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How to Leverage Your Experience as a Sports Coach into Business

How to Leverage Your Experience as a Sports Coach into Business

The world of sports coaching may seem a long way from business leadership, but scratch a little deeper and you will soon find that they are more intertwined than it may appear. Certainly, with regards to the principles and the approaches to success, business leadership and sports coaching are very much birds of a feather. There are many successful men and women in business who have come from the sports world and applied their coaching experience to their business endeavors, people like soccer coach Roy Spagnolo for example. What these successful people have been able to do is break down the core of what coaching is about and applied those values to business. Here are the keys to doing just that.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

At the heart of most sports coaches is a clear understanding of what a great team is, what makes the team work, what characteristics are required from each member of the team, and how getting the dynamic right can play an important role. This is, of course, no different in the world of business. In fact, we often see in many industries that a team of highly talented individuals will be outperformed by those with less talent, if they have formed a better team. Sports coaches can take their team management right into the business world.

Recognizing Failure

It is, of course, great when a team or an individual wins in their sporting event, but it is within failure where more lessons are learned, and more improvement is made. This improvement is a necessary process in business and understanding that failure is likely to come before success is key to decision making and managing expectations within a business.

Obsession with Improvements

No business ever arrives at a point in time when it decides that there is no longer a reason to seek improvement. In fact, the day that this does happen to a business, it is likely that they won’t continue for much longer. Sports coaching is about the pursuit of a perfection which can’t be found. In this regard, there is a constant search for improvements, no matter how small. This is critical for a business which wants to both find success and remain relevant.

Letting Things Happen

A struggle for many business leaders is that they micro-manage and risk getting so caught up in the minutiae, that they can no longer effectively manage the entire operation. Coaches understand that they can’t get out on the pitch, the court, or the track, and they recognize that once their job is done, the rest will take care of itself. The same here goes for business– employ great staff, form a team which functions well, train staff, give direction, and then sit back and watch how they get on.

These are some core characteristics which can be taken from the world of sports coaching to be applied to business, and anyone who can then leverage those values and skills well will certainly find great success.


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by Brian Perry // Brian Perry is a contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.