By Linda Tancs

Tennis icon Billie Jean King once remarked, “A champion is afraid of losing. Everyone else is afraid of winning.” This got me thinking about the parallels in sports and the Bible concerning winning traits: perseverance in the face of obstacles, honesty, integrity, sportsmanship. First Corinthians, in particular, provides a sporting analogy on life. In chapter nine, Paul outlines the criteria for running an effective race: determination, self-control, goal-setting and discipline (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).

Aren’t these some of the same qualities that our business leaders should possess? No doubt many of these qualities are picked up in the gym or out on the schoolyard, which is why it’s distressing when sports and academics are pitted against each other as mutually exclusive endeavors. Sports are an important part of education, teaching the value of teamwork and other career enhancing skills like strategy, goal setting, feedback and review.

Regardless whether you’re a sports fanatic and armed with biblical precepts on running your race, watch a game and ask yourself what lessons can be learned and applied in your working life based on the conduct of the players towards themselves and the opposing team, the strategies employed, the reactions of the fans, the interplay between the coach and the team, and the commentary. You’ll likely never watch a game the same way again.

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