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Topic: Kids Who Play Sports Better In Workplace As Adults
Username: ALTF4
Posted 2010-10-04 08:15:40 and read 2070 times.

Doing some radio station hopping this morning, I tuned into a popular morning show to hear the 5 commentators talking about how they think people who played organized sports as kids are better people in the workplace. They said that sports players have a better sense of teamwork, respect others more, and work harder.

One of the female commentators started this all by saying women are at a natural dis-advantage because of their lack (although growing, now) of participation in sports as kids / teens / college students, and therefore don't work as well with other people.

Others said that there were *clear* advantages and they would absolutely hire somebody with a sports background over somebody without whenever possible.

Now, as fair disclosure, I never played organized sports as a kid. I played (and still play) pickup games a lot, and am really quite good at ultimate frisbee, if you can call that a sport. I should also say I really don't have the sense of respect or reverence many others have for professional athletes. I enjoy a live game here and there but don't get worked up over game days, etc.

Now, as you probably expect by now, I disagree with what they were saying. While I don't ask everybody if they played sports or not, in my opinion the ones who make it known they did are usually the puffed-up type of people who grease by on being the "cool" person. Maybe these people were the star quarterbacks and are used to the attention and now just want to continue that, but I find them more proped-up image than real content.

To top it all off, teamwork is great, but if you don't know your stuff, you aren't going to fare well, especially in my highly-technical field. So many athletes devote so much time to sports that their grades and knowledge in other areas suffer and in the end, when their fame as an athelete ends, they don't measure up with those who focused on academics.

Just my 2 cents - wonder what everybody else thinks.

Topic: RE: Kids Who Play Sports Better In Workplace As Adults
Username: Goldenshield
Posted 2010-10-04 08:26:41 and read 2065 times.

Does P.E. count as an organized sport? If so, then I faired pretty well riding on the coat-tails of others who were better at sports, and therefore got picked before me.

Topic: RE: Kids Who Play Sports Better In Workplace As Adults
Username: mbmbos
Posted 2010-10-04 09:15:26 and read 2033 times.

I would be skeptical of this conclusion until I had, at the very least, seen the research backing these "expert" opinions.

First of all, do we know who these experts are and whether they are really qualified to make such observations?

Second, are their observations based on anecdotal information or are they based on solid research?

Thirdly, has cause and effect actually been established? Have intervening variables and spurious correlations been controlled for? For example, the first thought that came to my mind is wealth determines a child's likelihood he/she will participate in team sports and wealth determines the likelihood he/she will succeed in a given career. So it may be these two characteristics (participating in team sports and being successful) have a strong correlation but one does not cause the other.

Topic: RE: Kids Who Play Sports Better In Workplace As Adults
Username: AGM100
Posted 2010-10-04 09:19:46 and read 2033 times.

I have coached football , baseball , and softball ... from ages 7-17. I believe that having your kid in organized sports is really good for one basic reason ..parenting .

Having your child playing sports should involve you as a parent !.. it is a excellent opportunity to share good and bad times with your child and build the relationship. I have spent hours and hours with my own children , practicing and exercising . Some of my fondest memories are after a game , walking out of the park hugging my kids ... going for a ice cream cone and just being together. It takes allot of patients , it takes allot of restraint and love to be so involved with them.

Your kids will get discouraged ... they will go though periods where they feel like they are not good enough. You can teach them to keep working hard and persevere ... then when they have that moment of success however small or large they learn.

Another important part of organized sports is that it offers a real opportunity to help out in your community . We have kids who's parents are kind of on the fringe so to speak ... divorce, alcohol , drugs and basic chaos in the family . Organized sports in your community gives you as a adult a opportunity to be a good example and a friend to these kids living in turmoil. You don't have to be a psychologist , you don't have to be anything special .. just be friendly , positive and encouraging to them. My own kids have learned the lesson of giving to others by playing in our community leagues. Many times we have had to go pick a kid up or drop a kid off because the parents were unable or unwilling. We have fed kids who's parents were not at home and were hungry , we have donated equipment we have done allot of things for others . This simple dedication to others serves as a example to the kids and makes you feel like you helped out.


But I certainly do not believe that a person must play organized sports to be a well rounded adult.

Topic: RE: Kids Who Play Sports Better In Workplace As Adults
Username: ALTF4
Posted 2010-10-04 09:41:42 and read 2010 times.

Quoting mbmbos (Reply 2):

Sorry, I should have made that more clear. These people on the

Quoting ALTF4 (Thread starter):
popular morning show

are just that - morning show hosts, and not experts. It was just their personal opinion, no more or less qualified than, say, the average A.net user. I just found their opinions interesting and I disagreed with them, and was wondering what others thought about it too.

Topic: RE: Kids Who Play Sports Better In Workplace As Adults
Username: kanban
Posted 2010-10-04 09:45:33 and read 2007 times.

Intersting subject.. one thng I would note is there are kids that played sports in an environment where playing was the thing and winning and losing happened, and those that winning was everything. I have found that those who have played as a team generally adapt better to work teams, while those that were "stars", played premium league, or were driven to win at all costs, functioned poorly and were much less likely to acknowledge ideas other than their own.

The same is true of those in management positions.. greater achievement came from those who could work as a team.. Yes some "stars" excel, however only in the short term and most frequently change jobs seeking new adrenalin fixes.. . Also "stars' are more fearful of being usurped so surround themselves with mediocre 'yes' men

Topic: RE: Kids Who Play Sports Better In Workplace As Adults
Username: AGM100
Posted 2010-10-04 10:23:42 and read 1983 times.

Quoting kanban (Reply 5):
while those that were "stars", played premium league, or were driven to win at all costs, functioned poorly and were much less likely to acknowledge ideas other than their own.



Well said !

If you are involved you can spot these players immediately . Usually there parents are involved , involved for all the wrong reasons. Frankly many of our pro athletes are products of this type of situation and it showes in the levle of character we see.

One thing I always tell the parents on our first meeting is ... if your kid has talent and the drive to succeed it will happen in-spite of you. Yes , you as a parent have some baring on it ...but a true champion is made from there own will to succeed and there ability to work with others .

You are correct that there are some prima donna types . But I have had the pleasure of coaching some very well rounded athletes and I will never forget them. There is nothing better than having a all star caliber player who is also a caring , humble individual . I have had many of them ... more than the bad apples to be honest with you. For a player who has the skill and the leadership tendencies; organised sports can set them on a good path. It can teach them to use there natural abilities and help there teammates succeed .

Topic: RE: Kids Who Play Sports Better In Workplace As Adults
Username: vikkyvik
Posted 2010-10-04 15:05:45 and read 1933 times.

I'd say that there are plenty of other activities that can develop good teamwork and/or leadership skills. It's by no means exclusive to physical sports.

Quoting ALTF4 (Thread starter):
and am really quite good at ultimate frisbee, if you can call that a sport.

It certainly is a sport. Great workout, and a lot of fun.

Topic: RE: Kids Who Play Sports Better In Workplace As Adults
Username: elmothehobo
Posted 2010-10-05 14:55:47 and read 1840 times.

This isn't anything particularly new or earth shattering. People who have experience playing in teams from a young age are more likely to be good team players when they grow up than say, a kid who trolled airliners.net all day.

I see it all the time with this generation entering college now. It is a generation that is diveded between the 'haves' and 'have nots.' The haves (aka those who played organized team sports) not only make better team players, but also take criticism better and fill leadership roles more naturally. The 'have nots' are the ones who throw hissy fits when you criticize them, perfer to stand in the back rather than in the front and need to be coaxed into working in groups.

Topic: RE: Kids Who Play Sports Better In Workplace As Adults
Username: zippyjet
Posted 2010-10-05 19:00:21 and read 1811 times.

Athletic girls tend to mature into hottie women and, in today's society if you got it and flaunt it, you can usually aspire to newer heights never even imagined back in the 1950's. US society is now embracing shapely athletic women over the anorexic pencil thin waifs and definitely above the chubbettes.

Topic: RE: Kids Who Play Sports Better In Workplace As Adults
Username: ShyFlyer
Posted 2010-10-05 19:18:28 and read 1802 times.

Meh, I don't think it holds true in a general sense. I've seen people who played sports growing up unable to grasp the concept of teamwork, trying to dominate the workplace and basically acting as if the world revolves around them. I've also seen the opposite as well.

Same is true of people who didn't grow up playing sports. It's a crap shoot really.

Topic: RE: Kids Who Play Sports Better In Workplace As Adults
Username: cpd
Posted 2010-10-05 19:31:06 and read 1798 times.

Quoting ShyFlyer (Reply 10):
Meh, I don't think it holds true in a general sense.

My thoughts too - I don't think the principle has that much merit.

Nothing is worse than having one team member become a megalomaniac - or worse, have a team of champions, rather than a champion team.  

Topic: RE: Kids Who Play Sports Better In Workplace As Adults
Username: aa61hvy
Posted 2010-10-05 19:37:46 and read 1792 times.

Speaking with people who conduct interviews in different industries across all levels of a company (from top to bottom) many of the interviewers really like an ex-athlete because they are competitive and disciplined.

Topic: RE: Kids Who Play Sports Better In Workplace As Adults
Username: BAKJet
Posted 2010-10-05 19:39:18 and read 1791 times.

I think that what the commentators said is probably true. However, I think that kids who participate in other team and group based extracurricular activities (i.e. Marching Band or Destination Imagination) probably experience the same or a greater benefit.

Topic: RE: Kids Who Play Sports Better In Workplace As Adults
Username: cpd
Posted 2010-10-05 19:50:04 and read 1786 times.

Quoting aa61hvy (Reply 12):
really like an ex-athlete because they are competitive and disciplined.

Would you like one of them then that, while on the field was a top-class-athlete, off the field went out binge-drinking at night, frequently causing a fracas, involved in drug taking?

Not exactly a nice influence on a team I'd think. There are always exceptions to that rule. I'm no champion athlete - but I get the job done reliably. I'm pretty competitive - but not to the point of needing to trample over everyone else. That does little for team morale when everyone is so competitiv that they start focusing on their own personal goals rather than focusing on making the project a success.

Quoting ALTF4 (Thread starter):
To top it all off, teamwork is great, but if you don't know your stuff, you aren't going to fare well, especially in my highly-technical field.

Bravo. Stick an athlete in at the deep end writing briefing notes and dealing with very contentious privacy issues, see how they go. The sort of stuff that can blow-up-in-your-face very easily. Teamwork is all well, but sometimes you need the ability for someone to work on their own - and be able to get the job done without supervision or emotional management the whole time.

[Edited 2010-10-05 19:54:24]

Topic: RE: Kids Who Play Sports Better In Workplace As Adults
Username: kanban
Posted 2010-10-05 20:26:05 and read 1770 times.

Quoting aa61hvy (Reply 12):
Speaking with people who conduct interviews in different industries across all levels of a company (from top to bottom) many of the interviewers really like an ex-athlete because they are competitive and disciplined.



the disciplined I agree with... and many understand that the coach (boss) is the leader. yet we still get the prima donna's.

In a work environment if teams are required, competitive natures can be a deficit if it comes form a win at all costs frame of mind. Not all work environments are team based and competition is necessary.

years ago I was reminded that if your took all the musicians from an orchestra and rated their abilities against soloists you would find them wanting yet together they produce amazing music. However take a room full of soloists and try to play an orchestral piece and it's a disaster. I think there is a parallel there to sports.

Topic: RE: Kids Who Play Sports Better In Workplace As Adults
Username: ALTF4
Posted 2010-10-06 07:26:24 and read 1745 times.

Quoting kanban (Reply 15):

years ago I was reminded that if your took all the musicians from an orchestra and rated their abilities against soloists you would find them wanting yet together they produce amazing music. However take a room full of soloists and try to play an orchestral piece and it's a disaster. I think there is a parallel there to sports.

Interesting point, and very true.

I'm trying to think of a single situation in a job where "teamwork" takes the cake. I mean, sure, being able to work as a team is great - but really, aren't most people (not in a management position) forced into that to begin with? They can't "hog" the work and not finish it as their manager is, hopefully, going to divide the stuff up well. I would be more worried about if they have what it takes to do their job on their own - because isn't that more of what a team is? People put so much emphasis on "working well with others", but man, if you can't work well on your own, you're out the door, IMO.

Topic: RE: Kids Who Play Sports Better In Workplace As Adults
Username: aa61hvy
Posted 2010-10-06 09:24:24 and read 1729 times.

Quoting cpd (Reply 14):
Would you like one of them then that, while on the field was a top-class-athlete, off the field went out binge-drinking at night, frequently causing a fracas, involved in drug taking?

You are generalizing that, that is what all athletes do. Which is not the case.

Topic: RE: Kids Who Play Sports Better In Workplace As Adults
Username: AGM100
Posted 2010-10-06 09:26:30 and read 1727 times.

My team is in the process right now of learning teamwork . This is a simple way I do it to build the responsibility of working together as a team .

I use my hitting line up of 9 players ... as most coaches do I block them into groups of 4 with a rookie or less skilled player being the Ace card 9 hitter. We talk to the players about what their job is and how it works so they are clear about the plan.

1. A bunter or slap hitter with speed to lead off the group and get on base .
2. A contact hitter , a player who can move the runner to second base ( a less skilled hitter)
3. A better hitter who can possibly RBI or at least move batter 1 to third base.
4. A power hitter , a player who can drive the ball deep or possible home run .

I give each block of 4 players a color or a title before the game ... like red unit or blue unit etc. After the game we tally up which group scored the most runs . This puts the pressure on to pick your teammates up and do your job ! . It gives hitters a purpose and a sense of urgency . It works for winning baseball games ... but teamwork can be learned in many other ways in life.

Topic: RE: Kids Who Play Sports Better In Workplace As Adults
Username: kanban
Posted 2010-10-06 12:04:19 and read 1705 times.

Quoting ALTF4 (Reply 16):
emphasis on "working well with others", but man, if you can't work well on your own,



there is a difference between working well with others and working on your own (independently).. at some point independent workers interface with others either for assistance, getting recognition, implementation... I knew a guy who was brilliant as an innovator.. but could not implement anything because of pride of authorship and exasperatingly high standards.. "you idiots" was often the first phrase of an answer or critique... he was totally incapable of "wearing the other persons shoes" (being able to see from their perspective).. Conversely, I knew a guy who slept through all meetings/presentations only to wake at the end and spew accolades on the management team. this guy never completed a project because of someone else's failure, or because it was reassigned. yet the suck up was deemed as having the skills of working well with others....
so while the two issues raised are different each requires the other.


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