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Business lessons from sports

Many lessons can be learned at a young age that will carry over into adulthood and be beneficial in careers and life in general. Success in the business world can often be traced back to a person’s upbringing. Having responsibilities as a child, being held accountable, not being spoiled, etc. will build character and lessen the sense of entitlement and most often result in contributing adults.

Participation in sports has many life lessons to be learned. Some of the lessons to be learned from sports that help a person succeed in business follow.

• Set clear goals. If you don’t know where you are going any road will take you there.

• Recognize there will be disappointments, losses.

• Things don’t always go your way.

• Preparation and practice are crucial.

• Don’t point the finger at others. Be accountable.

• Pay attention to details.

• Persistence pays off.

• Trust your teammates.

• Respect others.

• Practice active listening.

• Ask for feedback and learn from mistakes.

• Develop self-confidence and self-assurance.

• Believe in yourself.

• Develop leadership skills.

• Learn how to deal with success.

• Show appreciation and gratitude.

• Teamwork pays off.

This list could go on and on. The idea of second chances, opportunities for redemption ring true in all ares of life. We are confronted with situations with the temptation to give up but perseverance and tenacity will keep us going in spite of the odds.  When you feel like throwing in the towel, remember the famous quote from Yogi Berra, the quirky Hall of Fame New York Yankees catcher.  “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.”

Many are spending hours at the Little League fields this spring supporting youngsters playing this game that is our national pastime. There are many lessons for parents and kids to be gleaned from these experiences. Babe Ruth, one of the most famous players of all time, held the home run record for many years. He also struck out many times but he didn’t let that keep him from continuing to swing hard. 

The game of baseball teaches us a lot of lessons applicable to work and life. You are in charge of your attitude. A “can do” attitude will carry you through life and will have a positive impact on everything you do.

Becky Vaughn-Furlow retired from Trustmark Bank as executive vice president and human resources director. She can be contacted by emailing bvaughnfurlow@gmail.com.