How sports can help to bring entrepreneurship into the classroom

In spite of rivalry during championships, there is a consensus among sports lovers: it unites and enhances people. Several companies invite athletes to speak to their employees or train their leadership based on the spirit of sport, especially because of its proximity to entrepreneurship.

It is also unanimous that sport is a passion for children and teenagers. Why not combine these two universes to promote true entrepreneurship lessons while your students have fun? Take a look at some tips:

Individual preparation, common strategy

One of the greatest riches of sport is the spirit of community. It is no wonder that in recent years the term ‘team’ has been widely used in companies to designate the workgroup. In order to achieve the best results, everyone must work as a team, having each one playing a key role in the final strategy. In sports, the vanity gives space to collaboration and partnership. At the same time, the athletes must be conscious of their body and boundaries, preparing individually to deliver the best possible performance.

When discussing sports with your students, keep in mind that your role is to be a coach.  You should be able to map the strengths and weaknesses in the team and design group strategies in which everyone can have their potential developed. Set up a goal and let them debate about possible ways to achieve the best outcome. Help them understand their role in the final strategy and reinforce the importance of self-knowledge to success.

Read this post and get to know four tips for successful group activities.

Transforming unpredicted situations into opportunities

When the match begins or the referee whistles, everything is unexpected. Even though the team trains rehearsed moves and analyses the opponent’s profile previously, it is impossible to predict the final result. Therefore, every athlete must be prepared to deal with the most diverse situations along the way, from weather condition such as rain and wind, or injuries, dismissals, to simply having the opponent play better than expected. So it is in life and in the business world.

How about creating a competition among students and during the match add unexpected elements, letting creativity flow? Remove a player, add an obstacle, concede advantages to the rival team and, after the game, discuss how they felt and what strategies they used to dodge the unforeseen events.

Emotional balance

Zinedine Zidane was elected for three times the world’s best soccer player, but another event also stands out on his career: the well-known head-butt in the Italian player Materazzi’s chest, after being provoked in the World Cup final in 2006. Uruguayan Luiz Suárez also became known by a very controversial attitude in soccer matches. At the 2014 World Cup, he bit another player, a fact that has been repeated in other occasions. In the case of Suárez, sports psychology experts have even said that his reaction may be an inability to deal with emotional pressure while playing.

Brazilian marathoner Vanderlei Cordeiro Lima, on the other hand, was celebrated as a hero for his sportive spirit during the Athens Olympics in 2004. After starting the run for the gold medal with an advantage over his adversaries, Vanderlei was attacked by a spectator. Despite of the incident, he returned to the competition and managed to finish it in third place, conquering the bronze medal.

These episodes evidence that physical preparation is fundamental, but the psychological balance is often what defines the final outcome of a competition. When proposing games or sports competitions to your students, you will certainly come across situations of conflict, pressure, insecurity or vanity. Take the opportunity to work in socioemotional aspects and make them think about their behavior in adverse situations.

Are you ready to take sports into the classroom? Pick out some videos of historical matches and invite students to try to find out the strategies used in each one of them, comment on failure and success episodes, take athletes biographies into the classroom, and, if possible, invite local sportsman to give their testimony. With these ideas, sure enough, students will have fun while they learn valuable lessons of entrepreneurship and life.

Download our e-book about Outdoors Activities and find out how to work on different activities in school.


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