A while ago I read a post about what qualities employers are looking for in a new hire. As we are always looking for good people in our industry, articles like this often catch my attention. What I noticed in the article was that most of what employers look for paralleled what I wrote a long time back about what a child learns by being in gymnastics. Here are a few of the matching points:
Controlling Yourself & Discipline
So much of sport training is done in the gym or on the field, but much also has to be done under the athlete’s own direction. Pushing one’s self to finish training, staying up to get homework done, eating right, doing homework on the way to practice, going to bed early, missing the movie your friends went to so you could go to practice, all show signs of making tough choices and being disciplined enough to carry them to fruition. Bosses and coaches look for the people who can forgo the attraction of instant gratification to be able to achieve the long term goals.
Long Term Thinking
I also do a lot of reading about millennials and now that they are the majority of the workforce in my industry I have to understand their mindset. What I know is that people in that generation are looking to be a part of a bigger cause, to play a part in the big picture, to know that their effort will mean something to the world. I also know that millennials rarely see working at a place as a career. They are always looking for something better, bigger, and something that can be more appealing….right now! Gymnastics training for a child develops the trait of commitment. Kids train under a coach or program for years. They are committed to their team and it becomes a part of who they are. They see value in having that feeling of home, and family. As an employer, I love to get applications from kids who were in sports and on the same team for a long term. It means that they achieved that feeling of being a part of a bigger plan and they show that they can actually commit to something. Most employers don’t want to have to greet-train and say good bye to an employee in a few months as they transiently move through our businesses. We are looking for people who can come in and stay awhile.
Working Hard is a Good Thing
Many kids may have some of these qualities passed on genetically. But, I have seen just as many kids with driven parents ending up un-motivated as I see them ending up motivated. So we can assume that the ability to work hard to accomplish anything is a taught trait. I believe in the quote “Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard.” I love that. If gymnastics can provide a child the perspective that all good things come from effort, then the most valuable life-lesson has been learned. Employers, just like coaches, love to work with people who get things done and aren’t afraid of getting a little sweaty.
The Will To Win
Like it or not we live in a competitive society. If gymnastics training can teach a child to care about their performance in sport, the child will learn to care about their performance in life. To see work as performing and to put effort into doing it well can be a benefit. In fact, making it a game can also lead to motivation for an even better performance. To work toward a score in sports can translate to work for a raise or promotion in the workplace. Being overly competitive can be detrimental, but a healthy dose of wanting to be the best can only be good.
Lastly, sports training teaches kids to set goals and work toward achieving them. When we can teach a child to work hard, be disciplined enough, to commit to a task or a position, and to always work to be better; then we have set them up for sure success. There will always be challenges in gymnastics, on the job, or in life; and when a child has developed these traits they will always have an advantage to surpass any obstacle. That is what it’s all about; giving our kids the training and support to be successful. That is why I love what I do. Everyday I get the privilege of working with children toward this goal. Every day I have parents trusting us at Gymfinity to play a part in helping to raise a successful and happy child. I am honored, every day, to be able to do just that.