As I’ve experienced my adult life, I’ve held a few different jobs and also started my own coaching and consulting business. I have worked on teams, led teams, and been mentored and managed. While “adulting,” I’ve realized that many of my most valuable assets and characteristics have come from my childhood – from my time on the playing field doing physical activities.

As a successful athlete, you acquire certain traits. Day in and day out, I spent hours at the swimming pool and in the weight room doing countless laps and reps. Weekend after weekend I was competing, committing, and working towards the lofty goals I had set for myself.

crossfitter focused weightlifting starting position red filter
Being an athlete boils down to mindset.

Athletes make great employees. That’s because they possess valuable qualities that have been honed into something special for the workplace; hard work, leadership, commitment, stamina and the ability to manage time. These characteristics are fostered and developed from athletics, but not restricted to sport. They are proven during practice, but realized in business and on the playing field.

Your playing field is your office. It’s the boardroom. It’s on stage. On a conference call or in the countless hours spent at a computer with spreadsheets. It’s about who you are and how you go about your work. What defines you isn’t necessarily an experience, but what you embody from those experiences.

Regardless of your playing field, if you exhibit these four characteristics, you are an athlete:

1. Mindset

It’s all about the mindset. When I really dig into all the characteristics of an athlete, this one leads the pack. Your mindset is what helps you see what you want and what it takes to go after it. This is what differentiates the mediocre from the exceptional.

2. Drive

I’d like to say determination, but there is a distinct drive in most athletes. It’s something in your head that pushes you to take chances, work a little bit longer, and spend a little more time on a project. For me, it’s a clear voice. It’s what tells me to get up at 4am and that there is little time to waste in order to achieve my goals.

3. Competition and competitiveness

Innate in athletes, this is difficult to turn off.

Whether it’s in business or at the gym, it’s a part of achieving success. In business it takes a different form: First to market, best product, the most sales. Competition is inherently a part of business and propels the workplace each day.

4. Feedback

Athletes thrive on feedback. I think back to some of the most critical times in my careers – athletically or in the workplace – and am grateful for the feedback I received. Whether it’s from a coach, boss, manager, or teammate, athletes are always looking for ways to get better, and feedback is an essential part of that process. Embracing it, welcoming it and using it, are all keys to growth and success.

business man giving feedback on the phone green filter
People who participate in sports go on to enjoy professional success.

Likewise, an individual isn’t only an athlete if they play a sport. An athlete comes from within and the way in which you show up and execute.


Please take note of the commenting guidelines.
You will receive an email to approve your comment.
Please take note of the commenting guidelines.
You will receive an email to approve your comment.

Thanks for your comment

You will receive an email to approve your comment. It will only appear after your confirmation.


Oh no! An unexpected error occurred.

Try again
by hina shah 24.04.2017
its my passion that m a sports girl and my strength is only sports or athletics without sports i am nothing. so i like the way your organization is promoting it.
Nina Weihrauch
Nina Weihrauch | Editor hina shah 03.05.2017
Hi hina,

thanks for your comment. Great to hear that your passion for sports is a big part of your life.
I'm very interested to hear how athletics help you nailing your tasks at work?! :)

High five,