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Business Lessons From My Kid’s Hockey

Now that the hockey season has returned this hockey mom’s thoughts turn to ice time and 6AM visits to the rink and oh no, not really.

The kids take themselves to the rink now and as for me watching their games, leaving at 5AM for the early morning practice before school and so forth, it’s over and this hockey mom has retired her skates.

But that hasn’t stopped me from thinking about the game and some of the business lessons we can take away from those guys on the ice.

For instance:

Just because you might be the best player on the team you can’t win alone.

(This sure resonated loudly when Wayne Gretzky played with the Rangers.)

But I digress. Being a team player doesn’t only apply to those in business that have co-workers in their firm. It applies to just about everyone that works with vendors, has clients and is part of an integrated whole that excels and achieves more when the parts are operating in sync and not going off in all directions.

Sometimes you just have to check’em into the boards. Ok please excuse the hockey talk and for those that don’t know what “checking” means just think about when (if?) you have ever watched a game and saw some 250 lb. guy thrust his shoulder up and over and pummel his opponent into the boards.

Yes, that’s checking and just like in hockey sometimes you have to get tough. Mental toughness is part of the game of business and those that can deploy this toughness at the appropriate times and in the appropriate manner have a better chance of winning the game.

Ya win some, ya lose some. This was a tough lesson when my boys were mini-mites and playing hockey at 5 years old. Losing just wasn’t part of what they signed up for but it was a life lesson learned back then and one that has helped them into adulthood. In business you often lose. Lose the client, lose the relationship, lose the prospect and the most important thing that you can do after you lose is evaluate exactly why it occurred and what you can do to prevent it from happening in the future.

You can hate the coach but heck, they ARE the coach. You don’t always like your boss, your client, your co-worker but as adults we have a responsibility to figure out how we can all play the game successfully. It behooves us to recognize that “like” and simple “appreciation” for another person’s skills and expertise are two different things.

So, hockey. Who would have ever thought that those early morning practice sessions, endless drives to tournaments in Toronto, Philly, DC and more and a few side trips to the hospital would have provided me with business insights, not to mention fodder for a blog post.

So glad the season is starting again.

Go Rangers?!

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