Ice hockey case study

The MyDrives team is in Tilburg to host an interactive MyDrives workshop for the Tilburg Trappers. For those not in the know yet, this is an ice hockey team: the Tilburg Trappers have been playing in the German Oberliga Nord since the 2015-2016 season because they play too well for the Dutch league. In the third Oberliga season, the team managed to win the Hauptrunde and qualify for the Meisterrunde. The Tilburg Trappers managed to win the Oberliga Nord championship for the first time. That’s quite something. Still, how could the team improve their performance even further? After all, their German competition isn’t resting back on their laurels.

Let’s stick together

The point of the MyDrives workshop in Tilburg: how can the Tilburg Trappers understand each other even better? How could the atmosphere be improved? And how could that lead to them performing even better? Theo van Gerwen – technical director of the Dutch Ice Hockey Association – also attended the workshop. He embraced MyDrives immediately. His explanation: you don’t just become champions by having the best players. Just look at Manchester City. The football club became the 2021-2022 Premier League champions, scoring 93 points. That was a single point more than Liverpool, which had marginally better players according to a significant number of football insiders. Back to the Tilburg Trappers – most of the reason the team became champions was their solidarity: the will to win together, Theo is sure of it. Translated to the world of ice hockey: let’s stick together. MyDrives’ added value in achieving that goal is unmistakable, he says. Because MyDrives gives you more confidence in your team mates as people and greater trust in their knowledge and skills. How important is that? Not having very much confidence in your team mates, or – worse still – not having it at all is deadly for exceptional performance.

You don’t just become champions by having the best players.


MyDrives uses an iceberg model to analyse the hidden human drives beneath the surface. In this case, what drives the hockey players, the coach, massage therapist and equipment manager, since they’re all inextricable parts of the team. These drives can be encapsulated with the question: what do you want? The fixed habits of the individual Tilburg Trappers rise to the surface. The main question here is this: what do you do? To achieve well-balanced analysis, the Tilburg Trappers completed the online MyDrives questionnaire in preparation for the workshop. Every participant received an individual report based on their answers at the end of the workshop. These contained charts showing which colour or colours defined their personalities, based on MyDrives seven colours. For example, is red your main colour? This means you’re a decisive individual who won’t be easily stopped by anyone or anything. What if your preferred colour is predominantly green? Then you’re an empathetic and harmonious person, someone who enjoys being amongst people. In turn, blue represents structure, fixed rules and discipline. The reports also include a personal energy balance, which is about colours energize you and which colours drain you. They also include a comprehensive explanation of the seven colours and a chart showing how people with different colours think about you, and vice versa.

The Tilburg Trappers’ MyDrives analysis reveals a range of things, including that as a team – in addition to the performance-oriented orange – there’s quite a lot of purple in their profiles.

Game-specific improvements

The Tilburg Trappers’ MyDrives analysis reveals a range of things, including that as a team – in addition to the performance-oriented orange – there’s quite a lot of purple in their profiles. The colour purple represents feeling like a valued member, connectedness, honour and loyalty. MyDrives not only ensures that the purple is preserved, but it can become even more purple. How does it work in practice? Theo van Gerwen explains that the first thing the players did was compare personal colour profiles, to learn even more about each other’s personalities. In consultation with the Tilburg Trappers coach, they looked at how their results from the MyDrives analysis could be implemented on a game-specific level. Example: the right combination of colour profiles in a player line-up can make a stall or power play even better. Marc Stijfs and Jos Crijns – the founders of MyDrives, MyHabits and MyMatch – suggest that MyHabits could be used as a follow-up step to MyDrives. This way, MyHabits ensures that fixed behaviours and ways of thinking are disrupted with a series of practical assignments. In turn, MyMatch can provide value if the Tilburg Trappers start looking for new players. With this end in mind, MyMatch provides specific behaviour profiles to create the perfect match. Or, in other words: MyMatch shows you that good matches have nothing to do with luck.

Willingness is more important than ability

What’s more, being willing is more important than being able. A strong sense of determination to achieve a goal can compensate for being less competent, at least in part. On the other hand, a strong skill-set will never compensate for a lack of motivation. Take the example of Canadian Wayne Gretzky, the best hockey player ever. Alongside his tremendous talent, his determination to achieve greatness was formidable. You can see it in a video his father took in November 1963. Wayne was just two years old, sliding and tumbling all over the place on his first skates, down the frozen Nith River in Brantford, Ontario. He used his stick to keep himself from falling. And yet it kept happening. Time after time. But after a thousand bruises, he stopped falling and, in the following years, Wayne Gretzky became the brightest star in the firmament of the National Hockey League. He began to using his stick like a conductor’s baton; a lethal goal-scoring weapon.