From the age of four, hockey has been a very important part of my life. I played four seasons with the TWU Spartan hockey team and when my time on the team came to an end, I wondered where my experience in hockey would take me and how I would be able to continue my involvement in the sport that I love.
Growing up, playing sports allowed me to build many traits that come to someone simply through being part of a team: strong work ethic, teamwork, and perseverance, along with many other foundational character traits. This past year, I became increasingly thankful for those lessons that hockey taught me as I realized just how transferrable they were to the workplace. This took me into the world of sports.
Currently, I am the Coordinator of Game Day Operations for the Vancouver Giants. Working for a sports team, especially in this capacity, was a natural transition for me, satisfying my former competitive need for a fast-paced and intense work environment. Whether prepping for game days or running events and promotions during a game, you must be focused, like you would be when playing the sport. A seemingly small mistake or forgotten detail in preparation can lead to an embarrassing result. Athletes realize that being perfect is impossible, but a dedicated athlete will strive for the direction towards perfection. This is the same in working for a sports team as the constant repetition of similar events every game and the yearning to constantly improve these events are something that my game crew and I live for. Our goal is to perform the best job possible, allowing the fans to enjoy watching and participating in the game as much as we formerly enjoyed playing it. If we are able to execute this, it will create an experience for the fan that will encourage them to come back. Involving fans in the production of the game can make their night that much more memorable. As the game crew, it is a rewarding feeling being a part of that.
Of course, working for a sports team, like playing a sport, can be stressful. People are counting on you to showcase certain sponsors and complete certain promotions in a specific way. This parallels with the way teammates would count on you to make important plays during a game. When things go wrong, it is often clear who is at fault, and it is not a pleasant feeling when that someone is you. However, like sport, resiliency is what will make you successful. Many little mishaps can occur while working at a game, but being able to think quickly on your feet, and remain positive despite brief negative circumstances can go a long way in mending the end result.
As an athlete, when pressure mounts and you refuse to respond positively, the pressure will crush you. Working for a sports organization is identical, as there will be many pressure filled situations each game, but by being well prepared and staying calm, this will allow you to perform your job to the best of your ability. It also allows the fans to receive the best in-game experience possible.
The stress, excitement, pressure, pace, intensity, and satisfaction are many of the reasons we play the sports we love. These reasons are synonymous with working for a sports organization. All the effort put into each game is rewarding as you see the fans exiting the building with smiles, knowing you played a role in their enjoyment.