The internet can be a great resource, and it can be the absolute worst resource. Your friends, your former team mates, parents, and other people who have a vested interest in someone else’s success can be the angel of death for your career.
At least a few hours of each one of my days is spent fielding phone calls and answering countless emails from players and parents that have questions on how to get to the “next level” or to NCAA hockey eventually.
Sometimes the phrasing is different, but eventually they all boil down to “How do I help my son get to the next level?”
That’s a great question. Its a question with many different answers, and each answer is different depending on the certain persons place in the game, in academics, and in his standing as a prospect.
The short answer to the question is that no two players are the same, so there is no easy answer.
The one thing I can say with absolute certainty, having helped more than eight hundred players move on to the next level in twenty seven years, is that if you want to move on to the next level, you need to forget everything you think you know.
You need to stop listening to friends, family, other players, other parents, and other people who have not strategically planned for your specific set of circumstances. What worked for another player will likely not work for you. No two players follow the exact same paths.
You also need to stop doing everything you have always done.
If you have not made it to the next level, or you have not made an NCAA commitment, you need to stop doing what you have been doing because it isn’t working. Why would an intelligent person repeat an unsuccessful plan and expect different results?
Do you know why players are drafted, tendered, or signed?
Do you know when that decision making process begins?
Do you know when most decisions are made?
Do you know how many players are drafted from the multitude of individual team pre draft camps?
Do you have a plan to maximize this season as it leads up to next season?
Do you really know what teams are looking for and at what position they are looking?
Do you know exactly how many players are competing for those same spots?
These are just some of the questions that need to be answered in order to keep from spending an average of $6500 per summer attending “tryout camps”.
Yes. The average family spent $6500 per player last summer attending useless tryout camps when you add travel, housing, meals and camp fee’s together.
Less than one percent of those families were successful in their pursuit of the “next level” because they had no plan in place. They had no real answers to the above questions.
Those are the real numbers. $6500 and one percent.
So, when you think you know what you are doing. When you think someone you know is giving you great advice. When you think the team tryout invitation you got sounds great.
Stop. Forget everything you think you know, and hire an adviser, a real one, not some discount ambulance chaser.
If you hire a good one, he will save you thousands every year, and you likely wont go to any “open” camps. You wont end up at “main” camps with 200 or more players. You wont need to “get your name out there” because he is doing it for you.
So, when you find yourself asking;
“Why are we not getting to the next level?” or some other variation of that question. Forget everything you think you know, stop doing what you have always done, and call someone who can help you develop a strategic plan that is designed for you.
Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser
Hockey Talent Management