Managing a Professional Sports Team Like a Business

Coming off the All-Star break, the second half of the hockey season is in full swing and fans are anxiously wondering if their team will make it to the playoffs. At this point in the season, the playoffs are still in view for most teams, so determining the right strategy for the second half is key. They must make decisions about who should play on what lines? Are there any players they need to bring up? Do they need to make any strategic trades to help their team? Do they need to make changes in coaches? The list of questions could be endless.

Over the years, one item has been clear for each team: A coach could make or break a team’s playoff hopes. A successful coach is one that can inspire his players, who can keep everyone on track with the team strategy, and to pick-up the team when times get tough.

In order for a business to be successful, they need this “coach” figure as well. This person must know the business in and out and be the person who can make management decisions that are very difficult to make. Just like in hockey, not every decision may be the right decision, but making the best decision based on the current information you have and the resources that are available to you is key in a successful business.

Another key ingredient for a successful hockey team is being able to be agile and responsive. You never know in hockey how players are going to interact with each other on the ice or whether someone is going to get hurt. If something does happen, the team must be able to adapt to having new lines and new players while still maintaining the overall team strategy.

Once again, this is the same with a business. You never know when employees are going to make career changes, when the next stock market crash is going to be, or what the next unfortunate event is. What you do know is that there are going to be times when things happen, and having a plan in place where you can be agile and responsive to these unfortunate events could be one of the best strategies your company can have.

For hockey teams to be successful, they also build a support team around them that they can reach out to. There is not one person that knows everything in hockey; it is a collaboration of coaches, owners, scouts, agents, and various other internal or external resources that make a successful team.

Businesses need this same type of support team as well. They need to have a network of people they can reach out to, to ask questions and to get advice whenever they need it. To discuss how Anders can be a part of your advisory team, contact an Anders advisor or learn more about the Anders Sports, Arts & Entertainment team.