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Study Reveals This Sport is the Most Successful at Work

It’s been previously reported that playing a sport can increase your chances of landing a job (especially when it’s a team-based role) as it shows you possess a variety of transferable skills. But which sport is likely to bring you the most success?

Interested in finding out, we surveyed 200 companies on their most recent hires and found that 68% of successful candidates mentioned playing a sport on their CV. After keeping a tally of which sport each candidate mentioned, we can now reveal which sport is most likely to lead to success when job hunting.

Which sport is most common among recent hires?

Tennis - 21%

At the top of the list is tennis with 21% of recent hires mentioning this sport on their CV! Tennis has many skills that are transferable such as self-control, tactical thinking and concentration.

Golf - 17%

Following behind in second place is Golf, with 17% of successful participants playing this sport. Golf presents itself with many transferable skills in the office such as honesty and responsibility! With there being no referees in this sport, players are responsible for keeping score.

Boxing - 14%

In third place is boxing (14%). From learning how to take a hit and getting back up, to showing that practice and preparation go a long way, there are many skills that boxing can teach that translates over into the workplace.

Rugby - 12%

Rugby places in fourth with 12% of successful candidates playing this sport. Rugby is known for complex plays and rules, so players must be able to adapt quickly. They must be able to think on their feet, reassess, and change plans in an instant. Rugby players must also learn to be resilient and develop a way of coping with setbacks, whether that is losing a match or coming back to fitness following an injury.

Netball - 11%

Playing netball was on the CV of 11% of recent hires. Netball requires a player to work with their team to get the ball down the court, so having it on your CV could be eye-catching to potential hiring managers. It also shows players are committed and are willing to make personal sacrifices, as it requires a lot of training.

Basketball - 9%

Basketball teaches its players that if they want to excel at something, hard work is the only way. Perfecting jump shots, free throws and layups takes practice which is the same when it comes to the workplace - there are no shortcuts. It is these traits hiring managers most likely saw as 9% of those hired mentioned playing basketball on their CV.

Football - 7%

Those who play football were the seventh most hired of all sports players (7%). This could be due to the fact that football shows you possess skills like discipline and a solid teamwork ethic. Showing up for practice on time, following match rules, and learning the plays are all key to success on the football field, much like in the office.

Cricket - 5%

Coming in at eighth place are cricket players with 5% of those employed playing this sport. There are many skills that come from playing cricket which include patience and endurance - especially when playing test matches, as they can last up to five days!

Hockey - 3%

The ninth most played sport among new hires was hockey (3%). Known for having a strict code of ethics that players must follow, this teaches humility and respect as well as communication between the coach and players. There are many skills this sport lends itself to in the working world.

Squash - 1%

Last on the list are squash players (1%). Squash requires you to be highly tactical and make decisions at a fast pace, which are both ideal traits to deal with the vast challenges the work environment brings.

Why do sports help with job success?

Interested in delving deeper and finding out why playing sports helps with job success, we also surveyed the 200 companies. Those surveyed were asked for the appeal of potential candidates playing sports and the top five answers were that it shows they have:

  • A team-oriented approach to work (78%)
  • Good communication skills (63%)
  • Strategic planning skills (59%)
  • Good time-management skills (56%)
  • A competitive streak (51%)


To see which sports are the most common across successful job candidates looked at the CVs of recent hires across 200 different companies to see which were the most commonly mentioned. The hiring managers of each company were also asked what potential skills they believe that someone playing a sport presents them.

Feature image credit: LightField Studios / Shutterstock