How Team Sports Have Prepared Me for College, Career & Life

The following is a guest post from our Seth Seelye, JobJenny.com's 2018 summer intern and an Integrated Marketing Communications sophomore at the University of Mississippi. 

They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but as a young boy, diamonds were my first love. My passion was born about 15 years ago on the baseball diamond, where I was introduced to America’s favorite pastime and the greatest sport ever created.

As a kid, baseball was the source of all my most vivid fantasies. I would lie awake at night dreaming of hitting the walk-off homerun in game 7 of the World Series or going down in the hall of fame next to Babe Ruth and Ken Griffey Jr. 

Could anything ever be sweeter?

Over the years, those fantasies motivated me to take my game to the next level. After a few seasons, I was playing travel baseball against the best players in my area – as well as boys from across the country. 

As a kid playing sports and dreaming about the big leagues, I thought my dreams would all just eventually materialize. It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I really understood and appreciated the meaning of the hard work required. 

Growing up as an athlete with a passion and commitment to a sport builds key qualities that carry over into every aspect of life. As a college student who will soon join the work force, I expect the experiences and skills I’ve built as an athlete will help me hit a home run as an employee. Among the most notable strengths I've gained?

Discipline –

Realizing that you have to train hard and grind your tail off to improve every aspect of your game is hard to accept at first, but it’s a necessity. If you don’t train, you’ll fall behind the competition. It’s a basic formula and, for me, a powerful motivator.  

As my father always told me, “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” It was a tough lesson to learn. It wasn’t until middle school that I realized there was no way I could compete with pitchers who are six feet tall and throwing 75 miles per hour naturally unless I trained myself to get stronger and better. The same goes in the workplace. There’s always another talented person waiting for their shot at the next great assignment or promotion.

Discipline and hard work are skills that will be evident to others and help keep you at the front of the pack.

Teamwork –

Nobody wins – or loses – a baseball game on their own. All the work, all of the coaching, hitting, running, pitching in the world means nothing if you are a player facing a field of nine all alone. A strong team means everything – they boost you up, celebrate your victories and defeats, and most importantly, make it possible to achieve every good thing. Be the person everybody wants to have on their team.

Resilience and Humility –

You won a game? Good, now be humble and look at what mistakes you made and what you can improve on. You lost? Great, remember how this feels and work even harder so it won’t happen again. Just like you need to train harder to beat a strong opponent in sports, you must work harder and smarter in your professional life if you want a that promotion or coveted opportunity. 

The parallels between sports and many real-life situations are endless. Just about every concrete lesson learned from sports can be applied to life outside of sports, and I look forward to doing so as I step out into my professional career.

With the amazing fun and lessons I’ve learned from playing sports, I know that whatever gets thrown at me in life, I can conquer it.

Photo: Provided by Seth Seelye (Yep, that's him!)