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From being a pitcher for my collegiate softball team, to being an avid beach volleyball player, the concept of team has been rooted in the fabric of my character from a very young age.

Whether on a softball field or a volleyball court, I have found that the lessons I’ve learned through teamwork in sports are applicable to a creative campaign agency and all aspects of my life.

As a designer at Rizco, I’ve learned that there is a direct correlation between being a member of a creative team and being an athlete on a sports team. Teamwork is vital to our company’s success. We have a “work hard, play hard, all-in” mentality that requires collaboration among everyone in our tight-knit agency.

Teamwork on and off the field

While there are so many lessons that I’ve learned through sports, here are the top four that influence my role within Rizco’s creative team.

1. Your mindset determines your success.

There is a widely used saying that sports are 90% mental and 10% physical. Throughout my athletic career, I absolutely found that my mental outlook played a huge factor in my performance. It’s so important to truly believe in your abilities, have confidence in yourself, and be your own biggest fan. As a pitcher, I would envision myself striking out the opponent at the plate, and as a batter I would visualize myself hitting a line drive while taking my practice swings in the on-deck circle. Needless to say, I was mentally setting myself up for success before the next play happened.

In a similar way, the success of my creative work requires a positive mindset. I produce my best work when I’m invested in the design direction and feel confident that what I’m creating will resonate with my internal team and the client. I trust my instincts as a professional and make sure that I’m actively finding solutions, generating ideas, and observing each challenge at different angles to tackle creative problems effectively.

2. Master the skills that require zero talent.

There are aspects of sports and professional life that do not require any level of training, coaching, or talent. Each person has the ability to better themselves by mastering these winning traits: give your best effort, be on time, have a strong work ethic, be coachable, have a positive attitude, go above and beyond what is asked of you, be passionate, show up prepared, and be open-minded.

3. Invest time in perfecting your craft.

As an athlete, the most important investment is your time in the form of countless hours spent developing and growing your skills. The motto that best describes my approach has always been, “Don’t practice until you get it right, practice until you can’t get it wrong.” Over the course of my 15-year softball career, I devoted an incredible amount of time to pitching lessons, hitting lessons, team practices, and anything else I could possibly do on my own to advance myself in the sport.

As a designer in a rapidly evolving field, I’ve learned that creative work involves an equal commitment to constantly learning and bettering my craft. Whether that means practicing new skills, reading articles, watching tutorials, or taking a class, there is always something that can be done as a form of professional development. At Rizco, we coined these instances as R.E.M. (Rizco Educational Moments) because the more that we improve upon and expand our knowledge collectively as a team, the better the services we can provide to our clients.

4. Embrace leadership opportunities.

The roles I’ve had as a team captain have taught me to be someone who leads by example — humble in wins and graceful in losses, while always striving to encourage and motivate my teammates. These are skills that cross over into my role as a designer, where I embrace taking ownership of my projects while working collaboratively as a member of our creative team. I aspire to be a leader within our agency who is uplifting and supportive of my co-workers in every step of the creative process. Whether you are on or off the field, I hope you will be inspired to do the same.