Despite being two completely different activities, occurring at different times of the day and involving different people, there are certainly benefits to be gained when athletes take part in the daily life of businesses, especially if they are from team sports.
Participation in team sports gives players a series of skills and attributes that benefit business life and contribute to smoother functioning. Teamwork is highlighted as the greatest quality someone can bring to a company.
Teamwork can be defined as the desire of people who work together to cooperate with each other in the pursuit of common goals, and nowhere is this felt more than in sport. In football, teams of 11 players work together to score more goals than their opponents and thereby win the match. The same is true of rugby, handball and volleyball.
A company is essentially a group of people who want their organisation to obtain the best possible results and who therefore have everything to gain by working together as a team.
What this means:
- Having clear leadership. Managerial capacity and guidance. A clearly defined forward path. A ship without a charted course is a ship adrift. We all need to know where we are headed and all keep going in the same direction!
- Honest and open communication. Lack of communication is the number one problem in any relationship, be it personal or professional. Leading is not simply giving orders; the entire team needs to be heard, even if they have less-than-positive things to say.
- Clearly defined roles. A team's dynamic can only work if every member knows exactly what their job is and how their role contributes to the common good.
- Shared responsibility and support in decision-making. When things go right, everyone wins, and when they go wrong, everyone loses, so it is essential to focus on the overall picture and not point fingers at individuals.
These are all highly familiar concepts in team sports and, indeed, the more these directives can be implemented simultaneously, the better performance will be.
Apart from everything that has already been mentioned, a healthy team spirit helps people enjoy their work and fosters commitment. Every team member feels like they belong – and, above all, are important – to the project. This, in turn, boosts their productivity and efficiency in their daily performance.
Teamwork is not merely a sporting concept. There is abundant evidence to show that strong and concerted team efforts always win out over individual enhancement.