Left to Our Own Devices Podcast
How Sports Skills are Transferable to the Business World with Former Team USA Women’s Hockey Captain and 3x Olympian, Meghan Duggan
Few activities prepare a young person for the world of work better than participation in team sports. With skills like leadership, performance under pressure, work ethic, teamwork, problem solving, and the ability to strategize, athletes are naturally set up to be successful. And that’s just what this week’s guest, former Team USA Women’s Hockey team captain and three-time Olympic medalist, Meghan Duggan, has found. Meghan joined Erica on the podcast to discuss her transition from leading the Olympic team to gold to manager of player development for the New Jersey Devils NHL hockey team. Meghan’s main focus these days is planning and strategizing with recent draft picks and young pros at the beginning of their career life cycle so they can become full-time, multi-million dollar NHL players. Meghan talks about the moment she decided she would be an Olympian (at just 10 years old!), why family and professional rituals matter, and her work as president of the Women’s Sports Foundation, where they work to build greater equity, inclusion, and participation for girls and women in sports. Anyone going through a professional transition will find Meghan’s journey and this episode helpful.
“I had to dig deep. I had to go through some hard times and look myself in the mirror and figure out, okay, hockey’s gone, but you’re a mom, you have all these qualities you’ve learned through playing, like you mentioned Erica—leadership, performance under pressure, work ethic, the ability to strategize and solve problems and work as a team—I had innately in me, and I had to find ways to bring them out and figure out how I was going to use those things and add value somewhere else.”
“I think rituals are huge, right? They get you in the right mindset, they make you feel prepared, they give you confidence. I love those things. You know if you have your own rituals, you can always fall back on them when things are hard or things go awry. They’re so important, and I love watching rituals play out in the sports world.”
on the Women’s Sports Foundation: “We do a ton of research around what sports do and how they bring different things into our lives, right? For young girls, whether it’s physical health, mastering skills, discipline, confidence, leadership, positive body image, all these things. We talk about C-suite women. When you look at that, 94% of C-suite women played sports at a young age, which is just incredible, right? But not surprising when you think about what sports bring into our lives.”