Small Business Tip #34: Hire Athletes Who Played Team Sports

soccer-1940x900_33310Multiple Choice: what kind of job candidates are best-trained to perform best for your company? a) Ivy League? Maybe. b) Business School? Maybe. c) Military? Maybe. d) Soccer team? Bingo.

“Just seek out, recruit and hire college graduates who played team sports like soccer, lacrosse, or football, says DREW GREENBLAT President of Marlin Steel, in an article in Inc., magazine for entrepreneurs.

At BusinessUS and in previous ventures, we’ve found that team members who played on teams (or played in professional bands – for many of the same reasons) have learned important qualities that translate perfectly to a successful small business.

It’s not just athletes, by the way, but specifically team-sport athletes. “…those who played on teams will inject wonderful energy into your firm, driven by solid character traits that will power both their and your firm’s success,” Greenblat says.

Qualities that team-sport athletes bring a company include:

1) Cooperative Mindset – Playing on a team forces learning and communication.

2) Competitive Hustle – Aggressive pursuit for the ball is similar to the mental exertion required to land an account or hit a challenging sales target.

3) Clean Mind & Body – Hangovers don’t work on game day and practice sessions. Years of clean living establish a pattern that sets the team athlete apart from many conventional college grads.

4) Discipline – Waking up early day after day to make it to grueling practices and forgoing typical college distractions takes unique inner strength.

5) Perseverence – Lose a game and dust yourself off. It happens. You have to get up the next morning and fight to win again.

I really appreciate the strong and simple guidance here.

~Norris Lozano, CEO of BusinessUS, a California-based small business lender