This blog was published on Relus.com
A blog post about five reasons employers should hire tennis players recently grabbed my attention and thoughts. While I agree (and like to hire athletes in general), I feel the qualities possessed by a competitive swimmer are even greater. So, given the choice, hire both. But, if you can only hire one – pick the swimmer!
- Swimmers have better work ethic. Obviously genetics plays a significant part in success in competitive swimming, but nearly every college-level swimmer became great at the sport by outworking the hundreds of other kids in the pool. A great tennis player had to work hard, but being naturally gifted is a more important component. In swimming more than any other sport, sheer will and determination outweigh skill. Hire a swimmer if you want someone who will give 100% every single day. In tennis, I will agree that you have to practice hitting a ball into a court thousands of times. But the determination of a swimmer who can log 10,000 painful yards in one day alone is unmatched. That’s who I want to hire.
- Swimmers understand what it takes to win. In tennis you can blame your racket, bad line calls, or an off day of playing. On the other hand, in swimming, every single lap of every single practice is measured. Swimmers are used to getting measured and judged based on their performance. You never hear a swimmer blame the judges or tools such as their goggles. As a swimmer, it is you against the clock. In business, I want employees who are unafraid of being measured, and who know that they control their own destiny. Swimmers know that they succeed or fail based on how hard they have worked – how much effort they put into every single practice.
- Swimmers have goals based on their own efforts. In tennis, most goals are based on beating someone else. You have no control over how the other player performs. Swimmers have goals that are detailed, under their own control and down to the hundredth of a second. I love employees that are goal-oriented – and you won’t find a more goal-oriented person than a swimmer.
Wade Morgen. Jack Thompson Swim Meet 2011. October 23, 2011. Online image. Flickr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/lash9420/6284920172