Only .1% of kids who play sports go on to play professionally, but that doesn’t mean playing youth sports doesn’t lead to success in life. In fact, many people who achieve success as adults in business, politics and more learned valuable lessons through playing youth sports that helped shape them into who they are today.
In a recent study by Core Research, 57 percent of business leaders attributed their youth sports experiences to their success. The top lessons they learned from playing included teamwork, motivation and ambition, appreciation of physical health and self-discipline.
Former General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt believes that playing sports taught him lessons that he carried with him through his career. “It was great to be a part of a team that had wanted to do something very dramatic and wanted to win. Not every play works, not every situation works, but you’ve got to figure it out, and there’s always a next play. And I think all of those things just happen to stick with you for a lot of your life, and in my case for my whole life,” he said.
Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan believes learning lessons in sports helped him to be successful in business. “Lessons of leadership transfer – how to motivate people, how to get people to do more than a team can do apart.”
Some of America’s most well-known political figures gained valuable personal skills from playing sports.
Teddy Roosevelt believed that participation in sports, even if you aren’t the best on the field, was of importance. “It is of far more importance that a man should play something himself, even if he plays it badly.”
Learning life lessons through sports is especially helpful for young girls. A recent study of 400 female C-suite executives conducted by espnW found an overwhelming correlation between athletic and business success. 94% of women in the c-suite grew up playing sports.
Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman played four sports as a youth and said, “I liked team sports the best. Even when I’m pulling a business team together now, I still use those basketball lessons I learned as a young person.”
American film producer Kathleen Kennedy (producer of E.T., Jurassic Park, Back to the Future and current president of Lucasfilm) said playing sports helped her understand the meaning of being part of a team. “You need to be able to work with everybody; you don’t have to be their best friend. You can experience the fun of competition and driving toward a common goal.”
At i9 Sports®, our focus on sportsmanship values that include teamwork, determination, integrity, courage and more will help your child develop character and lead to a life of success off the field. We believe the lessons your child will learn in our programs will make a difference in their lives long after the final whistle has blown.