If you have followed my personal blog, you know that I recently started taking adult hockey lessons. Both of my daughters’ play and their program decided this summer to offer Hockey for Hockey moms. The thought being that they would give those of us who spend so many hours at the rink the opportunity to get on the ice ourselves. I have been writing a lot about the process of learning a new sport at 44 on my blog. It struck me though, that there are lessons from this experience that are not just relevant on the personal side. There are some great business lessons to be learned from this process.
- Everything is easier when you are in motion – Ever feel like you want to stop everything you are doing and reassess? Don’t do it. When you stop, you need to restart from scratch. Everything (turning, reorienting, speeding up) is faster and easier when you are in motion already.
- Sometimes you can feel the precise area of your weak spot – So it turns out that backward skating uses a muscle group in my calves that I haven’t used in approximately 23 years. As I tried this, I could feel the actual contracting of this muscle group. This happens in business often as well, where we can pinpoint a precise muscle we need to exercise before we can improve.
- Don’t make judgement until you have put on all that equipment – You know that frustrating moment you have when you are watching someone do something and you know you could do it better? Until you have worn that equipment and been in that moment, you don’t really know if that is the case. I have harshly judged my daughter’s so often when they were on the ice for a missed short or for not showing enough hustle. The world looks different when you are wearing that heavy equipment and looking through a metal cage.
- Hitting the wall isn’t always a bad thing – Stopping is hard. Stopping on ice is really really hard. Stopping in business can be super duper hard. Sometimes though, the wall is placed in the perfect place to make you stop so you can restart in another direction.
- Success cannot come without trust – You know how hard stopping is on hockey skates? It is so hard it brings up two business points. At the start of the class I had no idea even conceptually how to stop. By the end, I conceptually understood the process but wasn’t very good at it (but getting better). The missing link between understanding it and being able to do it? Trust. I see how the mechanics work, but I know that until I trust that that blade will stop me, it won’t work. (Getting there!)
- Sometimes the world is against you, but often they are cheering you on. – A funny thing happened on my way into the rink, all these people grinned at me. Now I walk into that same rink all the time with my daughters and have never had a similar reaction as when I walked in holding my own hockey bag. At first it seemed like people were laughing at me (who do these moms think they are trying to learn hockey?). I soon realized though that it was precisely the opposite, respect, driving these looks.