6 Lessons from the Sports Field to Bring to Work Each Day
6 Lessons from the Sports Field to Bring to Work Each Day

6 Lessons from the Sports Field to Bring to Work Each Day

For most of us, sport is something that we grew up watching and playing. Little did we know that those moments spent at the sports field or in front of the TV would teach us important lessons in life and give us the tools to progress as people leaders.

With this in mind, here are six invaluable lessons from the sports field that you can bring to work every single day.


  1. Start the Day Grounded

The All Blacks Haka was once misunderstood to be a ritual designed to intimidate the opposition, but its purpose goes far deeper in finding the right tempo, connecting with your peers and being grounded. It is this ritual that creates razor-sharp focus and clarity as preparation for the game ahead. 

How you show up to work is no different.  Those days where you are grounded, connected and in flow are likely to have more clarity and focus which brings better outcomes and a greater sense of achievement

Put Play into Practice:

  • Do you have a morning routine?
  • Are you mindful and grounded when you arrive at work?
  • Are you clear about your intention for the day?
  1. Thrive Under Pressure

Athletes use stress to motivate them to improve their performance. They thrive on placing themselves under deliberate pressure to win which helps them become “peak performers”. 

Typically, we view work stress as a negative influence that we try and avoid. The latest science tells us that whether you perceive stress as positive or negative may affect the way your body responds (McGonigal 2016).  And those who view stress as helpful to performance are less stressed out, less anxious and more confident.

Put Play into Practice:

  • Tune into your stress mindset and acknowledge when you feel stressed.
  • Recognise that stress is telling you to take notice something is important.
  • Use that recognition to fuel action to prepare more thoroughly, tap into your tools and resources or embrace the moment.

When you view stress as helpful, you create the biology of courage which is essential both on and off the field.

  1. Know Your Own Strength

Sport is often a team game comprised of people from all areas and skillsets contributing to the overall success. It’s therefore important to know how your strengths and abilities contribute to winning a game, to make the best use of these, and those of your people.

Put Play into Practice:

  • Know your key strengths and create opportunities to use them.
  • Decide how much time you invest on your weaknesses versus hiring others with complementary skills.
  • Respect the strengths of others, if someone is a great defender and you are a great attacker then you have a powerful combo.

If you leverage your strengths, it is likely you will be happier and outperform those who don’t – people who use their strengths every day are six times more likely to be engaged at work and are 8% more productive. 

  1. Invite Feedback

As a player, you actively go out and seek feedback to make you faster, better, stronger. Your coach is there to high-five a good goal and to give you inspiration when you’re losing. Players don’t try to adjust game plans by themselves—they look to their coaches for guidance and advice.

Put Play into Practice:

  • Inviting feedback puts you on the front foot and creates a conversation about performance rather than seeming like criticism.
  • Ask about specific feedback on something you are working so it is constructive and relevant.
  • Find a great coach, mentor or leader who will challenge and inspire.

When it comes to feedback, we all want it deep-down, as it helps us improve, do our job better and wok more effectively as a team. According to a survey by PwC, nearly 60% of respondents said they would like feedback on a daily or weekly basis (increasing to 72% for employees under 30). 

  1. The Art of Humility

Great teams continually show humility by asking themselves “how can we do this better?”.  They recognise that no matter how good they are, they still need to steadily evolve – a necessity to combat their opponents’ own improvements.  Coaches and players create a positive learning environment where not knowing all the answers is a strength helping the team to adapt and grow.

Put Play into Practice:

  • Admit to mistakes and take action towards the greater good
  • Set aside some time each week to reflect on ways of making things better.
  • Ask your team over Friday drinks if they had their week over, what may they do differently.

Not only will leading with humility impact your business, it will also impact you personally. You will feel better about yourself, your work and your team along with the impact on overall performance.

  1. Don’t Forget to Pass the Ball

Even if you’re a great player, you can’t win the game alone. You have to rely on other’s strengths to get the job done. From the forward to the back line, everyone has a role to play.

Put Play into Practice: 

  • Look at your typical daily tasks and determine which jobs are best done by others.
  • Help your team to break down barriers with other areas and collaborate effectively.
  • Organise opportunities to involve others and collaborate on ideas and actions to encourage accountability.

Respecting the strengths of other teams and the roles they plan leads to effective collaboration. Organisations that promote collaborative working have been found to be five times as likely to be high-performing.


If you’re serious about building your own winning team, contact a recruitment agency and get advice from the experts in labour hire, temp recruitment, permanent and contract staff.


About The Author

Related posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *