As we prepare to turn the page to February, with roster freezes, and transfers looming in the near future, do you still believe you are going to get that “call up” that was talked about when you signed your Tier 3 contract?
The “Call Up”. Hilarious. The phrase comes from Professional Hockey where players sign contracts that allow them to move up and down between the parent club and the development club. Often called a Two Way Contract. There used to be Three Way Contracts as well, but they are not used much any more.
There is no such thing in Junior Hockey. Why?
For many reasons. It would create issues on USA Hockey Protected Lists, and it would only allow teams to make the “call up” promise to a few players on their Tier 3 teams.
In short, it would force Tier II teams to tell the truth about “call up” opportunities.
So lets examine the truth that you players in Tier 3 waiting for the “call up” do not want to look at. It’s important to really look at why the “call up” has not happened and will not happen. That’s right. It is not going to happen for 99.9% of you waiting for it to happen.
First; if you are not the leading scorer on your Tier 3 team, or the top Defenseman dominating the game, or the absolute best goalie, you are just another player in the system.
Now, that is the truth. Read it again.
Why do you think so many players who spend multiple seasons in Tier 3 keep going to different teams? The answer is they are still searching for the one Tier 3 team that will actually give them the Tier II opportunity that they think they should have.
They go from team to team, hearing the same “call up” line that teams use until they find one that they think they can believe. And then it happens again, no “call up”.
So how do you change this? How do you keep this from happening? How do you make the “call up” actually happen?
These are the questions you need to start asking. If you think you are stuck in Tier 3, then it is time to really break down what you are doing. It is time to create a plan to move forward. Whether that plan forward is to Tier II or to NCAA D-3 will depend on the player and the plan.
But thinking that as an 18 or 19 year old second line guy or backup goalie, that you are going to get or are deserving of the “call up” is you inflating your value to the team without the team saying you have that value. It is time to get real and time to examine what you are doing wrong.
Yes. Stop blaming the team. You picked them. You signed the contract. No one forced you. So you are responsible. Lets take responsibility then and create a plan that allows you to take responsibility and move forward.
Once you take responsibility, then and only then can you begin to clearly define a path to move forward.
You can not make people keep promises of a “call up”. I am willing to bet that it was never “promised” either, it was a carrot dangled in front of you to get you to sign the Tier 3 contract. Nothing more.
So lets move on. Lets make better decisions based on better information. Lets use the tools that are available to us to put us into a situation that will allow us to move forward.
Looking back all the time will never allow you to move forward. Sitting and waiting will never allow you to move forward. Action and planning will move you forward and keep your eyes looking forward. That is the position you need to take now.
Some of you now are pissed because you don’t want to take responsibility for making the decision to play for the team you are on. That’s ok. You will probably make the same bad decision next year. Tier 3 teams need players like you every year.
Some of you are saying, “ok”. Those of you that are saying you are ok with with owning your part of the decision process are ready to move forward. If you can’t take responsibility for the decision that has you where you are today, then you can’t take credit for making the changes that need to come in order to move forward.
Each player is different in their circumstances, and each players path forward will also be different. But it all starts with being accountable to yourself.
If you don’t have a plan get someone to help you. Really help you. Not your buddy sitting in the stall next to you. Get professional help. If you want to fix a Mercedes, you aren’t going to ask the guy flipping burgers for advice. If you had a broken leg, you wouldn’t go to a bakery asking for help.
If you want to invest in the stock market, you talk to a professional. If you need to plan for retirement, you talk to a professional. If you want to become a Doctor you go to Medical School.
When you are ready to find a path forward, the email is just below.
Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser