How applying sports strategies can guide you in building a business

Thursday, May 8, 2014

How applying sports strategies can guide you in building a business

Those who play any kind of sport know how to devise a strategy to make the way through. You may not necessarily have to be a professional sportsperson to play any game with the right approach. Even amateur sportsperson can have the right strategy and approach to win games. Sports teach you to devise a plan - a plan to succeed, a plan to overcome the crisis, and also a plan to compete against different opponents. 
If you love playing team sports, you give yourself an added advantage of learning the value of team spirit. Building businesses can become much easier if you know how to interact within a team. I have seen greenhorns fail in their attempts to establish in the business world because they don’t see the value of interacting with others. Many first time entrants come with the mindset that they can succeed because they have the funds. Funds can just help you to stick to the business. In order to succeed, you need to have deft planning in place. 

What does sports teach you?

I have had the opportunity to play a number of sports, and each sport taught me different things, not just in terms of strategies, but also in terms of reacting to situations. For instance, playing badminton regularly helped me to understand the value of mental discipline - the ability to decide and not doing things, even if my mind wants to do it. That’s the kind of control I am talking about. There are many businesses that fail just because the owners unwillingly take decisions. They know that the decisions might hurt the business, but they take the decision on the spur of the moment. 

The greed to grab advantageous positions can be extremely tempting. Though, risk needs to be taken in any kind of business, but your ability to choose the right measure of risk is very important. There had been times, when inspite of knowing the right measure, you fail to move your feet out of the danger because the desire within you empowers you. This is something, which sports can teach you. It can teach you to control your urge and take appropriate decisions at the right moment.

Do you panic?

I am not talking about the panic attack. Business can let you face bitter situations, and as an owner you may crumble under the burden of expectations – your own expectation or the expectations of your closed ones, or even the expectations of the investors. When business faces crunch situations or an impending loss, it could be a tough battle. Many of you may find difficult to handle it. Some might panic and do weird things, which could harm the business more.

Playing sports can actually teach you to handle these crunch times. Experienced sportspersons are calm under immense pressure. They take their own time. They know tough times will not last forever, and seek the best opportunity to strike back, and come out of the crisis.

This is a crucial aspect for any businessman. The ability to stay calm under pressure, and still take right decisions could turn the tide in your favour. If you keep running your business with composure, your ability to face difficult situations with relative ease will have a calming influence on everyone around you, which will bring greater success over a period of time.

Preparing for the battle ahead

Serious sportspersons understand the importance of preparing well before training. You may have an upcoming practice game, or a tournament, the value of preparing well is exceedingly crucial for you to perform to certain standards. Your ability to focus and your ability to prepare mentally for the battle can provide you with the edge while facing opponents. 

Do you try to prepare mentally before you meet your client? Do you rehearse the points that you need to bring in while talking to your client? Do you have a plan B, if your plan A doesn’t work?

Ask these questions and you will, perhaps, know where you stand exactly. Preparation helps you to challenge negative situations with positive moves. It is about visualizing the right things and implementing those in the course of your business.

Overcome confusion

We all fall in a dilemma and find ourselves in a spot of bother, when taking decisions. Businesses, however, can suffer terribly, if confusion creeps in the minds of business owners. The lack of ability to choose between different options is dangerous. It could bring an end to your adventures. 

Playing sports, on the other hand, is all about handling confusion. You are confused at almost every moment of the game. You can take the example of any game, take soccer, and the one who plays the game has to keep juggling with the thought of whom to pass to, and when to hit the ball. He also has to keep thinking about choosing the line of attack. By doing so, he manages to become deft in taking a decision amid confusions. That’s the expertise you need to have while doing any kind of business – the ability to deal with confusions. 

And if, you can learn these skills by playing a sport, why not do it.  

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