Winning Attitude on the Field Translates to Career Success

Former high school athletes seen as having more self-confidence and leadership abilities, study finds

FRIDAY, June 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Adults who were elite high school athletes tend to win competitions for top jobs, according to a new study.

The researchers found that people who played a varsity high school sport are viewed as having more self-confidence and leadership skills than those who took part in other high school activities.

Former varsity athletes were also much more likely to be involved in volunteerism and charitable activities, according to the study published online in the Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies.

"Participation in competitive youth sports 'spills over' to occupationally advantageous traits that persist across a person's life," lead researcher Kevin Kniffin, a postdoctoral research associate at Cornell University's Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, said in a university news release.

"In our study of late-career workers, those who earned a varsity letter more than 50 years ago do demonstrate these characteristics more than others -- plus, they donate time and money more frequently than others and possessed great prosocial behavior in their 70s, 80s and 90s," Kniffin said.

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