It has already started. The massive team email campaigns for “Pre Draft” camps, “Identification” camps, and summer hockey team events.
So, before you start looking at all of these emails and getting excited about these “opportunities”, it is time to educate yourself on why you are getting them.
You are getting these emails because companies are selling your contact information to any team or company that will buy it. So, what you did in the past, the events you went to, or camps you attended, all need to be put into perspective.
Looking forward. What you did last summer either worked or it did not. There is no middle ground. The first step in choosing your future is recognizing where you are on the path you took last year and years before.
Once you make an honest evaluation of last summer, you can start to look ahead.
If you look ahead, and look at the big picture, you will see that the team camps, Pre Draft and Open, have absolutely zero co-ordination with each other. Multiple teams having multiple camps on the same or overlapping dates. Then when you look at how many of these camps some teams have, you really need to ask yourself how much value a camp offers.
You also need to take into consideration what your training plan is this summer. If going to a camp every other weekend is part of your plan, how do you expect to train properly to make the gains you will need to reach the higher levels?
Most players will sacrifice training properly, to chase “opportunities”. And if this is your past, you already know that path does not work.
Some of you may say to yourselves that makes a lot of sense. Great. So what will you change in your approach?
Outside of the financial commitment of spending $1500 to $2000 to attend each camp when looking at camp fee’s, hotels, meals and transportation. There is a commitment of time and energy. Vacation days for a parent sometimes also come into play. All of these costs add up.
Have you or your adviser been talking to scouts during the season this year? If the answer is no, then all those email invites are not worth much.
At the end of January, I know where each of my clients stand on draft lists based on in season contacts. Some are rated higher than others, some are not rated at all. Each player is at a different point in his development and no two players take the same path.
All teams at Tier II, USHL, and Major Junior have scouts. Every one of those teams is scouting all season. Every one of those scouts is talking to players directly, to coaches directly and to advisers directly. If you, as a player, are not getting in season feedback, then you are not being seen, or not being recognized.
The question then becomes, how do I change my path as it relates to becoming a more recognized prospect?
The solutions to answering that question are probably more simple than you would imagine. Planning and preparation are the two most important things.
Going from to camp to camp is not a plan. It worked for Jimmy it can work for me is not a plan. My friend heard this or my parents heard other parents saying, is not a plan.
Planning is individualized to fit a specific player in his specific situation with his specific goals.
Chose the future by making a plan and executing that plan no matter how different it may be from what you have done before.
Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser