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Mathias Kasapidis, former handball player, at the sports academy zurich
MATHIAS KASAPIDIS, FORMER HANDBALL PLAYER
«Use your experience from elite sport!»
06 / 2021
After finishing my sports career, I took over the management of the club of my last handball station, GC Amicitia Zurich, for one year. After a subsequent six-month stint at a marketing agency, the door opened at the end of 2020 for the position at the Sport Academy Zurich.
I came to this position because I was already able to make important contacts at the first Athletes Day, including Dave Heiniger. We remained in sporadic exchange about the developments of the Athletes Network. One day I called Dave to hear his opinion about a job offer I had received. In an open and honest conversation, Dave gave me his perspective.
Coincidentally, Dave also received the job advertisement for the Sport Academy Zurich that very day and recommended that I look at the opportunity. My dossier was then submitted to the SAZ by Athletes Network and, after various interviews and an assessment, the job worked out.
A new challenge presented itself to me, as a position in the education sector was completely new to me, as my part-time career had tended to be in the commercial sector.
And yet, during the job interviews with the SAZ, it became clear that the people in charge were convinced by the skills I had learned in the professional world, but above all by my personal values and skills, which I had also largely taken from the school of life in top-class sport.
When I talk about this “school of life in elite sport”, I mean the athletes’ mindset. For me, these are values like:
- Commitment & Passion
- Structure and discipline
- and, above all, good teamwork.
I would recommend athletes who want to take this step into a post-sport career to focus on their strengths and the skills they have learned in sport, not on their lack of practice and experience. You have many qualities that some other candidates do not have. This will open the right doors for you!
For companies that are considering hiring athletes, I would like to suggest that athletes learn during their sports career to be committed and disciplined, to have the right focus and what it means to work with a team, regardless of whether their past is in individual or team sports. The valuable mindset of an athlete is unique and will convince you as an entrepreneur.