A fundamental goal of any sport is the quest for perfection of the body and the mind. The journey towards achieving that perfection is not only about pushing the limits of physical excellence, but also about training the mind to focus, to persevere and most importantly – to believe in oneself. But come to think of it – aren’t these the very qualities that will help us succeed in all other walks of life too?
Sportsmanship and team spirit run in the veins of each and every sportsperson, as do discipline, strategy and planning, and these traits form an intrinsic part of the ethos of the sporting world. Once a sportsperson, always a sportsperson – so those qualities remain with them for life. That probably explains why having a sporting background does give a bit of an edge when it comes to succeeding in the corporate world.
Therefore, although we can’t all be sportspeople, we can certainly try to consciously imbibe some of the most valuable lessons from their world.
The ability to work together as a team, without fanning individual egos, complementing each another’s strengths and weaknesses is one of the most outstanding qualities of sports players. Taking a leaf from this cohesiveness would no doubt result in greater unity in the workplace, along with giving a huge boost to productivity.
Togetherness and Team spirit
Belief in your colleagues and the tenacity to stay together in the face of challenges is undoubtedly one of the most inspiring traits in sport. It is this quality that can tide a team through the toughest of times and motivate them to be resilient and fight back. It’s all about acknowledging that our strength lies in collective effort and that together we can achieve the seemingly impossible.
Planning and discussions
Careful planning of team strategy and frequent rounds of discussions at every level are necessary ingredients of any team sport. All are free to pitch in with their ideas and, unlike in the typical corporate world there is no rigid protocol that restricts the free flow of thoughts.
Working as a team hones communication skills – both verbal and non-verbal – and this is one of the most important life skills we need to possess. It teaches us to listen to varying perspectives of the same situation and to be tolerant to differing opinions. It helps to deal with and resolve conflicts in as amicable and professional a manner as possible.
Respect and fair play
Sporting principles are to play hard but fair; and no good sportsperson would have it any other way. There have been many instances of players conceding a point when they knew the opponent had got it right, despite the official having decided in their favour. This spirit is what brings glory to sport and sets it apart from other disciplines. Emulating the same values of transparency and even-handedness in corporate enterprises would raise the bar of performance, so that productivity necessarily goes hand in hand with ethics.
It’s all about cultivating the game-playing attitude and adopting the same values that come naturally to sportspersons. The core principles of sport, which include the highest levels of physical and mental fitness, a healthy team spirit and an innate sense of fair play, should actually become a way of life for everyone – irrespective of profession. Embracing these values to make them a part of your personal life and work ethics is the secret to unlocking your true potential and putting yourself firmly on the path of success.
Mike Friday, our co-founder and one of the world’s most reputed rugby coaches, always emphasises the link between fitness, team spirit and overall performance in the game of life. Contact us at Bounce Life to find out more about how to actively promote good health and well-being at the workplace.