“We’re learning that emotional intelligence is an important ingredient in helping professional athletes live healthy and successful lives”
– National Football League Players Association Executive Director Gene Upshaw
A study of retired NFL players and EQ compares players’ emotional intelligence with life success — including good health, positive relationships, avoiding drug/alcohol use & violence, financial strength, and quality of life. Among the 30 athletes we studied over 60% in the variation of these important factors are predicted by emotional intelligence scores. So there is a massive correlation between high EQ skills and life success.
This is an important study because NFL players are extremely influential as role models – and despite their incredible success in making it to the top of the game, there are so many struggles off the field. We can now pinpoint specific, learnable skills that will make a difference for these guys – for life. While the NFL is a very big, economically driven business, the growing interest in emotional intelligence could be a sign of commitment to the larger impact of the sport in our society.