Why You Should Hire Athletes

Posted on Posted in Trish Blog

I grew up playing sports. As I sit here, staring out the window on a dark and cloudy day, I realize that no one ever asked me about my sports participation during a job interview. That was an oversight on their part. One of the things that I train my private clients to do in the interview is ask if the candidate participated in sports or cheerleading while they were in school. The answer will give you an inside track into the candidates mind because people who play sports ARE TEAM PLAYERS! Once a year I’ll ask my sales team the question: “How many of you played sports or were a cheerleader in school?” Because it’s a sales team, usually 60%+ of the hands in the room go up. It’s no coincidence. People who enjoy sports, enjoy a challenge, and get bored easily. They go into sales because it’s a fast paced business with quick rewards/commissions.
From my childhood, all the way through college, I was on the tennis team and cross country track team. For me to answer “yes” to the sports question is a little bit misleading because I played individual sports within a team. It’s different than playing basketball, where you depend on your team mates. While I loved to get outside and work out, I didn’t love the team concept. Now as an entrepreneur, I’m famous for saying “I’m not a team player….unless I OWN the team!” So if you decide to embrace my theory of asking if the job candidate played sports, be sure to ask which sports, so you can truly analyze the character of the person that sits before you. For me to say “Yes I played sports. I played tennis” says: “I love to work out and I love a challenge but I don’t care much about the team.”
Because I’m tall (5’9”) and athletic, I was usually picked to be a team captain on the schoolyard or in PE classes. My best friend was equally tall, more athletic and had a drive to win that far exceeded mine. Playing against her was brutal. We both knew how to pick teams. We would make the obvious choices and quickly pick the biggest, strongest, most athletic girls. We knew the strengths and weaknesses of our classmates. Nobody wants to pick the 60 lb. weakling with the glasses. They get thrown on at the end to whatever team needs one more person. Looking back I can see how demoralizing that must have been for those people that always got picked last. But you know what? I can still tell who they are when they sit in front of me for an interview. They look down, instead of making eye contact. They don’t have strength and confidence in their voice. They have a weak handshake as they greet me. Everything about them, tells me that they still live with the 60 lb. weakling mentality that they grew up with. For me, as an employer, that just doesn’t work. I need the strongest, smartest, most confident people coming through the door. I’m looking for the athletes and cheerleaders. If you see me now, you’ll see that I still look athletic, even if it’s just because I’m hobbling, trying to overcome some kind of weekend warrior injury. My best friend, by the way, grew up to be an attorney and is a partner at a law firm in Newport Beach, CA. I feel bad for anybody that goes up against her in court because she will not lose. (Die hard athlete till the death) We re-connected about 10 years ago after losing track for most of our adult lives. We both looked at each other, and nodded in agreement, neither of us surprised that the other had grown up to be wildly successful. As children, we were both athletes, both of us smart, quick and competitive. They only thing that had changed since we were kids was the playing field. Now we dominate in a corporate setting instead of on the softball field. That’s what you get when you hire athletes: a mindset that simply cannot settle for being second best.
You know what else is special about these athletes that you hire? They know other athletes just like themselves and they will refer them to your company when you are hiring. I know one thing for sure: Super Stars know other Super Stars! All my friends are super stars. Some of them are college graduates, some of them have post-graduate degrees and some didn’t go to college at all….but they are all entrepreneurs, out there making a difference in the lives of the good people in their communities. I’ve been self-employed since I was 26 years old. I wasn’t cut out for the normal 9-5 grind. Even as a kid, while my friends were outside playing, I was in my room, trying to figure out how to make money! Those are the people you want to hire when they are young, before they start their own companies because they are just naturally hard working, trying to figure out a better way. They will show up as smart and arrogant. If you hire them, they won’t stay for long unless they are number one and bringing in the commissions, or climbing the corporate ladder quickly, getting a pay raise every step of the way.
Athletes don’t fear rejection. Athletes are so head-strong; they just assume that everyone loves them. And if everyone loves them, then certainly everyone will buy from them. When the inevitable “No” comes their way, they just shake it off, it’s not personal, and it’s just a numbers game. And athletes are good at games! Isn’t life just one never ending game? I was standing in line at a valet last night in West Hollywood, CA, waiting for my car and one after another I saw these cars pull in: Bentley, Ferrari, Porsche and Rolls Royce. I looked around and was like “What the what?!” These guys clearly played the game right and won!
Athletes love a challenge. They will dig into a new job and go at it like crazy, doing their very best to be number one! And it’s also easy to critique an athlete. They are used to it. They watch their own game tapes and try to learn from their mistakes. They know it isn’t personal. There is always a better way to finish the game and they are interested in learning how to be better. I make the time to watch my Face Book Live presentations within 24 hours after I post. My Live posts are usually an hour long so it’s a big commitment on time to sit and watch that playback. I want to know where I killed it, where I failed and what I can do to make it better next week. I don’t know anyone else that watches their FB playbacks. Everyone says “Ewwww I don’t like the way I look or the way I sound!” Not me, the athlete in me needs to see that playback so I can correct and finish stronger next week. In case you don’t already watch it, my FB page is called Trishgrimesbusinesspage. My FB Live is called Wealthy Wednesday and I go live at 1pm PST.
In the job market, I will choose an athlete over a non-athlete for all my job openings. They are just better to work with in every way:
• Team Player
• Super star
• Need to be #1
• Gives their very best performance because they don’t know how to play any other way
• Takes constructive criticism and learns from it
• Has a need to climb the corporate ladder and see what else they can accomplish in the company
• They are self-motivated. They don’t need you to push them. Nobody pushes them harder than they push themselves.
Well that’s a wrap for my pitch on why to hire an athlete on your team. I personally do it and I highly recommend that you do to. I hope that you’ve enjoyed my blog today and maybe learned something along the way. As always I write from the heart and bring the best of my personal experience on the front lines to you every week in my blog. If you like this blog, please click the heart button and be sure to share with your friends.