To be sure, the Junior Hockey business is a tricky one to navigate for parents and player. So many team, so many coach making their pitch, and so many promises to be made. It come with confusion and pressure to make the right choice.
How do you make the choice though?
One way to almost always make the wrong choice is to ask advice on message board. To ask the stranger, the nameless and blameless person who have no idea who you are. Or worse yet, the person who tout themselves as the “expert” on junior hockey, who may or may not have any real information.
The truth is, like anything else in life, you get what you pay for.
Just because something is free, do not make it good. If someone give you a free car, but it have no engine, it is nothing more than a piece of junk in your driveway until you pay to buy an engine. If someone give you a free meal, but you get the food poison from it, and you then go to hospital, how much did the meal really cost you?
If you look to make financial investment, you go to financial adviser, not to the palm reader. Why when looking to make financial investment in the player season do you seek advice from the on line message board palm reader?
When the player rise to the level of Junior Hockey, it is time for the parent to step back and be quiet. If you need advise hire the adviser who only work in hockey. Do not seek advice on the message board, do not try to do thing yourself. A hockey career is not the DIY project like upgrading your kitchen sink.
Adviser are not cheap. The good one are not anyway. A good plumber or auto mechanic is not cheap either. There are plenty of good adviser in the world, but there are some who claim to be what they are not. If an adviser is too cheap, he is likely not good. If an adviser is good, he will be worth the money, not too expensive, but not inexpensive.
A good adviser will produce a return on your investment in his fee. The longer you have one, usually the greater the return on your investment. Like the stock market, most short term investor see smaller gain than the long term investor.
I write this story today after seeing some message board, other website, and listening to some on line broadcast of some so called experts giving advice. There is no “one size fits all” answer to junior hockey. There is no such thing as a simple answer unless the player is the blue chip future NHL first round pick, and even then it come with different complication.
It is troubling to see parent say they want the best for the child, yet put the child future in the hand of strangers who may or may not know what they are doing. There are a lot more bad story of people who do this then they are success story. You only get one go around in junior hockey, do not risk it to a stranger named “hockeyexpert” or “formergm” on a message board, you will likely find out it is some out of work, wanna be living in the mom basement, before you find a real expert.