5 TED Talks About the Sports Industry

TED Talks have continued to enjoy international success for their inspiring and thought-provoking discussions of a huge variety of subjects, from arts and education to charity and sportsmanship.

TED Talks sometimes also form part of academic research for a variety of fields, as they are given by experts with significant experience in their field – including the field of sports management. TED Talks can introduce students of sports management to new methods of thought and practice throughout their career – in addition to intersectionality of different fields – and are well worth the time to watch. Here are five TED Talks about the sports industry.

The Difference Between Winning and Succeeding – John Wooden

John Wooden is one of the most celebrated coaches in western sportsmanship. Before he turned to coaching, he was an American basketball player. His coaching career was hallmarked by ten national NCAA wins at the University of California at Los Angeles. His TED Talk, “The Difference Between Winning and Succeeding,” discusses the mindset of victory and how not every victory is necessarily a success – and how every success need not necessarily be a victory. Wooden passed away in 2010, but his words have had a great impact on the sporting community.

The Rise of Cricket, the Rise of India – Harsha Bhogle

Cricket was originally a British sport that took off in India – a nation that now boasts some of the world’s greatest cricket stars, including Sunil Gavaskar and Mithali Raj. Harsha Bhogle discusses how cricket took off in India and has subsequently been perfected into the intensely physical and competitive sport it is today – and how this sport helped to catapult India onto the world sports stage. Discussing some of India’s greatest players and the multi-billion dollar industry that cricket has become, Bhogle explores the development of modern-day India via the rise of cricket.

My Twelve Pairs of Legs – Aimee Mullin

Aimee Mullins is a model, actress, and athlete that happens to have prosthetic legs. In this inspiring TED Talk, Mullin discusses the intersection of sportsmanship and disability, and how her prosthetic legs fulfill a variety of functions – including ones that make her taller. Her contributions to the realm of prosthetics over the last decade have helped to revolutionize sportsmanship for those who utilize prostheses due to disability or accident, and her challenges to how we think about people who are disabled have charted a new course in how we view sportsmanship and disability.

Special Olympics Let Me Be Myself: a Champion – Matthew Williams

Matthew Williams serves as the ambassador of the Special Olympics and is a celebrated SO champion. In this TED Talk, Williams discusses the intersection of intellectual disabilities such as Down’s Syndrome and MR and championship through sports. Williams eloquently expresses how sports can transform the lives of individuals who participate in the Special Olympics, and how it transformed his own life – not just on the field, but in all aspects of his existence. Another worthwhile watch on the intersection of disability and sportsmanship, this is a must-see for sports management majors.

Why Bother Leaving the House? – Ben Saunders

Ben Saunders is a notable explorer and adventurer. In this TED Talk, he talks about the technological realities of the twenty-first century, and how a huge variety of experiences can be had without ever leaving the house. He argues – convincingly – that no matter how much technology develops, there is no experience you can have via technological tools or virtual reality that will be as fulfilling or stimulating as going out into the world and having them in the wild, and how adventuring away from your living room can transform you for the better.

Each of these TED Talks represent different perspectives and explorations of sportsmanship and intersecting fields – and each are well worth watching for sports management majors and professionals.

Related resource:

50 Most Affordable Selective Colleges for Sports Management