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How Sports Education Brings Forth Entrepreneurial Qualities These qualities cannot be taught through lectures. They can only be experienced and internalized.

By Saumil Majmudar

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Becoming an entrepreneur is often easier than staying an entrepreneur. Many entrepreneurs drop out in the 1st couple of years after finding that the going is tougher than they thought it would be.

The broad range of entrepreneurial qualities fall in the following categories:

  1. Vision: Spotting a gap in the market. Articulating a compelling vision. Getting others (team members, customers and investors) to believe in the vision.
  2. Discipline: Staying with the vision in spite of difficulties.Executing on various aspects of the business (new product development, sales, marketing, delivery, collections etc). Every day.
  3. Responsiveness: Adjusting the vision and product features based on feedback from the market (customers/team/investors)

These qualities cannot be taught through lectures. They can only be experienced and internalised.

Sports Education gives a great, fun way of developing these entrepreneurial qualities. Here's how:

Vision:

Spotting the gap in the market:

  • As you play more people, you start seeing a range of movements and strategies. Based on the wide range, you start developing a mental model that helps you predict your next opponent's moves. Hence, you get better at spotting the gap.
  • When you play a game, you have to predict what your opponent is going to do. And then make a move by spotting a gap in your opponent's defence/strategy. In the beginning, you might fail at this but over time, you start getting better at spotting the gaps by predicting the opponent's movement and strategy.

Articulating a compelling vision:

  • If you believe in your strategy, you will articulate why that strategy makes sense to the rest of your team. You will fail occasionally at articulating your vision and that will help you do it better the next time…especially if you lost!

Getting others to believe in the vision:

  • During play, you realise that the Idea & therefore the team has to win! You don't always have to get the accolades.
  • While playing, you learn that not everyone takes your word for it. And you realise that the messenger is as important as the message! Sometimes, you have to get others to articulate your vision.
  • Sometimes, you can convince people with logic. Sometimes, with your enthusiasm and passion. Sometimes, with both.

Discipline:

  • During play, you realise that the only way you get better is through practice. And disciplined practice. Build on what is working. Fix what is not working. Go out and try it in a game. Repeat.
  • Practice irrespective of rain, cold, heat…whatever.
  • Maintain a balance between play and education.
  • Maintain a balance between developing your fitness, your skills and your strategies.
  • You also notice that your competitors and your team members get better through practice while you fall behind if you don't practice enough.

Responsiveness:

  • You go into a game with a strategy. And find that it is failing in the beginning. Your opponents are thrashing you. A change is required. Else the game will be over very soon. No time for market research and thinking through stuff. Tweak your plans. See what works. Do more of that. If it doesn't, try something else. If you don't, you are out.
  • You have practised in a certain environment (playing surface, equipment, weather, noise levels, atmosphere etc). And you have to play in a different environment now. You have to respond to this quickly. And adapt.
  • You learn quickly that it is not survival of the fittest. But survival of the fastest to adapt!

What does Sports Education do to enable such experiences?

  1. Inclusive experiences: Get everyone to play. Not just the talented folks.
  2. Age-appropriate& sufficient quantity of playing equipment: To help provide positive sporting experiences that engages everyone as per their age.
  3. Structured lesson plans: Planned curriculum that ensures everyone develops the right fitness & skills.
  4. Assessments: Individual assessment of sports skills & fitness so that each person can improve based on their current status on various parameters.
  5. 5.Makes the best use of available space & time: Lesson plans that embrace the space & time constraints.

Entrepreneurs play with ideas. Let's develop more entrepreneurs through play! J

Saumil Majmudar

Co-Founder & CEO at EduSports

Saumil Majmudar is the Co-founder, CEO and MD of EduSports - India's first and largest school sports enterprise. Saumil is also the Founder-Director of SportzVillage. Saumil has been an entrepreneur since 1998.

Over the last seven years, in his role at EduSports, Saumil has personally engaged with over 20,000 children, 5,000 parents and more than 100 schools in the sports context. Saumil believes that schools are the ideal partners for creating a generation of "Champions in Life" that is, healthier and fitter children equipped with key life-skills. In his role of CEO at EduSports, he has been working with schools, federations, policy-makers and sponsors towards creating more quality opportunities for children to experience the magic of sport. Saumil represented EduSports on India’s leading social activism platform on television – Aamir Khan’s Satyamev Jayate Sports episode – where EduSports was chosen as the sustainable and scalable model of getting children to play. He has also received the CII Emerging Entrepreneur Award and has been recognized as one of the “Top 50 Leaders influencing Education” by Education World.

 

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