The Process: How time coaching peewee hockey and a career in consulting overlap

Last month, Ignite sponsored the Wisconsin Rapids Peewee hockey team at their final tournament of the season. If you are familiar with Ignite you may be thinking “Wisconsin? Hockey? That seems like an odd choice for the Ignite I know to sponsor.”  It just so happens that one of our consultants is a coach for that team. It also just so happens that the coach is myself.

Over the past two seasons I have coached the Wisconsin Rapids Peewee hockey team. I have played hockey my entire life and after helping out at the occasional training camp, decided to get certified and help coach a team. Throughout my time coaching and consulting, the similarities became very evident.

Those who have found themselves attending youth sporting events would be hard pressed to argue with the following description of the experience: organized chaos. You will notice endless commotion, yelling, multiple events going on at once, travel, timing, etc. This really doesn’t differ much from the consulting world. Many pieces constantly in motion, in a grand attempt to achieve the goal at hand.

Both youth sports and consulting require the use of processes to successfully pull off. No one wants angry parents or clients.

  • It all starts with assessment and planning. Without knowing what your team is working with as far as skill, mentality, or goals, it is difficult to know how you will achieve what is desired.

  • Once you gather as much information as possible you can begin to lay out a road map for success. Timelines, milestones, and what needs to be done to continue to progress.

  • Additionally, these goals are nothing without buy-in. Be it a player, parents, employees, or executives, a plan without buy-in is a plan that will fail. Building a foundation of trust by starting with small “wins” can get your foot in the door to future buy-in and a path to success with less resistance.

  • No matter how much planning you do, in both disciplines, everything does not always go as planned. The ability to recognize adjustments are needed and to implement those adjustments can make a world of difference. Hall of Fame hockey player Paul Coffey once said, “Nobody's a natural. You work hard to get good and then work to get better. It's hard to stay on top.” Our ability to continuously adjust and improve is what makes us become and stay successful.

Here at Ignite we aim to continue our involvement in and sponsorship of youth sports. We believe it not only is a way to give back and help improve the youth in our communities, but also to make us better consultants.

To follow up on the result of the tournament; the Wisconsin Rapids Peewee team challenged itself by playing in a higher level tournament than normal. We came away with only one win from the weekend.

Time for more adjustments!