Levi Metheny is an athlete who has dedicated himself to both football and basketball for much of his life. From playing sports in high school to his varsity days to his college career and beyond, he’s learned invaluable life lessons both on and off the field.
However, it’s those lessons he takes with him after the game that he finds the most valuable these days. Case in point: entering the world of business.
Most people tend to underestimate athletes when they enter anything other than a sports-related environment. They shouldn’t, however – as in the opinion of Levi Metheny, athletes bring a unique set of skills to virtually any work that you can think of in a wide range of different ways, all of which are more than worth exploring.
1. The Power of Teamwork
“It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about a sports team or a business team, one thing is certain: everybody needs to be able to come together,” says Levi Metheny. “People have their own skills. They also have natural gaps in those skills. When a team is functioning at peak efficiency, people can come in with the talent that you might not possess and everyone gets to see what happens when they’re working with a complete set of tools.”
Indeed, athletes know how to function within this team-based environment by the very nature of most sports. Amplify the skills of others and let those around you support and empower your own. The sooner everyone within a business learns this, the sooner everyone finds themselves in the best possible position to thrive.
2. The Importance of Leadership
One crucial way that athletes contribute to the workplace ultimately comes from the sense of leadership that they bring with them. Every sports team has its trajectory dictated by those at the top – meaning the coaches and other professionals who are guiding the proverbial ship. That is no different than how it works in a business environment where management sets the tone for everything that happens from that point forward.
As natural leaders, athletes understand how to bring people together to form something more powerful as a collective than any one of them could be on their own. They know how to put people in the correct positions to accomplish what they’ve all set out to do. That’s precisely what most businesses try to handle daily.
3. It’s All About Time Management
“For me, one of the most essential skills that athletes can bring to the workplace has to do with time management,” says Metheny. “When you’re an athlete your day doesn’t start when you step onto the field. You need to juggle practice with your studies, personal life, and more. Being able to compartmentalize all of that, to find the appropriate amount of time needed to excel at every last item on your list is not a skill that comes naturally to a lot of people.”
However, it’s a skill that people can learn from when athletes make their presence known in the workplace.
4. The Impact that Sportsmanship Can Have
Another one of the skills that athletes bring to the workplace has to do with not just competition, but a healthy sense of competition and sportsmanship that ends up inspiring those around them.
Any sports team needs to operate as a collective – people need to contribute something meaningful to the greater good. But they also have to inspire people to become the best versions of themselves, which is what happens daily on your average team. People are encouraged to rise to each unique challenge after the next and that is absolutely a quality that will serve people well in their careers.
5. The Pressure is On
Finally, one of the most important ways that athletes bring skills to the workplace is how they handle the constant pressure that most business environments bring with them. “Athletes have to compete under some of the most rigorous conditions you can imagine,” said Metheny. “Those who succeed do so because, despite it all, they can still perform. They get results.”
That’s a quality that is valuable in any business, regardless of the industry that it is operating.
About Levi Metheny
Levi Metheny is an accomplished athlete who played both varsity football and basketball. Born and raised in Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, he showed his athletic prowess from an early age. He loved not just football but all physical activity, which was a passion that he would continue to show throughout college. He received a full scholarship to the esteemed University of Albany, where he joined the football team as a linebacker.
Metheny was a starter for three years and was even honored as FCS Pre-Season All-American. His football career continued after he began studying at Murray State University, which is where he would go on to receive his MBA. He also earned the CAA All-Conference Award. He continues to be an enthusiastic volunteer in his community to this day.