Its at this time of year that parents and players often start “shopping” for adviser services. The start of a new year usually coincides with a lot of people realizing its long past time to develop a plan to move into the future.
There are some very important factors to take into consideration when hiring or looking to hire an adviser. These items are not the only items to consider, but they are probably the first ones you should have in mind as you begin your search.
- What does the adviser charge?
If the adviser charges next to nothing, you will probably receive next to nothing of value. In many cases you do get what you pay for when it comes to hiring an adviser. A good adviser isn’t cheap, and he isn’t outrageously expensive either. He should charge enough to make you understand his time and effort are valuable.
2. How many clients does the adviser have?
If the adviser has too many clients, where do you fit in to his priorities? Time management restrictions are a natural barrier to having large client lists. Advisers with more than two dozen clients, simply don’t have enough time to manage the careers of each client effectively. When your client base is limited, your fees reflect that limitation, because your time is more focused on providing good service.
3. How successful is the adviser in placing players in positions to achieve success?
Some players are NCAA D1 prospects, some are D3 prospects and some are ACHA prospects. Some are all of the above. The key to hiring a good adviser is how the adviser helps the athlete make the correct life and education decision. Honestly evaluating the player and putting him where he will have success is critical. Trying to place someone where they wont succeed just because that’s what the player wants and its an unrealistic goal, will result in failure.
4. How experienced is the adviser?
Can he provide names and contact information of families he has helped get to higher levels of hockey than the one you are currently at? If you are in the NAHL, can the adviser give you a number of someone he helped get from the NAHL to the USHL or NCAA? Has he actually helped players get someplace or does he talk about it while never really doing it?
Being a former player or coach isn’t enough. Just because you played or coached does not mean you know how to get a player moved up to a new level.
5. How hard does the adviser work for his clients?
Is the adviser on the road meeting with decision makers around the world every weekend? Or is he sitting watching games on line or in his own town?
The top advisers are road warriors. They are relentless advocates for their clients. They do not sit and watch video all season.
Real advisers are also not coaching teams. That is a conflict of interest and ethical violation under any set of standards. Simply from a time management standpoint, when would a full time coach have the time to actually be an effective adviser?
The best advisers are educated, experienced, talented and well connected people who do a great job for a limited number clientele. In your search, be sure you ask the questions that need to be asked.
Don’t be one of the people trying to find a hundred thousand dollars in NCAA scholarship money thinking it can be done by some person charging $1000. You’re better off having no adviser than having one that looks more like you found them at the dollar store.
Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser