Collapse or Comeback? Team Canada settles for silver.

History is always written by the winners.

Just ask the Russians, who came back from a three goal deficit to score five goals in the third period to defeat the Canadian junior hockey team in Buffalo.

Was it a collapse or a comeback? The Canadians collapsed (due to poor management, er, coaching). The Russians focused on putting the puck in the net, and staged an impressive comeback. It was both – a collapse and a comeback.

My brother Mark, the talented chiropractor and hockey expert who probably could have played in the NHL had it not been for a little priority called education, offered his observations on what he would have done as coach:

  • Called a time-out after the first Russian goal, to settle his players down and get them focused on offense.
  • Be aggressive. Put out the best offensive, hard-hitting line to physically knock the Russians around and interrupt their offense. European players are well known for not liking the physical play, they prefer to use their speed and their sticks, in my opinion.
  • Hit the gas. Keep putting the puck in the net, and focus on winning six to one or ten to one.

Lessons for business:

  • Don’t get complacent. Ever. Keep focusing on externally on your customer, innovating your business model, developing new and valuable products for your customers, developing your employees and building your balance sheet so you can scale up your business.
  • When something bad happens, call a time-out and regroup. Always check the emotional stability and intensity of your team, your customers and your competition. Your biggest competition is complacency.
  • Focus on success and winning. Don’t focus on not losing. Race car drivers are taught to look where they want to go. It’s rule number one in driving for all of us. If you look at the tree, you will drive into the tree. Your hands and feet have been following your eyes for all of your life. Look where you want to go.
  • Learn from everything – success and defeat. It’s more important to study success, because there are probably an infinite number of ways to create defeat.

Congratulations to the young, talented and extremely hard -working Canadian hockey players who played their hearts out in front of a proud and cheering country.

Research shows that bronze medal winners are happier, because they won a medal, compared to silver medal winners, who lost the gold. May the lessons they learned in this tournament be more valuable than the gold medal.

Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved. Phil Symchych

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