When asked what helped build their leadership skills, many entrepreneurs can reflect back on sports for being a pivotal factor in developing those characteristics. Though it may not be realized at the moment, playing a sport lays the foundation for future leadership skills. Learn the ways in which playing sports builds leadership skills below.


Throughout an athlete’s career, they must commit themselves to their craft if they wish to progress or be rewarded with any playing time. Self-discipline looks like a tennis player using their Sunday to practice on the court. It can also look like an aspiring soccer player reading up on game rules. In whatever way you practice self-discipline as an athlete, that skill is sure to pay off in the long run. Self-discipline is a necessary skill in any leader. As you attempt to progress in your career, especially if you desire to follow the path of an entrepreneur, you will need to have the self-discipline to get you through all the forks in the path that you face.


Communication is a vital skill taught in almost all sports. Playing on a team calls for individuals to communicate with each other, whether through creating gameplays, leading team meetings, or organizing team get-togethers. This skill permeates all aspects of your life. Team members or employees with lousy communication skills simply do not progress very far in their careers. Lack of communication diminishes the possibility of becoming promoted, being organized, and getting tasks done on time. This skill is best learned by participating in some sort of team and is most emphasized throughout playing sports.


Similar to communication skills, teamwork is a skill best learned by being part of a team. This skill is necessary for any sports team. Working cohesively will lead your team to your goals in a more efficient manner. Those that wish to show off and work independently on a team rarely lead their team to success. By developing teamwork through playing sports, you’ll be better positioned to work as a team in any job you later possess. This will also help alleviate some of the stress you may take on in future roles. If you never learn the importance of teamwork, you may not feel comfortable delegating tasks in your leadership roles, which can lead to burnout.

Playing sports can help with much more than just leadership skills. By joining a team in your youth, you’ll learn important life skills that can be applied to any career.