Successful Leadership Through Overcoming Unbeatable Odds with Jeff LoVecchio

When it comes to saving and choosing a college with our kids, there are several variables that can seem overwhelming. Many of us don’t know where to start, and our kids are looking to us to guide them and lead them through this transition. Today, my guest shares many insights on choosing the right college, ways to save for tuition early and how we can be armed with the best information possible to make the right decisions.

Leaders are not exempt from adversity and obstacles. In fact, if anything, leaders have a larger target on our backs when it comes to challenges. If you’re listening to this podcast, that means you are a dad and or husband, and that makes you a leader. Today, my guest, Jeff LoVecchio, former professional hockey player, shares his journey as a leader in the NHL, the adversity he faced, and how he led himself and his team despite his challenges and the success that came from it.

Jeff LoVecchio is a former professional hockey player and personal trainer. He grew up in my backyard, St. Louis. Through hard work and dedication, self-discipline, he willed himself into a division one scholarship at Western Michigan University.

After 3 years at Western Michigan University, he signed with the Boston Bruins for 3 years before being traded to the Florida Panthers, Providence Bruins, Florida Panthers for their AHL team for a season and a half.

Unfortunately, he sustained multiple injuries, including multiple concussions and it was decided that it would be best for his career and longevity to start playing overseas. Then over the next six years he was fortunate enough to play in the top leagues in Italy, Norway, Austria and Asia, living in places that had different values and societal norms than what we are accustomed to over in the U.S.

What You’ll Learn

15:30 Hard Work

Jeff LoVecchio shares that in order to become a professional field hockey player, he had to do many things during his formative years, but the main one was to work very hard. And this he learned from his parents, Jeff LoVecchio says he always saw his dad working and coming home from work late at night and getting up very early the next day to continue working. In the same way, his mother was always looking out for Jeff and his sister so that they would never lack anything. So the best and only advice his dad ever gave him was to always try hard and work as hard as he could.

18:11 What’s Your Why

Jeff LoVecchio says that if you define a why you can get closer to your goals and know what you need to do to achieve them. For example, he says he wasn’t the best player when he was a kid, but that didn’t demotivate him, it drove him to find ways to get better and train even harder. His philosophy of life and the one he applies in his company is: you must do things the best way you can to keep growing and improving, define a strong why and you can overcome any setback.

26:25 Helicopter Parents

eff LoVecchio says he has seen many parents hovering over their kids like helicopters, coming up to coaches and complaining about why their kids are on the bench or why they are getting so many minutes of playing time. Jeff LoVecchio says this results in kids not being able to stand up for themselves and go after their goals. It’s the kids who need to learn to have the tough conversations with their coaches, who need to ask what they need to do to get better, but if they let helicopter parents do it, they have zero chance of maximizing their abilities. They won’t be go-getters.

31:55 Sports and Success

Jeff LoVecchio mentions that it is very important to improve that you approach your coach without putting yourself or your coach on a defensive attitude. For example, instead of asking: Why am I not playing? You should ask: what do I need to do or improve to get more playing minutes?

In this way Jeff LoVecchio says you can keep a notebook with your questions and write down the answer because coming out of that conversation you will have tangible actions to improve yourself.

For Jeff LoVecchio this applies as a metaphor in life, as a parent you can’t go to your kid’s first job and talk to the boss, your child has to do it, so it’s like he has to talk to his coach again. You must have a mindset that pushes you to go to the next level.

Being part of a community, playing as a team, being a good leader and also knowing how to be a good follower are sports lessons that will help you be successful in society.

41:32 Sacrifice vs. Investing

Jeff LoVecchio shares that not long ago he gave a talk in St. Louis where a person told him: you sacrificed not going to parties, dances, time with your friends to achieve your goals, but Jeff says he doesn’t like the word “sacrifice” because he doesn’t really see it that way, for Jeff LoVecchio, he wasn’t sacrificing anything, on the contrary, he was investing in himself, it wasn’t a difficult decision.

That’s why, after his concussion, when he had to turn down the check from the insurance company and go back to play without concussion coverage, he didn’t think about it, he went back to play and he could see his name in the game program, at that moment he knew he would do it all over again, without thinking about it, it’s one of his best decisions.

48:49 YOLO

Jeff LoVecchio says that for him the phrase YOLO is very true, but he applied it to his sport and his business. He says that a sports career only lasts a certain number of years, for example hockey lasts 12 years and then you go on living for the rest of your life, so he always encourages people to maximize their skills and talents so that when they have to look back on their path they have no regrets. Also living like this, like YOLO, you can learn a lot of things you didn’t want to learn, and you also learn to raise your hand and ask for help to overcome any obstacle, not to stay stuck in one stage of your life but to take advantage of every minute you are offered, so you can get skills and have them saved for when you have challenges to overcome.

52:58 The Car Ride Home

Jeff LoVecchio gives advice to parents on how to support their children in sports. He says the car ride home after a game is essential to bonding with kids, but it’s about making it friendly not intimidating. It’s not about nagging them about why they didn’t play well, it’s about asking them if they had fun, if they played their best, if they were good teammates, or how they think they played and what they can do to keep improving.

This way you don’t drive your child crazy but you also teach them to reflect on their skills and you don’t damage your relationship with them.

Jeff LoVecchio’s Links

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