A surprising number of CEOs played sports when they were younger. Former Whole Foods CEO Walter Robb was the captain of the Stanford Soccer Team. Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman played varsity squash and lacrosse at Princeton. Even Mark Zuckerberg was a high school fencing star. One Ernst & Young survey found that 96 percent of women in C-suite roles played sports.
After playing professional lacrosse for over 10 years and becoming the founder and COO of HEX, Drew Westervelt knows firsthand that sports can help you get ahead in business.
In fact without sports, HEX, a laundry detergent designed for the type of synthetic fibers athletic apparel is most commonly made from, would not exist today.
"In college all I was ever given was cotton," says Westervelt. "That has changed really rapidly over the growth of a lot of these athleisure brands in the last 10 to 15 years."
As a professional athlete, he found that his normal detergent was not adequately cleaning his new state-of-the-art gear. When there was an outbreak of MRSA in the locker room, he realized that detergents were not keeping up with the needs of today's athletes.