The 5 reasons student-athletes are the ideal job candidates
Sure — a former student-athlete would come up with a title like that. However, I can confidently say that there are specific habits I wouldn’t have adopted and certain lessons I wouldn’t have learned if it weren’t for playing college tennis.
“Not on time, not on my team”. This is how our 74 year old , ex-professional Romanian coach would ensure that we respected the rules of being part of his team. Being tardy even once would simply not be tolerated. After looking around the workplace, whether it be my own colleagues or business partners, being on time is a quality that’s become rare. Athletes know that if you don’t show up, your spot will be taken by someone who has.
- Dealing with Pressure
Whether you find yourself on the field or in the meeting room, situations will arise where you’ll have to call the shots on the spot. Easy? Definitely not. But playing competitive sports at a young age will teach you that you’re not only fully accountable for the decisions you make, but also forces you to be cool under pressure — a trait that will make you nothing less but desirable for employers.
- Effective Time Management
Wake up, gym, class, practice, internship, class, homework, sleep. Not your average day for a college student, but this was my schedule along with the rest of my team. It was tough, and all but flexible, but it taught us how to perfectly manage our time, be efficient, and prioritize effectively. We didn’t have much of a choice considering that if we didn’t get a certain grade in class, or if we had more than 3 absences, we wouldn’t be allowed to compete. Therefore we did whatever was necessary so we could be part of the next match.
- Hard Work & Dedication
If you don’t perform, you’re not on the team. If you don’t show dedication, you won’t stay on the team. It’s quite simple in sports; if you don’t work your ass off and don’t show that you want and deserve to be there, you’re out. Athletes learn this early on and working hard becomes habitual. No matter what the task at hand might be, an athlete wants to win.
Finally, and logically, being on a team teaches you, well, how to be on a team! There’s no room for fingerpointers, gossip, angry confrontations, etc. The only way a team can perform is if everyone involved works together, towards the same goal. In sports, that would be winning a championship or a league; it’s about reaching a target. Similarly, a business sets its own goals that it would like to achieve, and effective teamwork is essential in doing so.
(Student-)Athletes can transfer these habits and many more into the working environment, making them extremely valuable assets to any business. And imagine the money you’ll be saving on their health insurance!