In the work place environment, employers always look for hard and soft skills. Well, hard skills such as training or education can get you an interview, but it is the soft skills that will help you progress in your career more rapidly. What exactly are soft skills and what other qualities do athletes have that make them very ideal employees?

Being a former Olympic swimmer and subsequently now a swimming coach, I’ve gotten fond of hiring athletes and here are 5 reasons why I think you should too.


Soft skills also known as people skill, cannot be taught in school since there is no curriculum for it. Athletes learn soft skills during their training as well as when competing with others. Athletes have:

  • Good in conflict resolutions

  • Good attitude

  • Positive thinkers

  • Good time management

  • Motivated

  • Flexible

  • Adapts easily

  • Creative thinking

  • Critical thinking

  • Good Team player

These soft skills which are natured in athletes due to the competitive nature of sports make them very ideal employees.


In sports, there’s usually not much time to think then react. A split second decision might make or break the whole situation. Therefore, constant trainings enabled them to be skillful enough to have the muscle memory to react without much thought process. These are exceptional skills to have in many work environment as there might be uncountable situations where fast thinking is needed.


In athletics, one is often motivated to continuously improve. Therefore, when the athlete comes into the workplace, they are always motivated to better themselves by working harder and smarter. They usually have internal motivation which drives them to achieve the goals they have set.

The urge to be better and do better is engrained in the athlete from an early age and that urge never leaves them even when they enter the workforce. Discipline is one of the things that helps athletes stay focused and motivated which results to good work ethics. In order to be successful in athletics, one has to be disciplined.


One of the things that never lacks in the workplace is pressure. It is true that some jobs have higher levels of pressure than others but work pressure is present in any working environment. As such, it is important for any worker to be able to handle the pressure and not crack under it.

In athletics, there is immense pressure from the trainer, especially if they are involved in competitive sports. The exposure pressure makes athletes excel at work since since they are already used to it. They are shaped mentally to handle stress.


Another thing that never lacks in the work place is challenges. Whether conflicts with the superiors or colleagues, or reprimands-challenges are ever present in the workplace. This is not different in the sports field either. Athletes face major challenges constantly and they have been trained on handling and overcoming the challenges. They would know how to act positively to the challenge, making the athlete more effective and efficient.

Why are we NOT hiring athletes?

Our managers in Supersharkz Swimschool has indicated that they prefer working with the swimmers as part-timers than some of the other permanent staffs. Hence next time when you’re hiring, have a lookout for athletes. Ask yourself why NOT in hiring athletes.

Marilyn ChuaFounder of Supersharkz Swimschool

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