Staying on Track: An Athlete’s Approach Works Well in Marketing

By Beau Robinson
Intern at Foster Marketing

Being a student-athlete requires dedication and drive as well as balancing the demands of a full-time class schedule, practice, workouts, studying and, in many cases, a job. All the lessons student-athletes learn in their collegiate experience make them perfect candidates for the workforce and, more specifically, a career in marketing.

There are many similarities between life as a student-athlete and a marketer – and a few lessons to be learned:

Time Management

There are 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour and 24 hours in a day. What exactly do those numbers mean? It means that in a typical 8-hour workday (accounting for an hour lunch break), there are only 25,200 seconds to get your work done, and it is important that you take advantage of every second.  While that might seem like a lot, fragments of a second have determined Olympic champions. A few seconds here and there can eventually add up to a much bigger chunk of time. 

Time never freezes, but we can agree that time is limited. Managing time efficiently can yield major benefits in life; not only for a student-athlete, but also for a marketer. And, with a million things on your schedule, time is of the essence. 

Everyone has heard the saying “time flies when you’re having fun,” and while true, an even more accurate statement would be “time flies when you have a lot to get done.” Time will not stop for you, so don’t lose the battle without a fight. Student-athletes don’t have much leeway on extra time, just like the typical marketer, so they must learn how to use it effectively.

Prioritize: What is the most important task at hand? Taking care of first things first will allow you to spend the necessary time not only to complete it, but to improve the quality of your work. If it is important, it should have your primary focus.

Hit the deadline: Deadlines must be met. Planning to stay ahead of your deadlines by prioritizing tasks will save you the stress of trying to catch up later.

Never Be Idle: Procrastination might offer you temporary relief, but it will hurt you in the long run. The hardest part of finishing a task is starting it. So, get to work!

Take a Deep Breath and Set Your Own Pace: If there is an avalanche of tasks to be completed and you are having trouble digging yourself out, remember this; it took Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay seven weeks to make it to the top of Mount Everest and they were no less successful for taking that long.

A Good Attitude Is an X-Factor

A good attitude is essential on the playing field and in the workplace. 

Be a Team Player: You won’t be successful without teamwork – whether the team is on a court or field or coworkers and clients. There are many moving parts that come together to make a team successful – none of which are more important than the other. 

Failing Isn’t Always Negative: You will learn more from the things you do wrong than the things that you do right. Not everything is going to run smoothly; in fact, a lot of the time it won’t. Use it as a learning experience instead of kicking yourself for it.

Bring Positive Energy: Optimism will affect others around you as well as yourself. A stressful and time-consuming task will be much more enjoyable if you approach it with positive energy. Appreciate the opportunity to be trusted with a task and challenge and run with it.

Work Ethic

Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone: We have all had to take on tasks we weren’t familiar with or comfortable doing. Tasks that challenge us to better our skills and expand our experience create a better-rounded person; so, take the initiative and work toward improving your skills – especially if it is something you didn’t consider a strength. Turn your weaknesses into your strengths.

Be Confident: You can do it, and you know you can do it. Confidence is key. Student-athletes and marketing managers alike must go into their work with confidence to be successful.

Pushing Past Your Limits: Limits are only as high as the barriers you set. Even you can surprise yourself. It was once thought that it was humanly impossible to run a mile under four minutes – until Roger Bannister did it on May 6, 1954.

Be Competitive and Accountable: In both sports and marketing, competitiveness will only improve the quality of your performance. Holding yourself accountable for the tasks you must complete can help you find extra motivation to finish on time and enhance the quality of your work.

Take Pride: This is something that we all have experienced. We work on a project for a long time and can look at the finished product and be proud of it. You should be proud of all the work that you do; if you’re not, then you probably didn’t do it to the best of your ability. 

Goal Setting

Goal setting is the blueprint to success. You might be able to cook without a recipe, but a recipe makes cooking a lot easier. Goal setting works the same way. Setting goals for yourself and the projects that are ahead improves focus, motivation, sense of achievement and helps clarify the desired outcome.

Plan the Work, Work the Plan – With Flexibility: Yes, a plan is extremely important, but things don’t always go according to plan. If you must stray from your plan, don’t panic. Adaptability is important when you’re setting goals for yourself. 

Be Patient: The road to success can be a long one with many hurdles in your path. You must trust the process. Your hard work and determination will be rewarded.

Whether you are a company owner, marketer or a student-athlete, sometimes it feels as if the number of tasks on your to-do list outweigh the time you have. If you find yourself lacking the time to successfully tackle your marketing to-do list, contact the expert team at Foster Marketing at 337-235-1848. We have been a successful addition to many marketing teams in our more than 37 years of business.

Beau Robinson is an intern in Foster Marketing’s Louisiana office and a student-athlete at UL.

A message from Beau: Once a student athlete’s four years of eligibility are finished, they begin to look for something else to spend their efforts on. Contrary to popular stereotypes about student-athletes, much of that energy gets transferred into their careers. All the lessons that student-athletes learn in their collegiate experience make them perfect candidates for the workforce.