If you played sports growing up, you likely gained a lot of great skills that can be used in other areas of your life. We refer to these as transferable skills – traits or qualities that are useful in multiple occasions. If you learned the importance of proper communications to be able to complete a play on the field, that skill can be transferred to both your personal and professional life. When you’re applying for an internship… work or school experiences don’t have to be the only thing you focus on, don’t forget to consider your extracurriculars too – sports included. Here are some sports-related skills that you could bring to an internship to take on the future!
Many sports involve some sort of team involvement which is also the case in a workplace. As a result, your teamwork skills may help you succeed in an internship! Teamwork skills are your ability to cooperate, coordinate, and collaborate with others. If getting along with others comes easy to you or if you’ve had success strategizing and figuring out your game plan with coaches/teammates, count that under your teamwork skills.
Time management skills
Sports are time consuming and it’s likely you have more than just one thing on your schedule to coordinate. Simply balancing school and a sport can be a strong representation of your time management skills, otherwise known as your ability to manage different commitments all at once. If you haven’t had any issues getting to practice/games on time while still keeping up with all of your classes, and making time for yourself and family/friends, consider yourself a time management whiz!
Your ability to lead, influence, and guide others is what leadership is all about. You don’t have to be team captain to demonstrate leadership skills, maybe you’ve contributed your ideas to a post-game meet-up or gathered your teammates together to participate in a fundraiser. These types of initiatives demonstrate your ability to lead others to reach a common goal, a valuable trait for both sports and a workplace. As an intern, highlighting your leadership skills can be a huge asset because employers will want to see how you could get involved to help work towards a common mission.
As an athlete, don’t forget about your coordination skills! Whether it’s hand-eye coordination or foot-eye coordination AKA your abilities to coordinate your vision or body with the appropriate movements accurately, that ability shouldn’t be overlooked when thinking about transferable skills. Maybe you have stellar aim or you’re really good at keeping your eye on the ball and never miss on defense, these all refer to your coordination skills. These abilities translate well into an internship that might require you to have good manual dexterity and movement. Perhaps you have to take apart an engine (Auto Service Technician), decorate a cake (Baker), or work with a bunch of different wires in a small space (Electrician) – coordination will be a huge asset in taking on those tasks.
Problem solving skills
Whatever sport you play, we’re sure you’ve had to deal with strategy and challenges before. At some point, you have probably come across a problem and had to come up with a game plan. Maybe it was figuring out how to strengthen defense, what the best offensive play is, or how exactly you were going to get that winning point… problem solving skills are at work anytime you are thinking about how you will overcome an obstacle to achieve a goal. Highlighting these skills on your resume for an internship are great because it shows your ability to handle potential problems in the workplace successfully! We all come across situations and how you identify the problem, brainstorm potential solutions, and implement action is key to succeeding in the workplace.
Beyond these skills, there’s a ton of others that you likely gained from playing sports that you could apply in an internship – communication, being physically fit, commitment, conflict resolution, self-discipline, the list goes on. We hope this provided you with a starting point as you consider some of your own skills for the workplace, good luck!