It is well known that networking is the key to social status and career progression. Networking Through Sport is a great way to achieve either or both of these goals.
Good networking is in itself a highly competitive art. Here are some tips to ensure your success:
Choose your best sport
As a Surrey resident you are of course excellent at every sport, but for the best networking results you need to choose your best sport to gain the maximum possible respect of your peers.
Before making your selection, consider all of the Surrey Sports and identify which is your best. You may consider these Surrey Sports: Cricket, Cycling, Hockey, Horse Riding, Iron Man / Woman Events, Lacrosse, Netball, Polo, Rowing, Rugby Union, Spin Classes and Triathlons.
Choose a popular sport
Ever since the 2012 Olympics, Cycling has become the most popular Sports Networking activity for men and has replaced the more traditional game of Squash.
Cycling is increasingly popular with women Sports Networkers, although Tennis (seasonal) and Spin Classes (all-year and all-weather) are currently still the most popular and will yield the most connections.
How you cycle-network also matters and there are many options for you to consider. To achieve a ‘high visibility to expended effort’ ratio we recommend intra-Surrey weekend morning circuits with your peers (Company Director entry level preferred), whilst for longer lasting social relationships, endurance routes across the UK and into Europe are best.
Make sure you look good
Branded lifestyle clothing or ‘athleisurewear’ is a must for Tennis.
In cycling, Sports Networkers must look professional from head to toe.
You can achieve a professional look for £1,100 but then why would you spend so little?
Drop that loser mentality and splash at least £3k on cutting edge shoes, shorts and shirt which will give you those all-important performance margins that make the difference in any sport.
Buy expensive equipment
The dominant Sports Networker will also have outrageously expensive equipment.
In cycling any bike costing less than £4k will reveal your also-ran status.
In Tennis, the Pro-Nett Graphite and Kevlar tennis racket (available at Furst Sports for £2100) is perfect to identify you as a prominent Networker and will attract your peers.
You should also buy a range of unnecessary electronic accessories, giving you valuable inspiration for conversation and bragging opportunities with your fellow Networkers (although this will of course wear you down, thus negating the margins that you were trying to gain with your cutting-edge clothing). The more you buy and with the right style, everyone will want to know you and this is a sure-fire investment in your future success.
Lead without others realising
The Alpha male / female is a natural leader, but when everyone in Surrey believes that they are dominant, the true Alpha has that ability to subvert and control without others realising.
For example, when cycling make sure that you choose the circuit route, the day to meet, the pace, etc… and be sure to undermine others suggestions with a well chosen phrase, such as: “We could take that route for an easier life or we could … [insert your idea]“.
Group Size matters
Lastly and most importantly, remember that the size of your network group matters enormously. Your optimum group size should number 10-20 members.
Any less than 10 members means that you have become ‘minor league’ in networking circles. Any more than 20 makes it harder to remember which boastful, over-inflated story you have told to which member, so you should nurture a select and manageable networking clique.
Networking Through Sport is the essential 21st century leadership skill. Practice wisely and it will yield the benefits you crave.
Words by Brad Newdance – Sports Networking Champion for Furst Ditton