Sports End but Not the Lessons They Teach

By Staff
In December 21, 2015

As 2015 comes to a close, many people start to take the time to reflect on their life and what events and decisions have led them to where they are today. For the NexGoal staff, sports are a central part of that past identity that has helped shape who we are and what we’ve accomplished. So as the year comes to a close, the NexGoal team has decided to share how what we learned in sports is still affecting our lives today.

“The two major points on how sports have impacted my business career would have to be goal setting and resiliency. In sports we have one goal – a championship. Pretty easy to put a picture of the cup on the wall and have every guy strive to win it.  In business you have to set your goals and “what winning looks like” long before you open the doors.  Revenue, culture, your exit strategy, is all up to you!  I learned resiliency from of being a journeyman and being let go from numerous teams (the equivalent of being fired). Yet I always found a new team and a new gig.   It is no different in business.  While I work for myself, I continue to bounce back from getting told “NO” which is the equivalent of getting knocked down in a game or released from your team (not making the cut).  Guess what?   You just get back up and get ready for the next shift or try out for the next team.  Learning that and being tough enough to move forward has been a huge lesson”

Kevin Dahl
Former Professional Hockey Player/ CEO & Co-Founder of NexGoal

“Athletics have taught me hard work, perseverance, teamwork, and how to deal with setbacks & success. This development of mental toughness has allowed me to sustain pressure in trying circumstances and facing adversity. Athletics have also taught me how to set plenty of small goals that create a culture of paying attention to the small details. Those small differences make the big difference in the end. I owe a lot to those lessons learned from being a part of my sports teams and will continue to be resilient throughout my career because of it.”

Justin O’Rourke
Former High School Football Player/ Intern at NexGoal

“There is one lesson that I can point out without hesitation: the importance of being mentally tough. Of course there is always the physical grind to being an elite athlete, but it’s the mental aspect that I value the most. “Baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical” the late, great Yogi Berra once said and I couldn’t agree more. As the years continue to pass since my athletic career, I have found that even if you’re the most physical specimen, some day (whether you want to admit it or not) those physical skills will begin to diminish and fade and what you are left with is completely mental. Being an athlete has taught me that being mentally tough is far more difficult than any route you can run, any rep you can complete or any shot you can take. I realize that wanting to win is great, but if you aren’t mentally capable enough to devise a strategy that leads to victory or mentally tough enough to see that goal through to completion, you’ll never stand a chance in today’s extremely competitive society.”

Mike Kordel
Former Collegiate Swimmer/Project Coordinator at NexGoal

“I think the biggest impact sports has had on me is how to effectively handle failure. Baseball was an exceptionally good teacher of how to deal with failure. The very best hitters in baseball history only got hits on 3 out of 10 of their at bats. Yet they’re still considered the best because they were willing to move past the 7 at bats where they failed and make the most out of the 3 where they succeeded. It sounds crazy that you can still be a success with such a high failure rate, but it’s true. I fail way more times than I succeed, but every failure in turn becomes a lesson. I make sure to use that lesson to my advantage when the next opportunity presents itself and that has led to a lot of success in my short career.”

Brandon Harris
Former High School Baseball Player/Social Media & Communications Coordinator at NexGoal

“For me, playing sports at the college level has led me to be exactly where I am at today. In order to be successful you have to train hard, be coachable, practice as hard as you play, treat your teammates and opponents with respect and courtesy and if you’re good at what you do you will rise to the top and be recognized by your peers.”

Brad Mullins
Former Professional Football Player/ COO & Co-Founder of NexGoal     

Though our playing days are over, we all continue to feel the impact that they continue to have on us (even physically). Have sports impacted your life in a similar way? Share your story on one of our social media channels.

You Need to Read:   Top 3 Career Change Tips From Former Athletes

From our entire team, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Staff posts are written by our Communications team, which is a combination of former athletes and writers with experience in the digital media world.