An Advisers Life – Off Season Monday And Tuesday

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I love my job.  For me, hockey is not just a sport, it is a lifestyle.  Every day is built around the game in one way or another.  To say that this series of articles relates to “off-season” activity is misleading.  For an Adviser, there is no real “off-season”.

Being an Adviser to players and parents is an honor.  It is often stressful, and it should be.

An Adviser is helping families to make decisions that will affect the rest of their lives.  These decisions are important ones, and are not to be taken lightly.  The decisions involve the academic futures of young men.  Men who will one day move beyond hockey and become regular guys in their community with regular jobs some day.  It is vital that those young men be afforded the best opportunity possible to become the best people possible, not simply the best athletes.

Mondays and Tuesdays are pretty much the same routine, so this article will should be seen to cover both days activities.

No one likes Monday mornings right?  Well, my Mondays usually start off at five in the morning.  With just enough coffee and time for my eyes to adjust to the sun rising, I begin reading the emails I received over night.

Because many of my clients are in different time zones, the emails come in at all hours of the day and night.

Monday mornings are usually about following up with how the latest camps went over the weekend.  I get the players take on things, and then I get the teams take on the player.  If I did not personally attend the camp, I follow-up with one of our scouts who did to get their take on things. If a contract was offered we discuss that with both parties as well.

If contracts werent offered to a player we follow-up with the player and team on those issues as well.  Understanding what each team is looking for or where the player may not have fit into the team dynamic is key to understanding where to attempt tp place the player next.

This process of follow up on Monday mornings usually takes about six to seven hours and anywhere from six to twenty phone calls to start the day.

Usually around noon, I get to take a half hour break, that’s if I remember to take a break.

Mondays are also usually the days where I receive many calls from potential new clients.  Typically we receive anywhere between seven and fifteen new client phone inquiries on Mondays.  Often these calls will come in while I am trying to follow-up with current clients, so voice mail review and return calls take up a lot of the day.

After noon, I begin talking to teams about upcoming camps for any available players we may have.  I do this for all players represented by our company, no matter who the Adviser is that is working for them.  Finding the right spot for a player is a science and math lesson.  Over the years we have developed specific formulas for determining which camps will be best suited to which specific players.  There is no sense in doing the “summer camp circuit”.

Typically players I work with attend two or three camps in the summer.  These camps are excluding summer showcase events.  They will have been very target specific for that player and his particular skill set.  Spending a ton of money on travel, hotels, and camp fee’s is a nonsensical and non scientific approach to making a team.  Every camp a player attends when working with our company has been pre qualified to provide a higher level of opportunity for success for the player.

Once that research is completed for the day, because each day has at least five hours of team research ans statistical analysis, I get to have dinner.  That’s if a client doesn’t call in on an important issue addressed earlier in the day.

Around six in the evening I begin the process of returning the new client calls.  The interview process I put each player and parent through is rather extensive.  The average initial interview can take anywhere from forty-five minutes to two hours on the phone.  I want to know everything about the player and parent before we even discuss if it is a mutual fit to begin the client adviser relationship.

Deciding on whether or not to begin the Adviser/Client relationship never happens in the first interview.  Even if our scouting staff has pre-scouted the player, we always do more background work and tell the family to talk to other Advisers before making a decision on their end.  The decision is so important that it can not be made without careful thought and as much information as possible.

Every player and his situation is different.  None is the same, and the paths to achieving their goals is never the same for each player.  There is no such thing as a “one size fits all” when trying to get players to high levels of Junior and/or College hockey.  What is right for one player is almost always not right for another player.  Understanding this before making any decision on an Adviser is critical to finding the right Adviser for you.

My Mondays on the phone usually end around ten at night.  I try to shut the phone off at ten each night so that I can get an hour of non-talking time each night.  While the phone is shut off, reading and returning emails continues until eleven at night.  Baring any unforseen issues, its six hours of sleep and back at it on Tuesday.

I hope you enjoy this series, finding time to write it has been a challenge.  Next week will address Wednesday and Thursdays.

Joseph Kolodziej