During his school days, Daniel Bacea was a bit of rebel. He sported a giant mohawk, wore gothic clothes and listened to heavy metal music. “I definitely needed some stricter guidelines in my life,” he says.

That all changed when he joined one of Romania’s first official American football teams, the Cluj Crusaders. Beyond pushing him physically, he discovered that the game also challenged him mentally — and has helped 
him become a better team player in his day-to-day life as an IT specialist 
at Siemens.

Here’s five things Daniel has taken from the football field to the meeting room:

Think before you act

“Football has taught me to put my foot on the brake pedal instead of the gas pedal, take a moment to reflect, and say, ‘Okay, how can I better communicate what I’m trying to do?’,” says Daniel.

Switch your focus from talking to listening

“If you watch a game, all you’ll hear from the players is ‘yes coach’ or ‘no coach’,” says Daniel. “This mentality of listening — rather than talking — was a huge challenge for me as I tend to talk a lot.”

Learn to lean on team members

“It doesn’t matter how strong a player you are — you can’t play the game without trusting, cooperating and communicating with your teammates,” says Daniel. “I like to think that teams are like watch mechanisms: if one cog is not working properly, the whole thing can unravel.”

Look beyond what you know

“Playing a team sport has helped to broaden my mind,” says Daniel. “There’s a great sense of community when you’re part of something bigger than yourself. We’re all such different people, but when you’re on the field, we have to take care of each other like a family.”

Make time for yourself

“Work is important, but don’t forget to make time for yourself,” says Daniel. “Finding a hobby that challenges me outside of work helps to keep my mind occupied.” During the season, Daniel trains up to four times a week — a surefire way to make sure he’s out of the door each day on time.

At Siemens, Daniel Bacea is an IT Service Specialist based in Cluj, Romania. In his spare time, he’s an offensive lineman for American football team the Cluj Crusaders. He’s also a death and black metal fan, and was the singer of former death metal band eyeSEEred. Find out more about working at Siemens.

Daniel is a Future Maker — one of the 372,000 talented people working with us to shape the future.

Words: Hermione Wright
 Illustration: Benji Roebuck