Woman playing lacrosse

Mikey Meagher playing lacrosse during her days at the University of Florida

As a female athlete, I’ve experienced firsthand the transformative power of sports. My journey in lacrosse, from a young girl in 3rd grade to a collegiate player at the University of Florida, has been instrumental in shaping the person I am today. More than just a physical activity, sports have provided me with a blueprint for success that extends far beyond the field and into the professional realm. While my journey in lacrosse has been personal, the values and skills cultivated through sports are universally applicable and can inspire and empower women from all walks of life.

Being a female athlete is one of my most significant experiences. Lacrosse was not just a game for me; it was a pathway to understanding my strengths and weaknesses, both physically and mentally. Every practice, game, and season was an opportunity to set new goals, big or small, and strive to achieve them. This relentless pursuit of excellence taught me the importance of discipline, resilience, and self-reliance.

You don’t have to be a team captain to understand the importance of leadership. My experience taught me that leadership comes in many forms, such as leading by example and vocal encouragement. These lessons are invaluable in the workplace, where effective leadership can take shape through mentorship, initiative, and the ability to inspire and motivate colleagues.

One of the most beautiful aspects of women’s sports is the camaraderie that develops among teammates. Throughout my lacrosse years, I forged some of my life’s most vital and meaningful friendships. These relationships were built on mutual respect, shared goals, and a deep understanding of each other’s struggles and triumphs. Teamwork became second nature as we learned to support one another on and off the field, celebrating our victories and comforting each other in defeat. The principles of teamwork in sports are not exclusive to athletes and can be applied in any professional setting. The ability to work collaboratively, communicate effectively, and support your colleagues is crucial in building strong and cohesive teams in the office.

Women on a field in lacrosse gear tapping their lacrosse sticks in camaraderie

Mikey and her teammates on the field during a game

Competitiveness is often seen as a cutthroat trait, but in women’s sports, it’s about striving for excellence while maintaining integrity and respect for your opponents and teammates. I learned that being competitive doesn’t mean sacrificing friendships; in fact, it can strengthen them. It’s about pushing each other to be the best versions of ourselves and recognizing that our individual successes contribute to the team’s success. While I may not have actively realized this at the time, the competitive nature of sports is not about winning at all costs but about continuous improvement. This mindset is equally important in the workplace, where women can channel their competitive spirit into driving innovation, exceeding performance goals, and pushing for personal and professional growth.

Playing lacrosse exposed me to the delicate balance between being strong and compassionate. This balance is essential in the workplace, where women often struggle to assert themselves while maintaining positive relationships. This lesson of playing a woman’s sport has helped me realize I want to be someone who leads with confidence and empathy, where I can create a more inclusive and supportive work environment.

The lessons learned through sports extend far beyond the playing field. As a woman, I’ve realized the importance of reaching back and helping other women succeed, especially in environments where gender equality is still a work in progress. The teamwork, leadership, and perseverance cultivated in sports provide a strong foundation for women to navigate and excel in various aspects of life, including the workplace. Participating in sports is not the only way to develop resilience and a sense of empowerment. The stories of female athletes overcoming obstacles, breaking records, and defying stereotypes can inspire all women to face challenges with courage and determination. These narratives remind us that with hard work, perseverance, and a supportive community, women can achieve great things in any field of work.

My journey in lacrosse has been transformative, and my hope is that more women and girls continue to have the opportunity to experience the life-changing benefits of participating in sports. While I understand not every woman may have the opportunity to be an athlete, the values and lessons of women’s sports are universal. They provide a scouting report for success that transcends the playing field and resonates in the professional world. By embracing these principles, all women can cultivate leadership, teamwork, competitiveness, and resilience, paving the way for a more equitable and empowering future in the workplace and beyond!

Mikey Meagher
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