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  • Jerry Rollins

What Great Athletes & Successful Business Have in Common

Practice Makes Perfect

The best players I played with or against in my career had one thing in common. They practiced harder and longer than all of the other players. I’m talking about Gretzky and Messier who I played with, and Gordie Howe who I played against. Three legends I personally observed. 

I also watched and observed some local sports legends where the same was true. I met and lived close to Drew Brees and Phillip Rivers and they were always the first to practice and last to leave. I also got to know the late great Tony Gwynn, and the stories of his time in the batting cages are legendary.

How does this relate to business? 

Companies have to have a Game Plan. Part of having a Game Plan is a Training Program. Companies spend less today training employees that ever in history. How can you practice if you don’t have defined training?

Here is an excerpt from my book Enforcer to Entrepreneur


Training is a worthwhile investment for any company and a huge factor in preventing turnover. Yet, the vast majority of businesses today lack defined development programs, and if they have them, most are inadequate. Organizations without training programs don’t have capable, promotable workers on deck to replace non-performers when they go. Instead, they pay for talent currently employed elsewhere. However, if companies are simply the highest bidders for these hired guns and don’t invest in training them into their cultures and offering long-term career paths, the new hires will be replaced by the next group of hired guns or move onto greener pastures elsewhere. In hockey, there’s a great deal of time, money and resource devoted to continual training and I applied the same emphasis on training in business. Growth is the goal for most businesses, and the companies that invest in long-term development of employees create a stable, loyal, and committed workforce which results in more opportunity and financial reward in the end. Additionally, there are state and federal tax programs that are readily available to employers to offset the cost of training and hiring.

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