rugby coaches, strongly supports healthy living. Hailing from this very rich sporting background, Mike knows how good health influences good performance. Through Bounce Life, Mike Friday encourages people and their businesses to take the plunge for a healthier UK. Contact us today, to learn more.