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Winning your Face-Offs in 2024

Updated: Jan 23

Over the next season of 2024, you and I will have the privilege of playing 365 games. During the course of each day, we will be taking multiple metaphoric face-offs.

Similar to the face-offs I took in my NHL days, these will be micro elements of our next 365 busy days.


Face-offs are anything that can potentially increase your ability to win your daily game. Your face-offs are the way you prepare, the habits you develop, or the strategic relationships you encourage. They are preparing your to-do list, making that last phone call, attending your child's sports event, or never missing the dance recital. Your face-offs are the small parts of your game that, if you win them consistently, increase your family's or your business's positive momentum. Your face-offs are the game-changers of your life, the elements in your days that give you a better chance to build success.

The average NHL game has between 50 and 70 face-offs. Most fans seldom care about or pay attention to face-offs. (They more often get excited about the goals and scraps). Players understand that winning face-offs increases puck possession, which turns into generating more shots, better scoring chances, and ultimately the extra goals that win games. Our choice to be a reactional FAN or an intentional PLAYER today, will make all the difference to our 2024 win/loss record come next December.

Face-offs are planned and practiced. This coming season,


•      Will you maximize your tactics or just show-up, hoping that you get better?

•     Will you practice your strengths, implement your best, or choose to react?

•      Will you leverage your teammates to be part of the winning process?

•      Will you choose to adjust?


I don’t play hockey anymore, but the approach that I took to have one of the top face-off percentages in the NHL is the same focused approach that you and I can take to increase our off-ice success. Before we score and apply this improvement process to you and your game, let’s dive deeper into understanding how to transfer the principles I used to better win face-offs, to the game that you are playing.


•       Tactics


“An action or strategy carefully planned to achieve an end.” Oxford Dictionary


The world of hockey uses game-video to recognize the tendencies of opponents in order to plan team strategy around how to beat their current opponent. Talent is important to consistently win but… talented teams often lose to less talented teams that choose to implement the tactics of a successful game structure. 

Plan, implement and adjust. Planned action and strategy are essential to intentionally living the life we desire instead of accidentally getting the life that comes our way. What are the tactics that will give you more wins in 2024?


•       Practicing your strengths


“The quality or state of being physically strong.” Oxford Dictionary


The Oxford dictionary chooses to focus on the physical to define strength. I would like to give you increased options.

“The quality or state of being mentally strong.” Ryan’s Dictionary “The quality or state of being spiritually strong.” Ryan’s Dictionary

“The quality or state of being emotionally strong.” Ryan’s Dictionary

“The quality or state of being strong in your specific face-off circle.” Ryan’s Dictionary

Focus on utilizing more of what you are good at; put the odds in your favour.

•       Leveraging your teammates


The Oxford dictionary has a powerful definition of leveraging here: 

“To use something that you already have in order to achieve something new or better.”

One of the great levers to increase Future-Positive success comes via growing your current relationships. Salespeople are always desiring to expand their “funnels” (people they can sell to), but what about adding increased value to their current clients?

While killing penalties for the Montreal Canadiens, Guy Carbonneau and I leveraged each others' strengths, literally. Guy was stronger on the face-off circle to the right of our goalie. I was stronger on the left side circle, and we took our face-offs accordingly. Sometimes we would change tactics but always within our strengths.


Leveraging the skills of our teammates is a great leadership opportunity in 2024. People want to contribute, to be counted on in order to achieve something new or better. Include them!


•       Adjusting your approach.


“Alter or move something slightly in order to achieve the desired fit or result.”

Oxford Dictionary


If we are consistently losing, to a particular opponent or in a particular area, what will we change? Our Canadien's coach Jacques Lemaire used the word adjust all the time. “We must adjust!” I love the word adjust also. Do you want to know why?

Because making adjustments to my game is within my control. 

I can’t control my opponent or the economy, but I can adjust my approach.

Let’s apply these 4 “scoring questions” in order to first score your 2023 game, and then to plan your 2024 increased success:


•       Tactics? 1 to 10 (10 being amazing)

What was your 2023 number? What must change to improve in 2024?


•       Practicing your strengths? 1 to 10 (10 being amazing)

What was your 2023 number? What must change to improve in 2024?


•       Leveraging your teammates? 1 to 10 (10 being amazing)

What was your 2023 number? What must change to improve in 2024?


•       Adjusting your approach? 1 to 10 (10 being amazing)

What was your 2023 number? What must change to improve in 2024?


What was your face-off percentage during 2023? What must change to increase your numbers?


Making micro-changes in these four areas will dramatically increase our ability to win face-offs and build better lives.

Hundreds of times while sitting in NHL dressing rooms, I have heard the comment… “Come on boys, let's get our best game on the ice tonight!”

Really, this should be our key focus for the next 365 days - to get our best game on the ice! If we lose to a better team after playing our best game, so be it. (I like those odds).


This season let’s prepare to win; let’s not beat ourselves.







Text me 604-996-4446 in January to set up a time to discuss increasing your personal and team success!

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