The Lessons of Sports

by Joe Lavelle on October 27, 2010

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As anyone who turns on their television on Saturday or Sunday can tell, we are in the heart of football season.  If you are a fan of the sport, I hope that your favorite team is playing well (unless they are lining up against my team, in which case I must wish you disappointment).

I have written several posts for this blog comparing the game of football to the competition that we all face every day in our own professional efforts.  We all strive to prove our individual worth, but also realize the value of being a team player.  In his new music video “Boys of Fall,” Kenny Chesney features an interview with Joe Namath in which the Jets great discusses how the game of football is just like the game of life.  And, I think he is absolutely right–there are many comparisons to be made.  However, why limit it to the gridiron?  I am sure that you can think of ways that your favorite sport teaches valuable lessons about how to advance in your career.

How about tennis?  First impressions are key, so you better take full advantage if you are fortunate enough to be given a second chance.  If you are called for a foot fault when serving in tennis, you must be more careful and calculated on that second serve.  Otherwise, you will behind in the game.

In baseball, timing and observing are key.  Is the runner coming off the base?  Will you catch the hitter off guard with an inside pitch?  Should you run in for the catch or is the center fielder better poised to make that play.  Just like in baseball, your professional success somewhat depends on paying attention to what your peers, mentors, and competitors are doing.

What can you add to this list?  How can your favorite sport teach us lessons that will further our career advancement?

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