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Things I have taken from sport to the workplace

25 May 2021 by Ziggy de Boe Agnew
From sport to the workplace

​Like a lot of young athletes growing up in Ireland, I had huge dreams and ambitions to one day become a professional sportsperson. All my time growing up was spent playing sports, weekends filled with a variety of matches or training: Rugby, Soccer, Hockey, Golf, Tennis, I tried them all.

Eventually, you only have so much time in a weekend and things begin to clash, so a natural path is set out to what sports you want to play most. For me, it was hockey and golf, a great mix of one team sport and one individual. It gave me a great perspective on all aspects of my sporting ventures.

Although I was probably a better hockey player than I was a golfer, it was the idea of being a professional golfer that really enticed me. A professional career in hockey is not much of a viable option here in Ireland so I decided that more of my time will be put into golf.

I was dreaming big, putting in long hours on the weekend telling myself it’ll all be worth it, and I will be the one that makes it. I was a really good golfer, playing off scratch at one stage, but you quickly realise although you might be a really good golfer you just don’t have enough to get to where you want to. Those long weekends alone just aren’t as fun anymore so naturally, that dream faded and with it, a more competitive drive to my hockey grew.

My dad had played for Ireland in hockey so most of my time growing up was spent on the side lines with him and a stick in hand, as well as that the team aspect became much more desirable to me. I would go on to represent Leinster and Ireland up until under 21s but soon realised I was not willing to try and reach that next level, as only an amateur sport in Ireland I decided that for me travel and career were what I would be pursuing next. It is a difficult decision that a lot of athletes in Ireland probably have to make, that without the financial benefits of their chosen sport they must choose a career over their sport.

I don’t look back on any of this with regret, I really enjoyed all those days playing sports and had some of my best days with teammates winning trophies, travelling to play against some of the best in the world, and getting to learn a lot about myself. I still play now and compete with many friends who have gone on to play with Ireland, but for me, club level is enough.

Now that I am in the early stages of my career, I am now understanding the benefits that playing all these sports have had for me. You are constantly learning all these different techniques to overcome an obstacle and that has created a natural progression for me now on both a personal and professional level. I can constantly lean on different times in my sporting career that I have succeeded or failed, to now help me make important choices in my day to day knowing that I have gone through something familiar.

Sport really gave me a platform to learn how to work hard towards an end goal, letting me grow in confidence and excel at working well as part of a team. In hockey, you learn that in a high-performing team, you need the collective buy-in of all members but as an individual, it is up to you to be at your best when it matters to succeed. If you can create an environment where everyone can share this mentality you will have every chance of doing well.

Playing golf taught me that sometimes to succeed you can only rely on yourself, it really is a sport of what you get out of it is what you put in. From planning to execution, you quickly find out what works for you and what it’ll take to get to your desired level, not all days will be good, but it is important to give the right effort to each task.

Playing sport has given me a greater insight into what we are trying to achieve here in Mason Alexander and MA Sports. That with the right support and methods an athlete can achieve just as much in a career away from the field as they can on it. The athletes we have worked with have experiences that are invaluable to what they can bring to the workplace and bring ideas that can only be created from years doing something at an elite level, bringing 100% to the table every day as only they have been trained to do.

From team perspectives, to what it takes as an individual I have seen people who I have competed against or played alongside who have gone on to the pinnacle of their sport, whether playing in the Olympics or turning professional and winning as a golfer I have gained invaluable insight to how they have gotten there. Having tried it all myself I have been in that position where hard decisions have had to be made, success or failure come and go but all of these have been lessons learned which now can be put towards what I want to achieve in my career and here with MA Sports.

We really believe what we are doing here with MA Sports is an important initiative for any athlete looking at their next career move. If you are thinking of a career change, assessing your options, or need any advice on what your next steps should be please feel free to reach out at the below.

Want to talk about MA Sports? Contact: z.deboe@masonalexander.ie

MA Sports