At Hockey Talent Management, we literally receive at least ten emails a day asking for “guidance” or “free advice” on which camps players should pay to attend.
As an Adviser, it would be an improper financial benefit for me to give guidance or advice to non clients. That said, here are some general guidelines that will help you make better choices when picking camps this spring and summer.
First off, when a team holds a “pre draft” or “open” camp, that is a camp for suckers. Less than one percent of players attending these camps will ever play in one game for the team putting the camp on. Avoid these camps. You will do nothing but waste time and money.
If a team is interested in you they will have done their research, scouted, and reached out to you about the draft or main camp. Anything else means nothing.
Second, if you want to play at Tier I, or Tier II, you don’t attend Tier III camps until you have exhausted all of those options.
Third, when picking camps, pick those that will have a multitude of scouts attending. Medium sized showcase events are great. Not too big though, or you will get lost in the crowd.
Fourth, if the goal is to play junior hockey, then you need to look at where players who attended a camp or showcase in previous years are playing now. If there is no real track record then you just don’t go.
Fifth, and last.
Do not expect miracles. Getting to Tier I or Tier II takes planning. Planning that goes way beyond which camps you will attend. The saying “if you are good enough they will find you” is the biggest lie in hockey. It may have been true in the 1970’s but it is not true today.
If you plan correctly. Not just guess. You will improve your odds of success exponentially. A real plan requires getting strategic information to develop target specific planning. Educate yourself on the process, and the process will not be as difficult as many will find this summer.
Save yourself the heart ache and frustration. Use these thoughts when evaluating the camp invitations. If you have questions that cant be answered, then hire a professional.
I wish all of you luck this camp season.
Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser