The Olympics inspire everyone who watches as the best athletes from around the world compete. While watching and rooting for America, there are many lessons from the 2016 Olympics that are not just applicable to one's personal life but to one's work as well. Here are five business lessons you can learn from Team USA.
5 Lessons from Team USA for Improved Sports Business
- Adapt With the Market
Olympics: The American show jumping team often goes unnoticed but had to overcome a huge obstacle this year as one rider could not compete anymore when her horse suffered a tendon injury. The two men and two women who compete together won a bronze at the 2014 World Championships, but it seemed impossible to do better this time. However, the other riders readied themselves to deliver their best performances and won silver medals.
Sports Business Lesson: Having a business plan is obviously necessary, but what many niche and small businesses do not realize is that changing that plan is often necessary as well. Businesses have to be ready to adapt just as the U.S. horse jumping team had to adjust to being one member down.
- Know When to Partner
Olympics: The 100-meter hurdle is an individual race, but it ended up looking like a team competition in Rio. Each young woman who scored a medal is a member of Team USA, which makes America the first nation to sweep the women's 100-meter hurdle. Kristi Castlin was not disappointed by her 3rd place standing as she focused on getting a victory for the whole team. She says the girls wanted to make history as a team and now they all have a place in the record books.
Sports Business Lesson: When it comes to separate companies, there is typically no such thing as teamwork. However, there are times when businesses can partner together for mutually beneficial reasons.
- Stay Focused When Ahead
Olympics: Basketball is somewhat anticlimactic as the U.S. is normally a sure thing when it comes to winning gold. That might make it easy to become complacent as there were three narrow victories before the men's team played Argentina, and the first quarter of the match showed the Americans down by 10 points. Professional athletes like Kevin Durant and Paul George knew that their team could win but acknowledged that they must put in the effort. When properly energized, they overcame the deficit and won 105-78.
Sports Business Lesson: Continue to challenge and engage staff, especially when you are doing great. Make staying competitive a priority so that things continue to go well.
- Stay Focused When Behind
Olympics: Like Michael Phelps, Kerri Walsh Jennings was also trying to win four gold medals for the same event. Unlike Phelps, the beach volleyball star did not succeed. It seemed unlikely that Walsh Jennings and her partner April Ross would not vie for the gold as the former never lost an Olympic match, but the home advantage could not be overcome when losing to Brazil. It even looked like the bronze might slip from their fingers when battling another Brazilian team, but the American pair refused to give up and came back to win bronze.
Sports Business Lesson: If things are not going well for a business, identifying the problems and implementing solutions to change matters can be hard to do. However, setbacks occur at some point or another in every company. So, the key is to take action and not be deterred.
- Offer More Than Just Services
Olympics: Simon Biles won four gold medals in Rio and is deservedly being called the best gymnast of all time. When taking a lesson from her routines, consider that Biles did not nab a fifth gold because of one mistake in her beam routine but took bronze instead. Biles simply told her coach the error she made and moved on, ready to improve in the next routine. In addition to all of the media coverage Biles is receiving for her performance, she is also making news as her crush on movie star Zac Efron made for an interesting personal story.
Sports Business Lesson: Simon Biles has several amazing athletic attributes, but she is also a charming, lovable person. In addition to promoting products, services or skills, marketing a personality can also have great value for your sports business.
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