Lessons from Hockey Translate to the Seed Industry

Four-time Olympic gold medal winner Hayley Wickenheiser compared her experiences of training for the Olympics and being a professional athlete to that of the seed industry during the Canadian Seed Trade Association’s 91st Annual Meeting in Banff, Alta.

“You reap what you sow,” Wickenheiser says, explaining that all the effort you put into training and practicing determines your end-performance. “The day one Olympic game finishes is the day you begin training for the next one.”

The same can be said for seed companies. The minute one crop is finished, farmers and seed representatives are already planning for the next one, continually striving to make each crop better than the last.

“Every little detail along the way counts and you never know which detail is going to come into play when it comes down to that defining moment,” Wickenheiser says, describing a grueling day of training when the team mountain biked Apex Mountain in the rain during the last day of their boot camp.

“You’re always evolving and working to be the best in the world,” says the woman who holds more gold medals than any other Canadian Olympian. “It’s really performance on demand.” 

The motto for the 2014 women’s hockey team was “Dig a Little Deeper.” Wickenheiser says that the team knew it had a target on its back and the rest of the world wanted to knock them off. We knew we had to train harder and train better than the other teams to come out on top, she says.

Wickenheiser’s take home for seed representatives in attendance is:

  • You must constantly work to reinvent yourself.
  • You must always prepare because nothing is certain.
  • The pressure to perform and win is a privilege.

“It’s a privilege to lead the world,” she says.

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