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How former athletes can give your business the competitive edge

In our rapidly evolving business environment, gaining a strategic advantage over competitors is vital for success.

While new technologies and techniques undoubtedly play a significant role, people will always be a company’s most powerful asset. With this in mind, there is a unique resource that often remains untapped: former athletes.

These superb individuals possess a wealth of qualities that can prove decisive to progress. I explore five of these qualities below:

Outstanding communication

Athletes are proven to be intuitive communicators, both verbally and emotionally. But it’s the scope of this communication that makes them stand out.

From talking tactics with coaches and colleagues, to chatting with fans, supporters and the media, former athletes understand what’s being said and are comfortable wearing different hats to get their message across.

In the workplace, they are able to share thoughts and ideas fluently, providing a constant positive contribution as teams bid to meet objectives.

Strongest when the stakes are high

Athletes thrive under pressure; their ability to keep calm and focussed is what sets them apart, both in sport and wider contexts.

They could be ticking off the solo gym sessions or making a winning shot under the gaze of millions – athletes are conditioned to block out background noise and make the wins happen; it’s a habit that breeds “a sense of certainty and confidence.”

As a worker, the athlete will peak at the right times and get your team over the line when it matters most.

Task completion

It bears repeating: former athletes will get you over that line. Sportsmen and sportswomen know the value of commitment and seeing assignments through until the end.

Thanks to years of training, they are used to breaking down big goals into small tasks, and will chip away until success is a done deal.

This quiet perseverance makes athletes highly dependable employees, as happy to roll up sleeves to tackle mundane responsibilities as they are to step up and lead critical projects from the front.

Positive ambassador

Athletes are typically championed for their healthy lifestyle and can-do attitude. This energy diffuses through the companies they join and the circles they move in.

In the corporate setting, athletes’ reputable background will only enhance your brand image, helping to attract customers and partners of a similar pedigree.

Athletes usually travel widely and meet many influential contacts in their first careers. Hiring firms can access exclusive and high-level networking opportunities as a result.


Let’s face it, former athletes are hugely inspiring and are doorways into worlds that capture the imagination. People want to listen to what they have to say.

So, get that star on your side: harness their charisma, enrich your reputation and build credibility that can’t be manufactured. It’s the elusive X-factor that is guaranteed to invigorate your firm and draw eyes towards what you’re doing.

Get the edge

More and more companies are turning to former athletes to differentiate and gain a stronger foothold in fierce markets.

At Athlete Career Transition (ACT), we help this process by working with former athletes to ensure they transition smoothly from sport into second careers in business.

ACT provides world-class support to each candidate before placing them in corporate environments where they can thrive, motivate and produce exceptional results.


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