How can the regular practice of sports help you become a more successful MBA student and how do you find or make the time?

Time management is one of the most difficult challenges on a full-time MBA journey. You need to have time for classes, assignments, group work, and exams. Days are short, and nights go by even faster – and good luck getting enough sleep! So, as a student, how can you make the time to practice sports while studying? And why is this important?

Juan Carrillo and Kasperi Isoaho – climbing wall

As described by fellow classmate, Diego Barrientos, “It is common for an MBA student to be loaded with mental stress, so sport is a catalyst that helps me clear my mind. And as I am learning and developing more as a student in the MBA, I also challenge myself every day at the gym. Achieving one more repetition or more weight is my way to growth.”

Diego Barrientos at IMD’s gym

I have to say I agree. But how do we find the time? My personal tip: make things easy for yourself. Prepare your clothes the night before, set the alarm, and try to put your phone far from you. And travel lightly; the IMD gym has everything you need.

Living in Lausanne also allows you to practice every sport you can imagine. You can run by the peaceful Lac Léman (Lake Geneva), practice football in the Parc de Milan, or even go skiing in Les Paccots, which is less than an hour away by train.

Isabelle Hoorn, Luca Menghini, Raul Cohen, Jasper Schakel, Aalderik Baud, Stephanie Vetsch and Pierre-Jean Jacquet . skiing at Les Paccots
Arthur de Bonis, Juan Carrillo, Diego Barrientos, Eduard Pericas, Musaad Alkadi and Faisal Alkhalaf – football in Parc de Milan

Here are some benefits of physical activity that complement the MBA experience:

  1. Keeps your body strong: More than just reps, exercise can help lower blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and blood pressure. It improves your immune system, preventing you from getting sick (and missing classes!)
  2. Better mental health: When we exercise, we release endorphins, which are chemical signals in the brain that promote feelings of well-being, reduce stress and anxiety, and enable you to focus and concentrate.
  3. Time management skills: After practicing a sport, you become more disciplined, which could help you to better manage every aspect of your life. If you are the person that always shows up, it demonstrates perseverance and resilience and will get you closer to your academic and professional objectives. 
  4. Social benefits: It will boost your leadership and teamworking skills and help you get to know classmates who share your interests. You could find a different sense of belonging in this new environment and continue developing life-lasting friendships. 

However, if eSports are more your thing, a recent study by Neuroscientist Daphne Bavelier has published research proving that practicing video games, for example, Fifa 23, could help with memory, attention, motor, and strategic planning skills, as well as improve your eyesight!


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