Ah yes, we have all heard the nightmare story have we not? The broken promises, the out right lies. It happen every summer, player and parent are sold the dream.
The higher level of hockey you play, the less deception there usually is. The lower the level the more the team struggle to recruit against there competition, and the more likely they are to not be as honest as they should be.
How do you know who to believe? The answer is more simple than one would think.
When you ask the question is the answer simple and direct? Or, do the coach live in the past talking about events and player he work with a decade ago instead of in the last two year? Is the coach a “name dropper”? These are red flag, because no one care what you may or may not have been a part of ten year ago or who you knew ten year ago, all that matter is what you have done recently.
Ask the coach where they project you to be, and make sure he is specific in his answer. If he say, we will give you an “opportunity to be” make sure you hear the word opportunity as being opportunity and not hear him say “you will be”.
Unfortunately many time coach get labeled as a deceiver, when it is the people not actually listening to what he say. Opportunity is not a for sure thing or promise of position, it is opportunity to earn the position.
Many time the deceptive recruiter is not the person looking for the player but the player and parent not really listening to what the recruiter is saying. To be sure this is not always the case, because some recruiter lie like no tomorrow. But often time it is matter of people not actually listening to what is said, and only hearing what they want to hear. When that happen the coach or recruiter is blamed when he should not be.
The great deceiver is most often your listening skills and not the person speaking.
Take the notes on what is said. Look for key words, and never make the on the spot decision. Take time, and digest each conversation before making the decision. If there is pressure, then clearly someone is desperate. Are you desperate to sign, or are they desperate to sign you.
Be smart this season, and don’t deceive yourself.