5 Reasons To Hire Former Student-Athletes

Following their college careers, the majority of student-athletes do not continue on to play professionally. Instead, they join the workforce and bring with them a plethora of skills that make them successful and desirable employees in any setting.
There are five main reasons that former collegiate athletes make a great addition to your team:

1. Ability to Manage Time Well.

In college, athletes are forced to balance rigorous academic schedules with their sport. With practice, lift, cardio/conditioning, recovery/treatment, film, class, homework, meetings with coaches and academic advisors, eating, studying, social lives (...the list goes on…) student-athletes learn how to successfully manage a full busy schedule and complete work efficiently. Keeping track of the extensive travel schedules, due dates, and deadlines causes many athletes to be organized and skilled planners.

Having strong time management skills translates over to the workplace easily. Being able to complete work assignments on time while balancing personal endeavors is essential to any good employee. Being punctual and working efficiently are qualities that will not only make that employee a star but change the culture of an entire workplace for the better.

2. Competitive Nature.

Athletes are groomed, competitors. In order for them to have any success whatsoever in their sports careers to be able to play in college, being able to push themselves and rise above the crowd is a crucially instilled trait. Work ethic, grit, and resilience are all pivotal in competition and achieving goals.

In any work setting, motivated employees lead to better production, improvement, and a better work atmosphere. Competition gives way to innovation and drives better work. Given incentives (praise, promotions, bonuses, recognition), athlete-employees will especially be motivated to produce at their highest level, pushing other employees to keep up with the improvements or get out.

3. Ability to Take Criticism.

Throughout their careers, athletes learn to take criticism from their coaches, parents, and mentors. They understand that in order to get better, sometimes they need to hear things that might be negative and they might not want to hear. Being able to take criticism, hear the message, and then make the change is a pivotal quality for improvement and functioning in any “team” setting.

In the workplace, having employees who can make the adjustments their boss suggests to them is extremely important. If an employee can listen, understand, and flexibly (and without argument) make the necessary change needed to fix an issue, they are valuable to their workplace. Athletes have thick skin when it comes to critiques and learn to hear the message rather than take a tone or delivery of a message personally and offensively.

4. Team Working Abilities.

A huge part of college athletics is the family atmosphere within any given team. By spending so much time together, athletes bond to truly become families with undeniable cohesion and chemistry. They learn to resolve conflict amongst themselves and keep it from affecting their work; they learn to cherish relationships with all the players on a team. Athletes push their teammates to be their best, chasing team success together rather than solely personal bests.

In most workplaces, working as a team is inevitable. Athletes are accustomed to working in this setting: knowing when to take the lead, when to step back and listen, and how to carry out their part in assignments. Athletes will help establish a culture within your workplace “team” that expects everyone to do their part and everyone to do their best.

5. Self-Reflection/ Self-Evaluation.

The last reason why former student-athletes make a great addition to any work setting is due to their in-tuneness with themselves. Years of criticism, evaluations, tips, scores, and stats make athletes very in touch with their own personal characteristics. Athletes know their strengths, weaknesses, skills, and what they can handle. They know when they can work harder and they know how to push themselves when needed.

Having self-motivated and realistic employees is important to a functioning workplace. When employees know how much they can handle, there will not be times where things do not get done because someone bit off more than he or she could chew. Athletes should know what is possible with their schedule and will be diligent in getting their work done to the best of their abilities.


Athletes can add an important energy, push, and drive to any workplace. Their flexibility, desire to do and be their best, and ability to work in a team will change the culture of any work setting for the better.