Hockey – Game With Limited Possession. What Are You Doing When You’re Not in Possession?

 What Hockey can Teach You About Supporting Your Business

What are you doing when you are not actively working in your business? Are you actively working to support your business and anticipating the next move needed? The sport of hockey is a great example of how you can learn to be successful when you are not in direct possession of your business (i.e. not working in your business but rather on it). 

I love hockey! I played the game in college and watch it regularly. (Go MN Wild!) As a hockey player, I know that most of the time you are playing the game you are playing without possession of the puck.  According to a USA Hockey study, which was done at the Salt Lake Olympics and at USA Hockey National Championships, “[it] showed that players touch the puck for a little more than one minute during a 60-minute game. That means how well you play away from the puck will make a big difference in winning or losing a hockey game.” (USA Hockey Magazine)


It amazes me how little time one actually spends in possession of the puck during a hockey game. So learning what to do to support your teammates is key to winning the game. This article not only calls out this amazing statistic, but also provides some helpful tips on what you need to do to be successful. Below I have pulled out the top 2:

1.      Do not spend too much time watching the play, instead move to help create a play.

2.      You have to know where the puck is and have the ability to anticipate the play to support the puck carrier.

These are 2 points on how to be successful while playing hockey and can also help you understand how to set up your business for success. 

For example, Tip #1 is “Do not spend too much time watching the play, instead move to help create a play”. Within your business you do not want to spend all of your time watching what is going on in your business or working in your business. Rather, step back and learn, understand and implement what is needed to make your business successful. One of the best ways to do this is to document the process that you have created to be successful in your business and provide this documentation to your employees so that they can replicate your success. Having a well-documented product or service replication process is key to your business’ ability to be successful without you personally having to be there. Don’t have employees? Creating and documenting a product or service replication process is still very critical for you. It will hold you accountable to producing at a high and consistent level each time. 

Tip #2 – “You have to know where the puck is and have the ability to anticipate the play to support the puck carrier.” When playing hockey you never want to be left vulnerable and have your back to the play. In the same way, you want to make sure you always have a pulse on your business. Create a scorecard of the top numbers that tell the story of your business. Look at these daily or weekly to understand if your business is functioning where it is supposed to be. This scorecard will also give you the flexibility to react to changes within your business before it’s too late. After you get into the habit of using this scorecard, you will also be able to anticipate lows and highs within your business and react accordingly.

Following these two hockey related tips will help you set up your business for success!


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