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Wayne Douglas Gretzky from Brantford, Ontario is more than a retired pro hockey player. Nicknamed “The Great One”, he is the game’s all-time highest goals producer, winner of multiple Stanley Cups, international gold medals and probably holds the NHL record for holding the most records. He is credited with changing the face of the game in countless ways, from being an ambassador for Canada to exploring the top of the net, setting up his teammates from behind the opposition’s net and growing the game in California and the American desert.
Among all this, what I admire about most about Wayne is that he was a great passer. The skill requires you to feed the puck to a moving player. It requires an attention to various detail, anticipating where your teammate will be given all the parameters in high-speed motion during a fast hockey play. It also requires you to let go of ego, giving others the glory of the goal.
The opposite of a great pass in hockey is called a ‘suey’, short for suicide pass. This happens when the pass is behind your teammate, requiring them to look back to receive it only to be bulldozed by an opponent because their head was down.
At work and at home, there are countless ways of being the fame-deferred set-up person. Taking something out of the freezer for someone else to cook puts a healthy dinner on the table. Making lunches and putting the coffee in the coffee maker the night before saves precious morning time, with a positive ripple effect to everyone else in the house.
Doing a few of tomorrow’s tasks at work gives the next shift a good start and gentle pressure to not waste the efficient start for the next shift thereafter.
Printing out tomorrow’s to-do list with some items already scratched off starts the day off with sharp focus. The reward of having your teammates create something for the team and fans (a.k.a, customers,) after receiving a crisp, smooth, tape-to-tape pass is perhaps even more rewarding than scoring the goal yourself. Great passers may not get all the credit, but a win is a win.
How can you be a great passer?
How can you prevent ‘sueys’?
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