Sport and Business: get your head in the game

Preparing for, and taking part in, sporting events can be much like planning for a business meeting or running your business. Both involve building a good team and having a strong network around you, setting goals and targets, being creative and most importantly being passionate about what you do. Six key things to remember are:

It’s all about love

Life is too short to spend time doing something you don’t love. You have to find something you enjoy doing that makes you want to get out of bed in the morning and gives you a greater purpose in life. Famous faces said “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do” (Steve Jobs) and “Just don’t give up on trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong” (Ella Fitzgerald). We have to be free to explore what it is that we love doing and what we want to get out of life. Once this has been established, the only thing standing in the way between where we are now and where we want to be is us, so get out into the world and do some exploring or soul searching!

It’s all about the people

Individuals always want to be part of the best team or the winning team and to be successful. However, it’s not always about finding individuals who are the most talented at what they do, it is much more. The best teams out there manage to successfully combine talent with commitment, good heart, passion, ambition, drive and many more desirable traits. Additionally, every team needs a strong leader to guide members toward business goals and targets. The ability to perform as part of a team and to lead a team is highly prevalent in both sport and business. Sharing values and supporting one another can also be a big part of this. Understanding what your team stands for ensures members are all on the same page and are working together. For example, this can apply to particular projects in business and relationships between an athlete and their coach in sport. The likes of mentoring programmes can help to create a strong network of support and advice and can help increase communication levels.

If you want it, go out and get it

Many people, me included, would love to be naturally gifted with talents to get us to the exact point we want to be in life. In reality, high levels of focus, effort and dedication are required alongside a lot of practice and a ‘get up and go’ attitude to get to where we want to be. Setting goals in a stepping stone format can be a good way of defining a path for you to follow on the way to becoming successful. The key is to make sure these goals are realistic. They can be very small things, such as doing some research before a meeting, or completing a particular training session; to much larger goals such as signing off a large deal or winning a main competition in your sport. As long as these goals and targets remain achievable, they can be helpful in making progress.

But remember: You can’t have it all

To be the best at what you do takes courage and sometimes sacrifices have to be made along the way. If this means missing out on social events for training sessions, or long days at work to seal that one final deal so be it! The key is to remember why you are doing what you are doing and keep that focus on your end goal.

Plan to a T

For most people, their average day consists of meetings and working to deadlines. The same can be said for sport with structured training plans and schedules, preparing for matches or competitions and meeting targets. Being able to successfully manage your time and remain on track with your end goals in sight can help you progress towards your “finish line”. Organisation is vital! It will help you plan out your days and ensure you get a good work/ sport – life balance.

Time for a change

The future is now! Change can occur in all aspects of our daily life including business operations and strategies at work or training plans and fitness levels in sport. To be able to successfully progress it may be necessary to make and accept changes and learn to adapt to a new lifestyle. Changes which come along may end up developing into something you are highly passionate about. Take each opportunity as it comes; you never know where it may take you.