We have gotten a lot of feedback from my writing on Monday. While I took quite a bit of time writing that, and it was actually written a few weeks ago, I can not devote too much time to this piece. It is the height of player placement and contract signing time, so I am a little busy with that.
However, the feedback we have gotten from the first story has been quite remarkable. Many people agreeing with my points, while others disagree. That was the heart of what I had hopped to accomplish by writing that piece. An informed and intelligent discussion.
What I am also finding though is that some people who are reading the article simply do not understand the context or what the content is meant to bring about.
There was no statement on level of competition between “sanctioned” or “outlaw” hockey. There was no position taken on which levels were “higher” or “better”.
Yet, multiple links in message boards and their follow up comments are simply bitching sessions about level of play, and who offers the better product.
Nearly all of these bitching sessions only come from those that are in the “sanctioned” groups. Complaining about watered down products, how kids leave midget programs, or any number of things.
The point to all of those making those bitches is this, and please remember it;
Your customers, those who pay you money to play hockey are leaving because they are dis-satisfied with the product you are delivering.
Was that clear enough?
If you think your “organization” is the best then they should prove it. It is a simple business premise you learn in Business 101. Your customers stay with you as long as you give them the product THEY WANT. Your customers leave you when you start delivering the product YOU WANT.
If I purchase a new Mercedes and you deliver a Volkswagen, I am not going to be your customer. If I order a steak and you bring me chicken fingers, I am leaving your restaurant. If you tell me I have to buy your product and if I purchase a competing product that you don’t like, I will have to apologize to you to become your customer again; I am about to tell you to go……. you get the point.
These same things are true in the reverse. If you do not provide a good product in the non USA Hockey or Hockey Canada organization, you will be out of business pretty quick.
The problem is, no one, no company, in the United States at least should ever be in control of one industry. My original story showed that USA Hockey is not in control of the industry. NCAA Hockey, Major Junior, some High School, and other organizations provide great opportunity for players.
No one complains about those programs, they celebrate them. And that is the problem, where the double standard and hypocrisy lays.
The complaints only come when programs potentially dip into other peoples wallets. Hockey Canada is so deathly afraid of AAU and independent hockey that they have a rule in place saying players cant play in those organizations and come back to a “sanctioned” program after September 30th of the playing season.
Honestly that’s the dumbest rule I have every heard. You tell every bad operator that they can keep their promises to players until October 1st and then they can cut corners and the players cant leave! Thanks for the schedule Hockey Canada.
You even tell the CJHL that they cant have import players when the competition you are complaining about growing in number has the import players.
USA Hockey does the same thing when it comes to import players. They are not dumb enough to publicly make a rule on with any dates regarding players returning to USA Hockey programs. That dear readers would have them in very hot water.
I have seen some great programs in some great leagues. Sanctioned and “outlaw”. Truly great programs that actually keep their promises and work for the kids.
I have also seen some absolutely horrendous programs in “sanctioned” and “outlaw” hockey. The problem is that when “sanctioning” bodies make rules to protect those bad operators, and in the process seek to keep them in business, they are not servicing their customers.
Now, I would like you to ponder this question;
If teams, and leagues decide they are tired of the regulations, and tired of being forced to work with people that don’t meet their own standards decide to leave these “sanctioned” programs, what will you say then?
If you think conversations like that haven’t taken place, or aren’t still taking place, you are not in tune with the market and are living with your head in the sand.
Joseph Kolodziej – Publisher