The Tulane University Athletics Department is committed to assisting our student-athletes to develop and enhance their process skills, sometimes referred to as leadership skills, as well as their task skills. A main component of our Office of Life Skills is to prepare student-athletes to be gainfully employed once they leave the athletics arena. Most athletes go "pro" in something other than sports! Our athletics department is dedicated to:
Employers seek out former college athletes for several reasons. Here are 10 tips, or qualities of team players, that we discuss with our student-athletes. These personal strengths are desirable in virtually all jobs, regardless of the field:
1. Ability to organize time well. Athletes must balance a full-time academic work load, full-time commitment to athletics, travel to other schools for games and other campus activities. Appreciate the time-management skills you have developed.
2. Ability to work well with others. Through athletic team memberships, most athletes become very familiar with the experience of working toward group goals. Athletics teaches that it is sometimes necessary to submerge one's ego and personal goals into the goals of the organization — and that leadership is the ability to get people to work as a team.
3. Goal Directedness. Athletes develop the ability to concentrate their energies and attention over an extended period of time to block out distractions while they proceed toward their goals.
4. Competitiveness. The competitive spirit is the lifeblood of the athletics experience. Athletes gain experience in the rigors of winning and losing and they look forward to the opportunity to fight more battles, test their abilities, and risk their self-esteem against tough opposition. This is a strong asset in most jobs.
5. Confidence. Athletes are continually in situations where they must pump up and believe in their own power to produce effectively under pressure. The ability to approach tough performance situations with the belief that you'll do well is crucial. Practice in maintaining self-confidence, especially under tense circumstances, can carry over to on-the-job challenges.
6. Persistence and endurance. Athletics is often characterized by long and hard work toward distant rewards and the ability to wring a maximum effort from yourself whenever necessary. This may include playing while in pain or, in general, performing under adverse circumstances. Athletics teaches intensity of effort and the belief that sufficient preparation and determination will pay off eventually.
7. Loyalty. Loyalty emerges from the bond that an individual athlete builds with his or her team and is expressed in the willingness to support team efforts under any circumstances. Loyalty contributes to the moral of a team or work group because it enables each team member to trust that others will work toward the same ends.
8. Discipline. Organizing one's time, adhering to guidelines, giving maximum effort on a regular basis, concentrating one's energies and screening out competing priorities are all necessary in athletics. The systematic application of one's energies toward a desired goal is highly valued in any work setting.
9. Ability to take criticism. Because their performance on the field is watched closely, athletes are accustomed to taking criticism. Coaches recommend changes and force athletes to cope with the feeling that they could have done better. Athletes typically develop into good listeners when constructive criticism is offered because they recognize its value in helping them advance toward overall goals.
10. Resilience. Sports offer continued opportunities to test oneself, succeed or fail, and then come back for more. No one who competes in a sport can avoid experience of failure. Athletes learn to face failure and bury any negative feelings because tomorrow's contest demands their full attention. Among the most valuable lessons of athletics are how to win, how to lose, and how to rebound from both.
If you would like more information on professional development opportunities contact Susan Vollmerhausen firstname.lastname@example.org, or Sue Bower email@example.com.
SAAS, James W. Wilson Jr. Center, 504-865-5571 firstname.lastname@example.org