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In a new study at Washington University in St. Louis, researchers found that playing team sports was a greater predictor of success in a residency program for doctors-in-training than test scores or a good interview.

"Not all of the outstanding students end up being the best doctors," says lead author Richard Chole, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the American Board of Otolaryngology. When researchers noticed that a lot of the doctors-in-training were former athletes, they sent questionnaires to successful residents and indeed found that many good docs shared varsity letters in common.

Dr. Chole says the leadership lessons and social skills you learn from playing team sports can help you become a better worker. "Very good students are usually in the library studying madly to get wonderful scores on tests, but social interaction and maturity are lost on that sometimes," he says. Sure, your ability to throw a deep spiral or seal a last-minute layup matters little when it comes to prepping sales reports--but that doesn't mean your time on the field won't come in handy at your 9-to-5. Here are three ways your sports experience can help you in the workplace. (Want more clutch career tips in your feed? Follow Men's Health on Twitter!)

When You're Forced to Work in a Group
Different people with different roles must work together in order for an office--no matter the size--to succeed, says Steve Edwards, Ph.D., a sports psychologist at Oklahoma State University. It's the same lesson you learned in your high school huddle: Make the right passes for the point. Or, even more broadly, you can't score unless someone passes to you, Edwards adds.

When You Need to Form a Team for a Project
Individual sports require a certain self-examination that can be difficult, says Edwards. (Think: beating yourself up for every last mistake.) But in team sports, you learn to assess people's strengths and weaknesses in addition to your own, he says. The same is important in a work scenario. Building the best possible team starts with being able to figure out who's good at what (writing, analyzing, or speaking in public).

When Someone Screws Up, Big Time
"The kind of people who are successful in team sports are generally the people who have great determination, and are able to concentrate and learn from mistakes," Edwards says. Here's the thing: You may not realize it, but a high school playoff run that ended all too fast showed you how to push through the ups and downs of working with others. (Yes, your kicker missed the game-winning field goal, but you've got to move forward). Being able to handle setbacks that are out of your control while completing a tough task is a skill you can hone in your pickup league.