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Within the past 48 hours, I have spoken to several parents who have (basically) told me the same thing.
They have said that they are sending their sons to various camps, with the “hope” that something will wok out.
I had one mother tell me that she sent her son, this past weekend, to a state that was several hours away by plane, simply because they received an invitation and responded to it.
Once their son arrived at Camp, she, and he husband,  realized that their son was not within the top 50 skaters at camp.
Instead of displaying the son’s strengths, they showcased his weaknesses, against other players that he had no business being on the ice with, and he looked terrible.
She said that they easily spent  $2,000 for the weekend.
Being familiar with the son, as she was talking, I was thinking, that $2,000 would have been much better spent.
I am very familiar with her son because we had a client on the same team last season, who is a better regarded player.
I would never have suggested that either player attend that camp. Our client was home last weekend, enrolled in a power-skating event, and doing the things that will take him closer to his long-term goal of playing college hockey.
Her son was &%$#ing away the money.
Today, I spoke to the father of another player, who will attend 4 Camps over the next 6 weeks. He told me that each weekend was costing an average of $1,500, including the travel expenses and the accommodations.
The player had already been to 3 camps. This summer, this father said that he will spend over $10,000 on these camps.
Again, talking to the father, he used the words, “He hopes to make one of these teams”.
We could have easily saved that gentleman all the expense of sending his son to those camps, as the son will receive no development value at those camps, but could have attended dozens of sessions for much less money, and probably been twice the player by September.
He will not play on any of those teams this coming year, and we can easily predict where he will eventually play.
Unfortunately, for various reasons, his game will actually be hampered, by attending those camps, as other players improve their game.
In the hockey world, it seems as though “Hope” is a common theme.
We have spoken to hundreds of players (after the fact), that have made bad decisions, and have ended up in poor situations that will forever affect them, and their available options for the future. If only wiser informed decisions have been made in their past.
They thought they would put themselves in a situation that they hoped would take them closer to their goals.
We believe that wise and well research decisions will often take players much further than anything else that they can do.
Rather than doing something that is for the sole benefit of someone else, be selfish and honest with yourself, and make great decisions that will truly move you closer to your dreams.
The hockey decisions that you make today have the  potential of truly influencing the future direction of your lives.
Our clients who take the time to put in place a proper strategy, rather than “hoping to win the lottery“, seem to most often surpass those who hope that things work out.
“Hope is not a strategy”.