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From Athlete to Coach: How Sports Shaped My Career as a Marketing Account Manager

September 26, 2023 | Erin Ebert

Life often takes unexpected turns, and in my case, the journey from being an athlete and coach to a Marketing Account Manager has been nothing short of transformative. While it might seem like sports and marketing are worlds apart, the skills and lessons I learned on the field have profoundly influenced my professional life. In my short five months on the job, I’ve already seen so many instances where my experiences as an athlete and coach have helped me excel in my role as a Marketing Account Manager.


Goal-Oriented Mindset

In the world of sports, setting and achieving goals is fundamental. Whether it’s running a faster mile, hitting a certain number of home runs, or improving your shot, athletes constantly strive for improvement. This goal-oriented mindset directly translates to the world of marketing, where setting and achieving objectives is equally essential. As an account manager, I’ve learned to set clear, measurable goals for my team and clients, just as I did as an athlete. This mindset has not only helped me stay focused but also ensured that my marketing campaigns have a clear direction and purpose.


Teamwork and Collaboration

Team sports teach invaluable lessons about teamwork and collaboration. As a former athlete, I understand the significance of working together to achieve a common goal. This experience has been particularly beneficial in my role as an account manager, where cross-functional collaboration is often key to success. Whether it’s coordinating with graphic designers, content creators, or data analysts, my background in sports has taught me how to communicate effectively and leverage the strengths of each team member to achieve optimal results.


Resilience and Adaptability

Sports can be physically and mentally demanding, requiring athletes to bounce back from setbacks and adapt to changing circumstances. This resilience and adaptability are valuable traits in the fast-paced world of marketing. In my career, I’ve faced unexpected challenges and shifts in marketing trends, but my background in sports has helped me remain composed, pivot when necessary, and find innovative solutions to problems.


Leadership Skills

As both an athlete and coach, I’ve had the opportunity to develop leadership skills. Whether I was leading my team on the field or guiding fellow athletes as a coach, I learned how to inspire, motivate, and mentor others. These leadership skills have been indispensable in my role as an  account manager, where I provide guidance, direction, and support to team members in need. 


Time Management and Discipline

Athletes are often required to balance rigorous training schedules, competitions, and academic commitments. This demands excellent time management and discipline. These skills have carried over into my marketing career, where juggling multiple projects, meeting deadlines, and staying organized are essential. My ability to manage time effectively and stay disciplined has greatly contributed to my success in the marketing industry.


The journey from being an athlete and coach to a marketing account manager may seem like a leap, but the skills and lessons learned in the world of sports have been invaluable in my professional life. The goal-oriented mindset, teamwork and collaboration, resilience and adaptability, leadership skills, and time management and discipline acquired through sports have all played a significant role in shaping me into a successful marketing professional. So, whether you’re on the field or in the office, remember that the skills you acquire in one arena can often be transferred to another, helping you excel in unexpected ways.


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