David MacDonald, and the Hockey Family Advisory staff, work with hockey players and their families to help identify opportunities in which players can leverage their athletic skills to receive immediate and future benefits, as they go about improving their game and expanding their educational opportunities.
“Our clients include young players who play at the prep school, major midget, U-16 and U-18 programs, Junior “A”, Major Junior and college hockey (both NCAA and CIS), levels throughout all of North America.”
We work with a limited number of hockey players of each birth year and help them identify and put in place a strategic plan to enable them to achieve their athletic and academic goals. We undertake promotional activities to help our clients receive proper placements.
Each fall, many of our clients attend prep school and college programs on scholarships and bursaries, enabling them to pursue their athletic and academic dreams, while positioning themselves for tremendous future opportunities.
In addition to the many academic and hockey questions, we help players and their families identify and negotiate the important things that should be taken into account by every student-athlete who is interested in playing at the next levels.
Please contact us if you think you could put our experience and expertise to work for you.
Where did the summer go?
We have been extremely busy, as players are still moving around and trying to find the right home for this current season.
Even as players are jockeying for positions on this year’s teams, I wonder how many are thinking about what teams they might be playing on next year, and the year after that or even in 5 years….?
In what we do with our clients, we are always concerned about the long term goals. We see too many hockey players who have no realistic goals (or a plan) on how they might achieve those goals.
Too many young players simply want to play on the top teams that they can possibly play on, and “see what happens”.
In many cases, players are playing very good hockey at a high level, but have made a decision to play for an organization or league, where they cannot possibly achieve their long term goals. Many decisions that players make at 15, 16 and 17 years of age will seem ideal at the time, but truly end up being a “dead end”.
I often say, “In the hockey world, it’s the things that you don’t know that you do not know, that will cause you the greatest grief.”
I stood yesterday in an arena, with the head coach of Quinnipiac University and Merrimack College, and we were having general conversations about various players who have come to their attention, and who they have identified as players of interest, 4-6 years before they would even begin to play college hockey.
Unfortunately, of those fifteen players, ten will likely do something that will make them ineligible to ever play college hockey. I estimate that two will play major junior hockey. Unfortunately, eight players who could have otherwise earned a college/university education will unknowingly make mistakes and will never play college or major junior hockey, because of a misstep within the next year.
Of the other five who I know could “be on the radar”, three will end up playing junior hockey in a “dead-end league” where colleges will never be able to follow them, and these players will always wonder why they never were able to leverage their hockey skills. Two players will make proper decisions (including possibly playing prep school hockey), and will place themselves in a position to maximize their ability to play hockey while attending college/university on an athletic scholarship.
Sadly, three other players (who were playing yesterday) and who had caught their eye had already burned their NCAA eligibility, and two of them will likely never play after they turn 19 years of age. I anticipate that one might play Junior “A” hockey as a twenty year old.
Of the 140 players who were playing in the tournament, and who did not catch the eyes of these coaches at this time, I would estimate that five or six could make some “right decisions” and eventually earn a college education while playing varsity hockey.
What I am trying to say is that (for these players) there is complicated and treacherous travel ahead to navigate, and most players and families do not traditionally do it well…..
Always, think carefully and objectively about those next steps.
If you think we can help you navigate the hockey world, please drop me a line.
In closing I want to remind you to remembers that the points on the report card are every bit as important as the points on the game sheet.
Have a great week.