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.
The first thing to consider are any injuries that you might have and how to get past those.
The second is to organize a plan on how to be the best you can be, going into next season, which is (for most) only about 120 days away.
We hear every day from players and parents who are panicking about next season, and the belief that they must play on the top team, or they will not achieve their long-term hockey goals….., but when I ask about their hockey goals, they have none…..except to play at the highest level possible.
I remind players that this process is a marathon, and not a sprint. It is important to identify future goals, so you can identify the best path to achieve one’s goals.
Consider what it is that you are truly (and realistically) trying to achieve, and the extra benefits that you are attempting to derive from playing this game of hockey, in addition to playing a game that you love. How is it that you will achieve those benefits?
If you hope to attract the attention of a prep school or a college or university program, what are you doing to make it known?
Considering that there are about 500,000 teenaged hockey players in North America, what are you doing to make it known that you are even interested in playing at that level…., and how is it that you are differentiating yourself from all the rest?
Are you participating in showcase events this spring/summer, which are heavily recruited by academic institutions?
If you are hoping to be identified during your regular season, likely that will not be the case. With NCAA recruiting rules as they are, the regular season does not lend itself well to recruiting during the regular season.
In today’s recruiting world, showcase events are where most recruiting takes place, as these events easily identify those players who have serious interest in attending post-secondary educational institutions in the future.
An excellent example of one of these events is the College Hockey Atlantic Combine being held in Halifax-Dartmouth this June, and which will be scouted by over 50 high-end prep school, junior and college programs.
Because students need to begin identifying and taking certain classes by the time they are in grade 9 (according to the NCAA minimum academic requirements), colleges begin identifying and tracking student-athletes as young as 13 years of age at these important showcase events.
Over the past week, we have heard from several prep schools who are still looking for student-athletes for next season, and so if you have an interest, drop us a line and we can possibly help. If you want to begin to get on the radar with these sorts of programs, the Halifax event, or another similar one is an excellent place to begin.
If you are looking to play Junior hockey next season, please relax. There is lots of time yet to make careful decisions.
Most of these teams will not be finalized until late into the Fall, and most of the issued that truly need to be considered will not be known until later in the summer. I caution you against getting caught up in their hype, as many of these teams are fundraising during the spring and summer months through fear-mongering. They camps are great events to play hockey at, and to help you know where you may fit, but are not a “do or die” event.
Please take this time to reflect on the past season, and plan for the future, and work on the important small details of your game.
If you think we can help, please do not hesitate to drop me a line by clicking here.