When it comes to competition, you really cannot do much better than hockey. Hockey is an ultra-competitive sport. In fact, a lot of hockey players are in the game primarily because you can push people around. Indeed, “pushing people around” is the polite way of saying it. We are talking about beating people up. It is kind of like boxing or wrestling on skates. What is not to love? Well, let me tell you. There are always two ways to do things. You can choose to compete the right way, or you can choose to compete the wrong way. Unfortunately, choosing to compete the wrong way is also choosing to compete the hard way. If you want to become a winner in life, and it does not matter whether you are on skates, or you are playing basketball or engaging in a sport or not, you can stand to learn a thing or two about competing the right way. If you compete the right way, you will always come on top. If you compete the right way, you will make the game work for you instead of having the rules work against you. You see, all of us have the capacity to become winners. The problem is a lot of us compete the wrong way, and the rules end up working against us. We find ourselves in a hostile territory in a world we did not create. We feel we are forced to play a game that has rules which we have no role in, and we end up competing far below our peak level of performance. Having the right attitude towards hockey and playing hockey regularly can help you get a better competitive attitude. With the proper attitude, you not only would be able to win more often, but you would also achieve positive results in a wide range of activities all through your life. We are talking about improvement across the board. We are not just talking about sports. We are also talking about your interpersonal relationships, your career, your skills and your education. The things that you learn, as far as competition is concerned, from hockey can be applied to almost all areas of your life.
Most People Hate Competition Let us just get one thing out of the way really quickly. Most people hate competition. They think that competition really means having to come up against somebody try to beat them, put in a little of work and then come up against another person and to try to beat them and so on and so forth. It takes a lot of blood, sweat, tears and guts. Accordingly, this mindset assumes that the only way to win is to hit hard. It does not matter how you do it. You have to hit hard because that is the only way you can get a leg up on the competition. This mindset is due to hate. Seriously. The people hate competition so much that they develop this tunnel vision as to simply being the bigger person in any one-to-one match-up. I hope you do not need me to break this down for you as to why it is wrong. This is not always the case. The truth is if you were to change your attitude towards competition from hate to one of opportunity, real competition can help you level up. That is right. Real competition is not something to be feared. It is not something that you should hate or try to avoid. Instead, when you wrap your mind around a realistic and positive definition of competition, competition enables you to overcome your inner obstacles. Instead of something very scary that you should evade or escape and rather not deal with, it becomes something that you would embrace with open arms. In other words, you turn something that was daunting into an opportunity.
You can only Lose if You Let Yourself Lose So, what is the number one lesson that we can get from competition? Real competition enables you to overcome your inner obstacles, and one of these most powerful limiting beliefs is the idea that loss is something that happens outside of you. Put simply, it is something that is imposed on you. You lost because the other person was just better; the other person plainly had more toys or only had all these amazing advantages. The problem here is that none of that is true. Seriously. If that person did have advantages, there is really nothing preventing you from looking at those advantages and coming up with a strategy to neutralize those advantages or, better yet, turn those advantages against your competition so you can come out ahead. History is filled with examples of seemingly out-numbered and out-powered armies coming out ahead. Why? They used their brains. They came up with something creative. Alexander the Great became one of the world’s greatest conquerors not because he had the biggest army. It is because he had a brain. He used strategy in his favor. The same applies to Julius Caesar and other famous generals. If they can do it, you can do it too. You can start by wrapping your mind around the simple concept: You can only lose if you let yourself lose.
Hockey Helps You Get a Better Perception of Competition When you are playing hockey on the ice or you are playing street hockey, by simply staring your competitor straight in the eye and just giving it everything you have, you get a better idea of competition. At first, you are merely fumbling around. In the beginning, you are probably just trying to muscle your way in, but the more you do it, the further things become clearer to you. Hockey eventually raises the stakes when it comes to learning from the competition. You know that if you play against the same people over and over again, but you keep losing, then there is something that you are doing that is wrong. This is the lesson you should walk away with. The stakes are high that if you were to do things a different way, the outcome would be varied. When you play hockey, there are stakes involved but unfortunately, a lot of people think that this is just a game. If it is only a game, then it is really nothing to get truly all worked up about. That is actually too bad because if you were to look at hockey as an emotional judgment on your ability to tap into your creativity and imagination, subsequently you develop a sense of urgency. This sense of urgency then raises the emotional stakes to such a high degree that you are forced to learn from your competition.
What can You Possibly Learn from the Competition You can learn to push at the right time. Your competitors might be bigger than you. They may be faster than you, but you know what? None of those advantages can overcome proper timing and the suitable opportunities. By learning how to push at the right times, you can get a competitive advantage.
What Else can You Learn? You can also learn how to yield at the right time. Did you know that the Mongol army would always attack, and then they would pull back? What they would do is they would pull in the huge bulk of the defending army. When the defending army is extended with their sides thinned out, that is when the whole Mongol horde shows up and hits from the side. This is how Genghis Khan was able to win battle after battle after battel. You have to learn how to yield at the right time because when you yield, your competitors show their soft underbelly. This is where they show their soft backside. Once you understand their weak spots by yielding, you can then overcome your competition by capitalizing on their weaknesses. However, you would have no clue as to where and what their weaknesses are if you do not first learn to yield. Street hockey or ice hockey enables you to yield at certain times so you can strategically analyze the weakness of your competitors. The best part to all of this is that they show you their weakness. You do not have to beat it out of them. You do not have to overcome them with irresistible force.