I get a lot of email every day. From players, parents, coaches and some people who are friendly competitors in the advising business.
What I continue to be amazed with, nearly on a daily basis, is the number of people making the claim that they are an adviser or an agent with absolutely zero hockey business experience.
I am particularly amazed at the number of former Tier 3 players who did not play NCAA hockey, or pro hockey, or had any job working for a team or league in a managerial capacity, who claim they can get players to NCAA Division I hockey or professional hockey.
I am not surprised however when players and parents contact me after wasting a year and thousands of dollars paying for a service from people who have never been to where the player wants to go.
If someone says they can get you to Tier II, great. Now prove it with prior Tier II or current Tier II clients.
If someone says they can get you to the USHL or Major Junior great. Now prove it with current of prior placements.
The same goes for NCAA placements and professional placement.
More and more, fly by night “advisers” or “agents” are making claims that they can do this or that without having any practical experience.
It does not matter if a person played Division I, Division 3, in the NHL, or what they personally accomplished in their career. If their playing resume impresses you, then you are missing the entire picture. One person’s personal success as a player, means absolutely zero for your success as a player. One person’s personal accomplishments or path toward their success will not define any of your own accomplishments or success.
So I ask you if you would go to a financial adviser and give them all of your savings just because he graduated from a prestigious school? Or because his father was a successful financial planner? Wouldn’t you ask about that person’s experience, there past success? What their definition of success for you would be?
Would you go to a pre-med student and ask them to administer cancer therapies? Maybe go to a pre-law student and ask them to argue a case in front of the Supreme Court? Or ask a volleyball coach how to attack an aggressive neutral zone trap?
A good adviser can articulate plans that have worked before, and how those plans can, in part, be used to formulate an individual plan for you.
You will know a good adviser when you talk to one. They do not talk about tryouts or camps or private lessons. They do not talk about what they did as a player.
The real adviser asks questions. Important questions to gather information on whether or not your expressed goals, and reason for wanting to hire and adviser are actually attainable. A real adviser interviews you, more than you interview him. A real adviser is not a yes man or your personal cheering section.
If you really want an adviser, or need an adviser, you will find the right one by asking the right questions and having real conversations.
Stop asking people for directions to places they have never been, because you’re likely to get lost.
Joseph Kolodziej – adviser