Being a student athlete is such a rewarding experience. Not only do you form great friendships, gain school and community recognition, and challenge yourself mentally and physically, you also gain leadership skills that you can carry with you for the rest of your life. As a team leader, the skills you utilize on your team can help you become a successful leader in the “real world.”
You don’t have to be the captain of your team to be a team leader. Anyone can be a team leader as long as they embody the characteristics of a leader. Following are leadership attributes that are not only important in athletics, but in the workplace as well.
Competitive. You wouldn’t be a student athlete if you weren’t competitive on some level. One of the most sought after attributes for business leaders is competitive drive. Being competitive signifies that you are a hard worker and you are constantly trying to better yourself. Just as your competitive drive motivates you and your teammates, your competitive drive can motivate you and your colleagues to be better in the workplace.
Strong Communication. As a team leader, communication is integral whether you’re communicating with your coach or your teammates. Communication skills are an important focus when businesses are hiring employees. The communication skills you gain as a team leader will put you a step ahead when it comes to communicating with your boss and colleagues on day-to-day issues, and complicated projects.
Team Player. Having success in sports requires being a team player, and this is the same in the workplace. Managers want employees who work well with others, can motivate a team, and can work as part of a team to move the business forward.
Time Management. Being a high school or college athlete is one of the best ways to gain time management skills. Not only is this skill necessary to manage your time between school and sports, time management in the workplace is just as important. Having time management skills signifies to an employer that you are efficient, driven and can manage a tight schedule.
Self-Motivated. Student athletes often have a drive that comes from within. They may require little motivation from their coach or peers to push themselves and perform at their best. This attribute is very attractive to employers who are looking for an employee who will be a self-starter and require little supervision.
Detail-Oriented. Attention to detail is a desirable attribute to employers and a skill that most student athletes possess. As an athlete, you have to pay attention to what you eat, your workout regimen, and the technical skills to perfect your game. Being detail-oriented translates to the workplace when you convey you are an employee who can keep track of all the moving elements of a project.
Goal-Oriented. Goals are an important component to being a successful team leader. Whether it’s improving your time, benching more weight, or having a winning season, goals are necessary to lead your team and yourself in the right direction. Goals are also important in the workplace. Managers want employees who are able to set goals to improve themselves and the business, and who work hard to meet those goals and motivate others to do the same.
Able to Take Criticism. There are going to be setbacks in the business world, just as there are in sports. Having the ability to listen to criticism with an open mind and learn from mistakes is not only appreciated by coaches, but by employers as well. As a team leader, showing your teammates how to handle and respond to criticism is a great way to lead by example. The same can be done for your colleagues in the workplace.
Disciplined. Discipline is one of the more important skills a student athlete can carry with them into the workplace. As a leader on your team, it means showing up to practice everyday on time, working your hardest, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle when you’re not on the court. To an employer, it shows that you are a hard worker, you take yourself and your work seriously, and you can be trusted to complete your work to the best of your ability. Maintaining your discipline now will benefit you when you enter the workplace.
In an upcoming post, we will address key points for student athletes to remember to be successful leaders on their team.
Share your thoughts. What leadership skills have you gained as a team leader that will transition into the workplace?
Finals are one last major obstacle students have to get through before graduation. Studying for finals can be stressful and time-consuming, but the effort you put in today will pay off when exams are over.
Follow these eight tips to help you make the most of your study time.
1. Start Early. One key to keeping your head above water when studying for finals is to give yourself enough time. As soon as you know what will be covered in your exam, you can get started. Giving yourself plenty of time will allow you to pace yourself, avoid cramming and will help you stay calm and retain more information.
2. Prioritize Subjects. Prioritizing the subjects you are studying for is an important task before diving in. Having a clear understanding of the subjects that are harder versus easier will help you prioritize your time to focus on the most challenging subjects. It will also allow you to allocate more time to cover more content to maximize your potential grade.
3. Break It Up. Break up your study time so you’re not trying to cram too much information in at once. Studying in smaller chunks can help you retain more information. Try studying for durations of 20 to 50 minutes with 10 to 15 minute breaks in between. Break up your study time for a duration of at least two weeks.
4. Organize Yourself. Getting organized before you start studying can make your study time more efficient. Rather than wasting time looking for materials or trying to stay on track, getting organized can help you focus. Start by creating a study schedule. Allot more time to subjects that are harder for you, or tests you know will cover more information. Be sure to also schedule break time. Try to get all other study materials created and ready to go before you get started. These could include outlines for each exam, flashcards, or any other materials needed to study.
5. Choose Study Spaces. Where you study can be as important as what you’re studying. It can be helpful to change up your study spaces so you’re not studying in the same place each time. New environments can stimulate your brain and help you retain more of what you’re studying. Try to select spaces that will be similar to the environment the test will be given. When choosing a study space, be sure to choose places with little noise and distractions. It can be helpful to study somewhere other than your house, where family members, or the phone ringing, can distract you. Instead, try your local or school library.
6. Make it Memorable. If you’re like most people, it can be hard to remember multiple concepts or a list of words. Making information personal, or making up a story that incorporates the information together can make it easier to remember. Try creating sentences or scenarios around lists of words or multiple concepts. Acronyms are also a helpful trick to integrate into your study habits.
7. Stay Healthy. It’s important to maintain healthy habits to get the most out of your study time. Make sure you get plenty of sleep during the weeks you’re studying as well as during the week of finals. Eat foods that boost brainpower such as salmon, apples, spinach, cinnamon or chocolate. Exercise is also important and can be a way to relieve stress. Cardio is one of the best ways to get exercise and helps boost memory, so go for a run or bike ride. Try to workout outside and choose a natural setting like a trail, rather than a busy street, which can distract you and requires you to constantly pay attention to your surroundings.
8. Get Help. It’s okay to ask for help! Study groups can be one way to get help and share information with your fellow classmates. Explaining concepts out loud can help you realize what you understand and what you may need to spend more time studying. Make sure your study group is actually motivating you to study, and not distracting you. You can also get help from teachers. Stay after class, or schedule separate time to meet with teachers for the classes you may be struggling in. Ask your teachers to further explain concepts that are difficult, or to give you tips on what to study and how the exam is structured.
Adopting these study habits can help you be the best prepared you can possibly be. Stay focused and have confidence in yourself. Remember, you’ve already made it this far. Good luck!
Have other study habits that work for you? Share below.
The new school year is underway in many parts of the country and just around the corner in others. For high school seniors, this means looking forward to a busy year of social, athletic, and academic obligations. In order to not let the competing priorities in your life derail your academic achievement this year, follow these tips from the Wendy’s High School Heisman Program.
Get a Calendar
Being your best in school depends heavily on your ability to manage your time effectively. A calendar provides a tool to help you organize your demanding schedule. If you have a mobile device, utilize its calendar feature to keep track of events like important tests, assignment deadlines, athletic practices, and extracurricular commitments. Set up alerts on your phone to remind you of these events as well. This way, you can remember to leave enough time for studying, know when its most important to get a good night’s rest, or when it’s time to fuel up on those carbs for the big game.
It’s easy during your senior year to let your academic achievement slip. You’ve put in years of schooling and can now see the light at the end of the tunnel. You may have even already decided where you want to go to college next fall. While looking to the future, don’t forget to stay focused on the present. It’s important your commitment to academic achievement and on-field performance stay at Heisman caliber levels. It’s these these good habits you form today that will follow you into the next phases of your life including college and your professional career.
Learn the Act of Balancing
As a senior you will have a lot of people and activities vying for your time. Whether it’s social events to fill your calendar, the extra level of time needed to be the leader on your athletic team, or the heavy class load, learning to balance it all can be cumbersome. Learn to carve out the necessary time needed for each event and learn to not over commit. Keep your top priorities on no more than three or four activities and remember to use your calendar.
As a senior it’s important to keep sight of your dreams while pursuing academic achievement today. Manage your time well and stay focused on your goals. Do this, and your senior year will be your best year yet.