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Could team sport be the key to confidence?
The women’s Euros 2022 has finally put women’s football in the spotlight. The Lionesses are having a moment, with mainstream media covering every game and the BBC even pausing the ten o’clock news for the first time ever last week to show extra time of the quarter-finals.
Tonight, they go head-to-head against Sweden in the semi-final, battling it out for a place in the final.
There’s no doubt that the Lionesses have inspired millions of sports fans across the globe – and, interestingly, a new Visa study researching female entrepreneurs across Europe has revealed that those who play a team sport, like football or netball, have more confidence, better resilience, and improved mental wellbeing.
“The link between physical activity and physical, mental, and social wellbeing has long been established. Now, our research shines a spotlight on the link between team sports and business success for many women entrepreneurs.” Mandy Lamb, Managing Director of UK Visa says.
So, how is team sport inspiring women?
The findings revealed that those who play team sports were generally more positive, confident and resilient in business. Case in point: 75% of women businesswomen surveyed who play sport say it’s had a positive impact on their business life.
Researchers conducting the findings believe this is because you develop the same key skills in sport, such as stress management and confidence, as in business. Among those surveyed, 50% said sport helped them manage stress, tiredness or being overworked.
On top of that, one in three also say that they gain confidence from team sports, which they then take into their work life.
Other key skills which span both sport and work included adapting to change and communication.
The research revealed that one of the key barriers to women starting their own businesses is a lack of confidence. One way to boost confidence? Taking up a team sport.
Former England footballer, Karen Carney MBE, shares that seeing how transferrable skills are across sport and business was a big eye-opener for her. “Women are a driving force for small business and power economies around the world,” she shares. “For many women who play team sports like football, their working lives benefit, too.”
Of course, taking up a team sport isn’t crucial for business success, but it is clear that many female entrepreneurs who do take up team sport see the benefits beyond the pitch.