So often when I am visiting arenas around the world, parents and players pull me aside and ask for advice on how to improve their opportunity to rise to the next level.
There are a few very simple, and common sense ways to make sure your information gets into the hands of decision makers.
The most important thing to understand is that if Scouts, Coaches, General Managers, and other professionals can not get your accurate contact information, you are almost assuring yourself that you will not move to the next level.
IF they can not contact you, or have to work too hard, possibly going through existing coaches to get the information, then they are not contacting you.
Common sense would tell you that if they don’t have an accurate phone, and email, your phone isn’t ringing and you aren’t being contacted directly.
You also can not assume your current coach is telling you about any teams reaching out to them because teams don’t always like reaching out to existing coaches! Think about it. If a Tier II team wants a top AAA player to call up, is the AAA Coach just letting his best player go? Not always. And if you are talking about Tier III, then you have bigger issues.
Is your team passing out your contact information at showcase events, or are they passing out flyers that force interested scouts to contact the coach? Is your team even passing out that promotional material?
Lets use common sense. If you are not getting all of the information possible out to decision makers in one simple format, then you have extremely reduced the number of opportunities you will have to move up.
Recently I read some “information” provided by players and parents. Not only was it incomplete, but it was so incomplete the Date of Birth information, address, and contact information was completely missing!
Here is a clue. Scouts search by dates of birth, geography, position, GPA, and a whole host of other criteria. They do this so that they can be very specific in the type of player they are looking for.
IF a Tier II team needs a weekend “call up” player, and they are located in Minnesota, do you really think they are calling up the player from Boston on a Thursday afternoon for games on Friday? No. They are searching by geography and grabbing a player within 50 or 100 miles that can fill the need.
IF NCAA programs are looking for a 2001 Left handed Defenseman, do you think they want to waste time talking to 1999 DOB Right handed players? No.
Get your information correctly in the hands of decision makers. Even if you aren’t the player they are looking for, you will at least then be memorable for not wasting their time. You may also find the real opportunity that is waiting for you.
Make sure people aren’t selling your information that you haven’t personally given them permission to distribute. It is a violation of privacy laws around the world. One major company does this and you don’t even know it. Simple rule for parents, if you didn’t give the information, they shouldn’t have it, and if they do, someone else is selling your child’s information.
If you think just being good enough will get you found, you really don’t know how the modern scouting world works now. In the 1970’s and 80’s that was true, but no more.
I strongly urge you to begin to be more conscious about what you are doing off the ice that will impact everything on the ice and in your future.
Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser