How Risk in Sports & Business Impacts Our Companies

Sports have long been plagued by injuries and similar incidents, but we tend to associate these mishaps with higher profile sports like football and basketball.

Pickleball has seen a recent rise into popularity, and with this increase in viewership came a plethora of injuries from the athletes involved.

A recent New York Times article details the ferocity of the sport and how pickleball is not a sport for the weak.

“During a recent pickleball match, Nish Nadaraja, 50, made a quick lunge for the ball. It was just a few feet away, but Mr. Nadaraja, an entrepreneur in Northern California, said he felt his feet tangle and he began falling to the pavement “in slow motion.” He still hoped to brace himself with his knees and make a play with his paddle.

Nope. “I face-planted,” he said.

The pain was mild and Mr. Nadaraja played through it, although his wife (and doubles opponent) thought he should have rested. “I did need antibiotics,” he conceded.

“Achilles’ strains or tears, shoulder problems, rotator cuff injuries, lower back problems such as disc injuries, muscle strains,” said Noe Sariban, a pickleball instructor, former pro player and physical therapist who markets himself as the Pickleball Doctor. And, of course, there’s lateral epicondylitis, commonly known as tennis elbow — now pickleball elbow.

“Pickleball kind of sounds like a game with a silly name, but it’s a sport,” Mr. Sariban said. “It’s no bocce ball.”

The number of injuries “grew rapidly” from 2010 to 2019, according to an analysis of emergency-room visits related to pickleball published last year in the journal Injury Epidemiology. The article focused on injuries among people over 60 because players in that demographic accounted for 85 percent of the visits, the study found. The most common injuries were sprains, strains and fractures.”

Read the rest of this article here.

Often lumped in with “country club” sports, pickleball is not unusually considered a high risk sport, but recent research suggests otherwise.

What is most interesting here about pickleball and the risk the athletes are facing is the idea of risk that exists within most endeavors, including both sports and business.

The sport of pickleball demonstrates how risk exists everywhere, even in circumstances where perceived risk is low.

Business functions the same way, and even more so now that we are so heavily reliant on technology and social media to keep our businesses running smoothly.

Both of these facets of business carry risk, so it is extremely important for businesses to be prepared and account for any issues that may arise.

Pickleball players have to be just as careful on the field as football players do. Mirror this mentality in your business, and take the necessary precautions when implementing new software or a new aspect of your business strategy.

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