The Connection Between Being A Championship Athlete And A Successful Businessman

by Jason Parks

Great athletes reach the pinnacle of their professions by accelerating past the competition to achieve their ultimate goal. The sense of accomplishment associated with winning a team championship or an individual award is huge for an athlete, but the great ones strive for more. They want to leave a lasting legacy.

Michael Jordan was famously quoted saying, “Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen and others make it happen.” The top athletes make it happen!

The same can be said for successful businessmen and women.  They don’t want to have several outstanding quarters — they’d rather make a permanent impact with their companies that will be ensure sustainability for generations to come.

Whether it is in sports or business, championship-like characteristics are necessary to reach the pinnacle of a profession. Each character trait separates a person from the competition and ensures a successful career path.


Michael Jordan was one of the fiercest competitors and undoubtedly the greatest basketball player of all time. According to Business Insider, Jordan played through the flu and scored 38 points in the pivotal game of the NBA finals.

Being competitive in business, just like basketball, will help you to stand out. Most players would have sat out the NBA Finals game due to sickness. Most players also don’t have six championship rings, five MVP titles and 11 All-Star selections on their resumes.

Ensuring that you stay one step ahead of the competition will enable you to plan for a successful future while you outpace your rivals.


Wayne Gretzky not only has the most goals in NHL history (894), but he is also the record holder for most assists (1,963).  The Great One knew how to put the puck in the back of the net but also had a knack for constantly involving his teammates. This allowed for others to shine as well. Gretzky was famously quoted as saying, “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.”

The same can be said for business. Don’t prepare for the present. Prepare for the future and you’ll become great, not just average.

By involving his teammates, Gretzky went on to win six Stanley Cups and earn the famous nickname, “The Great One.” Involve other talented people in your business endeavors and you’ll see great results.


Tiger Woods would emulate his father’s golf swing from the family garage at an extremely young age. He was eager to always get onto the golf course and eventually beat his father, which he did at the age of 11.

Woods always had a passion for golf. All of the hard work and practice that he put into the game didn’t seem like hard work because he thoroughly enjoyed what he was doing.

“I love to play golf, and that's my arena. And you can characterize it and describe it however you want, but I have a love and a passion for getting that ball in the hole and beating those guys.”

In business, it is easier to succeed when you thoroughly enjoy your line of work. The average American works 1,700 hours per year. Make sure you love what you do and you’ll reap the benefits!


Observers have always marveled at Rodger Federer’s confidence. In tennis, your performance solely dictates the outcome, so confidence is a crucial component.

Federer’s confidence enabled him to secure 17 major championships, an all-time record. He believes he can win any match on any surface against any opponent and his record clearly reflects this.

Self-confidence is a key business trait. There will be many people who will doubt your vision along the way. Successful businessmen and women must believe that what they will succeed in what they set out to accomplish. They must have thick skin to disregard the naysayers while continuing on their path to success.

If you wake up in the morning and are excited to go to work, you’ve already won the hardest battle. If you have the confidence to get the job done, you will most likely do it. Be sure to allow others to contribute and you’ll see outstanding results. Lastly, always have the burning desire to succeed and be the top achiever in your field.

Even if you can’t score 38 points in the NBA Finals, you can take the characteristics from some of the greatest athletes of all time and apply them to your work life. This will make it possible for you to have the championship traits necessary for business success.

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