One of my first posts was titled “Family Advisor vs. Agents” (link at the end). In the past few weeks there have been quite a few articles published about this subject in which the darker side of it was mentioned too. As in all professions, there are also some Family Advisors who are ethically challenged and shed a bad light on the profession.
In Europe, Family Advisors for hockey players do not exist in this form. In the US they play an important role in advising the players with ambitions to play college hockey. For Europeans, who in most cases have only limited knowledge about the ins and outs of Junior hockey and the path to NCAA hockey, a Family Advisor can be a valuable resource in the decision making process to select the right career path.
It is imperative to consider the following points when selecting your Family Advisor:
- Does the Advisor provide references? Contact them (players and parents). If the references are published on the website, be careful, this is a potential NCAA violation.
- What is the Advisor’s track record (players placed in junior leagues and the NCAA)?
- How many clients does he/she have? This is an important question. To correctly advise players, it is a time intensive job and one advisor cannot handle too many clients competently at the same time, in a normal case around 10 players, or more, depending on the level of service.
- How are the services billed? An Advisor has to charge for his/her services and should be able to provide you with an according price list. In most cases an annual fee is charged for one season (year). Free services, or to be invoiced at a later date, are not allowed according to NCAA rules!
- What type of Agreement does he/she propose? It should be in writing (NCAA rules), simple, easy to understand and with a reciprocal exit clause in case of dissatisfaction.
- What impression do I have of the Advisor? Do I have a good feeling and do I trust him? This is very important as you are dealing with big Distances (Europe – USA), meaning you can’t watch over his/her shoulders all the time.
You will find additional information on this subject in the initially mentioned post which is more detailed, titled Family Advisor vs. Agent.