Why Sports Can Improve Your Career

Playing a sport, especially while growing up, can help boost your career success.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

If your parents have ever told you that you had to play a sport because it would teach you some beneficial life lessons, they were right. While playing soccer as a child, you probably weren’t thinking about how the game could help you gain a C-suite role later in life. However, it can do just that. 

A study has reported that men who were involved in varsity-level high school sports demonstrate higher levels of leadership and higher-status careers. Women also benefit from participating in sports growing up. An Ernst & Young study found that 90 percent of women in high executive roles played sports, and 96% of those in C-suite positions did as well. 

Why Do Sports Result in Career Success?

One of the essential skills that a person can learn is how to work and collaborate as part of a team. Throughout life, we are often faced with challenging situations that solved with the help of a group or team. Sports teach athletes how to work within a team. You learn when it’s appropriate to take a leadership role or step back and help out in the best way that you can. Team sports also teach how to communicate and respectfully interact within a team. All of these skills will make a person a better candidate for more roles in their career. 

Other than teamwork skills, sports teach people how to set and achieve their goals as well as how to win and lose gracefully. Whether it’s a team or individual sport, you learn how to become responsible for your actions, achievements, and defeats. A loss can be devastating, but in sports, there is always something that can be pinpointed and adjusted to improve results for the next time. Learning from a loss can help athletes set and achieve goals which are skills that can be applied to all aspects of life, but especially in your career. 

Even if you aren’t the star of your team, you can still benefit from participating in the sport. Being a regular benchwarmer builds character and allows a person to learn to deal with their emotions and find ways to better themselves. It is possible to become a great leader even if you aren’t always the first to be put in the game. All of these qualities contribute to a person’s career skillset and makes them a better candidate for a role.

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...


The Correlation Between Sports and Success In Life

by kristine pigford

How Playing Sports Made me a Better Female Leader

by Ellen Sundra

Will Sports Help Women Win the Business World?

by Adam Leitman Bailey

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.