Even if the end of high school doesn’t mean the end of your sports days, life changes a lot. People move on to college and careers and, unless you make a career out of being an athlete, your days of being on a sports team may become a thing in the past.
What’s great about being on a team, and what many don’t realize, is that you can use the skills you learned as an athlete throughout life, both in school and in your career. Whether you were on the cheerleading squad or a doubles tennis team, being an athlete can help you succeed in life. Here are just six skills you learned as an athlete and that you can use throughout life.
1. Scheduling and Organizing. Who knows how to balance a schedule better than an athlete? Between school, homework, practice, competitions, and social activities, athletes quickly learn that the only way to remember everything is to organize their calendar. This will help out a lot in college when you need to remember dates for tests, essays, registering for classes, and social events. This will help in life when you’re focusing on work but also need to remember to pay the bills and walk the dog.
2. Multitasking. How many times have you simultaneously stretched or conditioned and studied for a test? Athletes multitask all the time. This trait comes in handy when you find yourself buried under multiple projects that all need to be completed at once. You’ve mastered the skill of balance – bouncing back in forth between tasks and finding time to complete them all, even if it’s at lunch or while doing the laundry.
3. Performing. A big part of nailing an interview or class presentation is performance. You’ve got to act confident, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable. Athletes, but particularly cheerleaders and dancers, know all about the art of performance. At competitions or games, you can’t look nervous or confused, even if you are. You’ve got to be confident and push through, even if there’s an unexpected bump in the road. Use your game face whenever you tackle an interview or presentation.
4. Handling Disappointment. During your athletic years, there’s probably been a time where you didn’t make the team you wanted, lost a game, or didn’t win at the competition. You’ve learned how to handle disappointment and accept second place. In college, at a job, and in life, you’ll experience disappointment or what is sometimes perceived as “failure” – you won’t get the internship or you’ll get a B on an assignment. As an athlete, you know how to get your spirits back up and move on, knowing you’ll conquer the next approaching hurdle.
5. Trying Again and Again. Not everything comes easily. Some things are harder to master or learn than others and you need to know how to keep working at it without giving up. This trait is especially necessary at work. You’ll be expected to improve, to learn new and harder tasks, and to redo an assignment if need be. Luckily, as an athlete you’re familiar with the mantra “try again.” You know that some things take time and practice. By using your athletic experience, you won’t give up if you don’t succeed at first.
6. Working as a team. This is perhaps the biggest characteristic you’ve mastered as an athlete. After years of practicing, playing, and competing with your team, you know the importance of teamwork. At school, at work, and in life, you’ll need to work with others. Even if you don’t get along with all of them, as an athlete you’ve learned how to effectively contribute to a team task and work with others in a professional manner.
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