Everything I Do in Business I Learned from Swimming

Growing up in Florida, swim team was a way of life for most children in my neighborhood. As the years progressed and I became more involved in swim team, more hours were spent in a pool and around my coaches and teammates than with my own family. Unknowingly, I didn’t just learn to be a D1 competitive swimmer, I also learned many life lessons.

It takes only 48 hours to lose muscle strength. Yes, it’s seriously that fast. Swimming is one sport that you have to constantly and continuously train for because it is so strenuous. Business, particularly marketing is similar. The digital space moves at light speed and you need to constantly be “training”, learning new technologies and actively seeking out new partnerships to grow your business.

There’s No Substitute for Experience
A National swim meet is very different than a club meet and especially different from practices. In swimming, there’s no amount of training that can replicate what you experience at a National or State meet. Similarly, in business, no amount of arm-chair critiques or strategy recommendations can prepare you for scaling something like social media to an enterprise level. Teachings can come close, but nothing compares to actual, real scenario experiences. You can’t simply train or strategize, you have to go out, test and learn in the real environment. As my coach constantly said, “Studying for the spelling test is not the same as *taking* the spelling test.”

You Can’t Win Alone
While swimming, just like sitting in your office, may seem like a solitary sport, you cannot reach “the big leagues” without a plethora of support. In swimming, you have a coach that provides you with workouts, motivation and critiques on your stroke. In business, you have mentors. You have team members that not only make the experience fun, but also cheer you on during races and push you past your limits in practices. Like any sport, you also have your supporters – your parents, fans and friends that encourage you. No matter what you’re doing, you can’t win without a great team.

Little did I know that what I practiced in the pool would be the perfect learning ground for the business world.

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