This topic has always been one that is difficult for me to write about. I don’t typically attribute one of my activities to achieving success because I think being involved in multiple things can also contribute to success. What I have come to realize is being an athlete in itself does plenty to prepare someone for pursuing any career.

Here are some skills that athletes commonly possess that will help them throughout life and potentially make them hardworking and invested employees:

Time Management. This is the part that is acknowledged most often; athletes have to manage their time well in order to succeed in their sport, in class, and in any other extracurricular activities they participate in.

Flexibility. This can tie in with the last one, but I can say in my personal experience that not every aspect of being an athlete is planned. There typically isn’t a set time limit for games or matches, and if you’re an athlete, you know those last minute team meeting text messages are the BEST (not). Maybe the best for your future time management skills, but that’s about all.

Pressure. Athletes are no stranger to performing under pressure. Sometimes it can be the pressure of someone watching, and sometimes it can be the pressure of not letting your team down. This can be a lot to handle for some, but being familiar with that feeling and getting used to performing under pressure will prepare them for any potentially stressful or tense situations they may encounter in the workforce.

Self-discipline. Part of being an athlete is the vast amount of responsibilities one has both in and out of their sport, but the most difficult part can be that nobody is hand holding you or making your schedule for you. Often, it may seem that coaches forget athletes have other priorities, like homework. This requires an athlete to take their sports schedule (workouts, practice, and competition), and plan it out with classes and include time for homework.

Teamwork. This may be the most obvious one, but athletes know how to coexist and work together with others to achieve a common goal. This teaches people to consider others and support them to be successful!

Performance. Most athletes are also no stranger to performing with a lack of sleep (yeah, I said it). With most practices or competition often taking place during daylight hours, this cuts back on the amount of time during the day to complete assignments or study for exams. Not all athletes may experience this often, but I can promise you most have done it more than once or twice. Sometimes you have to sacrifice things you love (like sleep) for other things you love!

Athletics are not the only extracurricular that I personally have chosen to be a part of, and I know that this also makes my workload a bit heavier. Being a college athlete is probably one of the most difficult choices I have made, but I know I have gained countless skills that will help me for the rest of my life in any career I pursue.