great csr page banner

Why Pro Athletes Make The Best Motivational Speakers

Bryan Bedder / Stringer

As a former professional athlete that now does public speaking, I recently asked myself, "Why do pro athletes make good motivational speakers?"

First, let me qualify that I do not consider myself to be the best, only, or singularly qualified former pro athlete who does keynote speaking, and I write this article with all humility and servitude.

That said, it's become clear to me that there are numerous athletes that have blazed a trail with corporate and public speaking. Researching various speaker bureaus shows the high demand for these icons and the large sums they'll command for their time. High caliber athletes' names are found to be in almost every speaker bureau available.

So what makes a pro athlete so desirable as a motivational speaker?

The answer is quite simple, and revolves around two truths about professional athletes. Pro athletes are some of the most strong-willed individuals that walk this earth. The personal desire to achieve success is second to none. By overcoming the insurmountable odds it takes to become professional (less than .1% of high school athletes will play professionally) an athlete has already set themselves apart as an individual who does whatever it takes to become successful. So much so it becomes innate.

Less than .1% of high school athletes will play professionally

The second reason professional athletes become in-demand speakers is because of their ability to relate to concept of the TEAM. So many organizations and corporations are seeking to build better teams, and professional athletes have learned to live this valuable principle on a daily basis. They're able to coach people in the business and corporate world to not simply get along, but achieve greatness by creating a team that is stronger than the sum of its individual parts. Since day one an athlete does this, and it truly becomes second nature.

So while there are some professional athletes that do not belong behind a microphone, many have the personal motivation and team building ability to share these lessons with others, making for a great motivational speaker.