What Happens When A Player Gets Bad Advice From A Stranger – A Real Life Example

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As a family adviser, the most important part of my job description comes down to having the responsibility of protecting my clients from making poor choices.  Nothing is more important to me than making sure my clients receive accurate information that will allow them to make informed decisions on their futures.

People are lead to make poor choices in many different ways.  Sometimes you could read something on-line and think it may apply to you or your situation.  Sometimes you may visit message boards and ask questions of people you don’t know, thinking they may give you good advice.  Sometimes you may listen to a coach who may actually have ulterior motives.  Sometimes it may be a combination of all of these factors or other influential factors.

Even though my relationships with my clients are very strong, sometimes people can interfere with those relationships if they present themselves as being in a position of authority, or present themselves as an “expert”.

This is a real situation that came to a conclusion Wednesday.

My client, who is a virtual unknown player had a very successful camp season.  He made several all-star games and received many compliments from many respected people in the business.  Unfortunately though, the complete body of work did not allow for him to make the final cut for these high level teams.

His resume as a player is very limited, and he comes from a non traditional market.  Two obstacles that make it just a little harder.  He is a player though and I believe in him.

Anyway, I had a very nice Tier III opportunity lined up for him a few months ago after these camps.  He would have been a focal point of the team.  This is what every player wants and helps them to move up.  It was the perfect position to improve his resume and overcome some of those obstacles.

The last camp he attended though, someone with an ulterior motive stepped in.  Smoke and sunshine were blown up the player and parents behinds.  When a higher level team executive who hasn’t signed you says, “go play for this team” and we might call you up.  Be very careful and pay attention to your adviser.  A real offer, from a Canadian based team would have been to sign the player to an affiliate card and then assign him to a junior B or Midget AAA team.  Telling a player to simply go somewhere and sign in this case is not a real serious offer.

You should not exacerbate the issue and go on-line seeking the advice of strangers.  Parents, players and other people who are not specifically aware of your ability as a player, who have never seen you play or are not aware of the goals and path set out for you to achieve those goals have no business influencing your decisions as a player.

Listen to your adviser when they tell you it is a bad decision.  Listen to your adviser when they tell you why it is a bad decision.  Listen to your adviser because you pay them to provide you unbiased advice and information.

If you don’t…………

You end up calling your adviser a few weeks into the season.  You end up telling your adviser that the team is terrible, the higher level executive lied, that the stranger you found on-line doesn’t know anything about the team he spoke so highly of.  The situation has become a nightmare.  You end up asking your adviser to help get you out of the situation you are in.

In the end you get out of the situation and the adviser finds you a new team better suited for your particular set of circumstances.

Every player is different.  There is no simple solution for what is good for any particular player.  There is a science and math equation that goes into properly placing a player.  There are political situations that must be maneuvered through.

There is no “cookie cutter” solution for any player.  What is good for one player, more often than not, is not good for your player.

If you have an adviser, listen to them.  Do not try to over think, and analyze the situation from a player or parent point of view.  A good adviser has the players best interest in mind when providing information that can keep you informed in the decision making process.  Your adviser will know much more than someone associated with or working for any team will tell you.  The adviser will definitely know more than anyone you find on-line on a message board or in a chat room.

While team competition is about winning, junior hockey development is about you, the player, and advancing the player.  The adviser is always working toward advancing the player and when the player moves up the adviser builds his career, its a win-win.  The adviser is your teammate, and a good teammate will not let you down.

Joseph Kolodziej – Publisher