1. Don’t jump at the first offer.
Gee great advice, so which offer should someone take? What if the first is a good one? What if they turn it down and no more are forthcoming? Sounds great and you sound so wise in this sage advice but it’s not at all practical. Why not give advice to coaches about not putting kids in a tough spot. Few players have the leverage to tell a coach, yeah thanks for the offer but I’m going to wait cause I’m that good and even though you say your offer won’t be there, I’m going to count on it being there because of this blog I read on the internet.
2. Family Advisors
I have an idea; why not lobby the NCAA and the coaches association to change the rules about communication? The greatest value these agents provide is communication with college coaches, all created by NCAA rules. Remove the rules so coaches can go directly to the kids/families. Then there will be much less of a need for “advisors”.
4. The Myth of Showcases
How is it productive to rank little kids at a crappy summer tournament? But people read the blogs and everyone wants their name in print so they figure I getter sign my kid up. Blogging and ranking youth hockey players is part of the problem.
5. Development Path
Yeah there are many paths, but you can’t point out the exceptions and say, see told you so. Typically the obscure paths are exceptions and most can’t follow.
9. Commit to the School
More sage advice but the reality is just about every coaching change listed resulted in many kids who had a “commitment” taken away. But of course no one on the inside of the industry, including bloggers, calls out the coaches for de-committing kids. UMass is being hailed by the blogs for the great recruiting class coming in but no mention of all the kids impacted. The Neutral Zone blog on de-commitments definitely slanted that this is primarily a problem with kids not honoring their commitment. But if you go down the list, you can see that the majority seem to be coach/school initiated. I’ve read many times of kids being taken to task for de-committing. I’ve never read a blogger taking a coach to task. Wonder why that is?
10. Trust the Process
Kids/families have little control over the process. The coaches do. Sure, kids/families can say no to the “process” but they likely will find themselves on the outside looking in. No one wants to play juniors till they are 20. No parent wants to pay money for juniors. So why do they do it? They have to. Look at the age of college hockey players, even DIII. DIII coaches are some of the worst with respect to telling kids they have to play juniors. So no, you can’t trust the process. It’s a year to year game you have to play and what someone told you last year will most likely change. Go play juniors for a year and then we will bring you in. Oh sorry, this transfer kid just came in so we need you to play a second year but this time we really mean one more year. You can't trust the process of you really can't trust anyone involved in the process.
It’s easy to blog and complain about the system, but kids/parents are only passing through one time. They are pawns in the system and once they learn the ropes, they are gone and the next wave is coming through. Insiders need to change the system but no one really wants to because that’s how they make their living. College coaches say don’t skate all summer but..…we do have this college exposure camp that I run to help because we need to augment our incomes. I hire my asst. coaching buddies and they hire me for theirs. It's a nice summer gig, oh and for your fee, we will also have some bloggers there to rank your kid and put his name on the internet.
When I first saw the above response to the ten rules my first reaction was, " Here we go again" but you know what? He is in the vast majority Correct. In summary; ( No Hot Take here) The system is broken and the coaches and NCAA are the worst culprits. My son is a very good player, enjoys playing and will have some kind of college opportunities but I have come to really dislike this hockey culture ( sub culture)