Four reasons why athletes and DBA are a perfect fit

Mantissa College-JulianHaytham
Social Post-Determined businessman in suit and boxing gloves

Determined businessman in suit and boxing gloves

What do world heavyweight boxing champion Wladimir Klitschko and retired NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal have in common aside from being extraordinary athletes, that is? They both have doctoral degrees, the former in sports science and the latter in education.

They are hardly alone. Joining them in this accomplished feat are a number of other scholar athletes, including Wladimir Klitschko’s brother, fellow boxer Vitali Klitschko who has a doctoral degree in sports science, legendary hockey goaltender Ken Dryden who has a doctoral degree in history, professional football Hall of Famer Alan Page who has a doctoral degree in law, world ranked tennis player Mikhail “Colonel” Youzhny who has a doctoral degree in philosophy and former Major League Baseball pitcher “Iron Mike” Marshall who has a doctoral degree in kinesiology.

While upper level academics and extreme athletes are often grouped into separate stereotypes, the reality is that many people are uniquely suited for both. Read on for a summary of four reasons why athletes and studying a DBA make smart sense.

1. Both require endurance, technique and good coaching.

The road to becoming an elite athlete is a marathon and not a sprint. Even as it turns out for sprinters. Accustomed to putting in long hours of training, athletes build endurance that is a quality which comes in very handy during lengthy doctoral studies. However, they do not do it alone. Blogger Subir Kumar Mandal for the Karolinska Institutet Career Blog said “Just like athletes, DBA students need someone to tell them how to optimise their work, increase skills proficiency and maintain self-motivation and confidence. Coaching can help DBA students achieve top performance, increase their endurance and sustain fewer injuries.” The takeaway from this is that in learning to train on tracks and in swimming pools, athletes also learn to train for academia.

2. They do not quit even when they feel like it.

Babe Ruth once said “every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” While others might have perceived strikes as setbacks and thrown in the towel, he stuck with it and went down in history for it. The same applies for athletes and DBA students alike. Particularly when the road is long, there is rarely a straight road to success. Everyone feels like quitting at one point or another. The ability to persevere despite roadblocks, obstacles, detours and other challenges can make all the difference.

3. One can pick up where the other leaves off.

While some elite athletes make it for decades in the intensely competitive professional sphere, the journey is blindingly brief for the vast majority. What does a professional athlete do after retiring at a young age? After all, most athletes are not exactly the type to kick back and rest on their laurels. For many athletes, a DBA is a worthy next step for their attention and efforts. Many athletes also choose to pursue advanced degrees in subjects related to their athletic pursuits, such as sport science, kinesiology, and education. DBA studies gives athletes a purpose but DBA studies also gives athletes something more. In an ESPN article, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar points out that many professional athletes suffer from a serious deficit of money management skills. Having a degree let alone an advanced one offers financial security. 

4. University settings often suit them.

Most student athletes fondly recall their college sporting days. Obtaining a DBA offers athletes the opportunity to keep the collegial vibe going for several years longer. For others, studying a DBA is a perfect counterbalance while training for a sports event. Consider Great Britain's rowing team member Katherine Grainger who was studying for her doctoral degree in homicide while simultaneously training for her fourth Olympics during which she finally clinched an Olympic gold. In explaining her decision to do both at once, Katherine Grainger told Channel 4 News that “I like to challenge myself on the mental side as well and I find the stuff that I am studying fascinating. If I do not have a lot to do, then I can waste time like the best of us. If I have got my doctorate studies to do, rowing to do, training to do and people to speak to then I would get it all done.” While professional athletes and DBA studies may not seem like a natural pairing, the truth is that the two pathways are although very different in nature surprisingly well aligned. Katherine Grainger asserts that “in some ways I probably work or row at the extreme end of human behaviour anyway and there are some parallels potentially but I consider it very different from sport.”

At Mantissa College, we deliver the Doctor of Business Administration programme (DBA) in collaboration with the L’Institut pour I’Expertise (IPE) Management School Paris, France. The study duration for this programme takes around three (3) to five (5) years to complete with 100% assignment, no examination.

Click here to Join our DBA Trial Class on the (3rd October 2020) from 10am-12pm at Mantissa College, Malaysia.

Also, we are giving out up to 30% worth of scholarship and rebate for applicants applying for the 2020 intake.

Documents needed
i) Scan copy of your Master Certificate  AND ii) Scan copy of your Master Transcripts 

To apply for the programme, please provide us with the required documents to or Click Here to Submit your documents

More Articles: you may also like to read up on 

Leave a Comment