Promoting Yourself: Creating the Perfect Player Profile
So it is tournament season and lately I get asked about how to build a player profile or resume all the time. As I receive easily 1000+ player profiles or resumes a year I have a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn’t. You want to have something that provides ALL the information that a team or scout needs and NOTHING EXTRA! Remember, the amount of resumes I see in a season pales in comparison to the amount emailed, faxed and given to every Junior, college or professional club GM or Head Coach. You want to be as ‘readable’ as possible.
Ideally, when you are playing at a tournament or prospect event where scouts are present – you the player – should only have to worry about focusing on how you are playing, not on whether or not they know who you are. If they are interested, they will find out one way or the other. But why not ensure that they the scouts have what they NEED just in case they didn’t come properly prepared or because the organizers of the event failed to provide useful or adequate personal information. Typically, teams rely on the event organizers to provide game or event programs, and those packages are almost ALWAYS woefully inadequate. In fact, most teams themselves do NOT actively provide effective, nor useful scouting information. As a scout, I’m lucky if I can get the correct name and number for a player. Sometimes the vital stats like height and weight are included, but they are guaranteed to be 99% inaccurate, especially for kids in the 14-17 age range as young men tend to gain weight or height at an astronomical rate. As much as they say size doesn’t matter anymore, when a player is listed at 5’5 and 130 lbs, its hard not to move on to the next guy. The extra 2 inches and 30 lbs might have been the difference in an extra look or not, so it pays to be accurate and up to date.
How to Create a Profile – Content
Like my Poppa used to say, Keep it Simple Stupid! Yes, the KISS system is important when it comes to creating your own profile or player resume. Unlike a real resume, you really do NOT get bonus points for amazing presentation or for using a full colour hard cover glossy package. Remember your audience and more importantly, remember the purpose of the profile:
To convey your information as clearly and concisely as possible.
Do’s: What does a Team or Player scouting package need in it?
4) Accurate Statistics (Preferably an online link to verify) Try to provide as many seasons as possible.
5) Height / Weight
6) Current Team / Past Team
7) Hometown / Association
8) Contact Information – Family telephone & Family Email
9) Parent(s) Name(s)
10) Grades – An overall GPA is useful, at first glance, teams just want an idea of your academic inclinations. You can say transcripts are Available on request. If you have SAT scores, provide them.
11) Useful Notable Notes – Good = Team MVP 2010 or Selected to U17 Team Alberta. Keep this SHORT and hit your highlights. If you don’t have anything impressive to add, DON’T. Less is better then unimportant info that wastes their time.
12) References – Keep this simple. Provide 1-2 KEY RESPECTIBLE people who will provide an unbiased assessment of your skills. Your buddy’s uncle’s cousin who saw you skate last summer is NOT an appropriate reference. Sadly, I’ve had to track down those people and not only did it waste my time but it reflected very poorly on the Player. Ideally, you want a current coach or if there is conflict there, as recent a coach as possible to provide an up to date assessment.
13) Future Preferences or Ambitions – This is an optional one. IF you KNOW you want to go the WHL or NCAA route ONLY, then it can’t hurt to mention that fact. As I advocate ALWAYS keeping your options open, it is best to either delete this part OR say you are interested in exploring ALL options.
14) How Big a Package? – You can easily squeeze 2-3 profiles per page for a team package, just limit your info to vital contact information and stats. If you are doing a single player profile, then it should all fit on ONE PAGE maximum. TWO + Pages are bad!!!!
1) Fake Stats – now this comes back to being able to verify your statistics if possible with an online source. No they aren’t 100% accurate but, IF there is information out there online, a coach or scout will find it. When there is a discrepancy between your information and the information that they trust online, then they will ASSUME you are lying and IF this information is WRONG, they will wonder what else is wrong with you or your profile. Having gone through MANY association and club websites here and in Europe, it is safe to say that they are NOTORIOUSLY bad at providing the information that is needed by scouts or coaches. There are always exceptions but the norm is that you are lucky to find a players name and sometimes some statistics, which are typically out of date. I know it is tempting to ‘correct’ the information that is found ‘out’ there but it never ends good for the player because teams always find out the truth at some point.
2) Written Letters or Notes – Literally every other day that I have been an agent and scout I have received a player profile and invariably they have some long winded introduction letter or note. They will tell the reader about the player’s dedication to the game, his positive attitude, frequently explanations for past mistakes or injuries and just about anything else you can imagine. The bottom line is that NOBODY CARES! Coaches will skip it and move on to the next resume/profile. They get thousands each season and no one has time to read essays however uplifting and heart-warming.
3) Scouting Notes – Scouts/Coaches assume you are lying or in the very least are exaggerating. When I send out profiles for my professional clients nowadays, I rarely include scouting notes. They will either come see you in person or contact someone that they trust to provide them with an accurate outline of your skills. If you feel you have to provide some information, keep it short and to the point. EG: Playmaking Center with above average speed.
Practical Guide to Handing Out Profiles at the Game or Tournament
Once you have it, you then need to distribute it! Print out as many packages or even 1 page profiles as you think you need for the event. Simply walk around the rink during the game and in between periods and politely hand one to anyone who looks like they are scouting. I’ve never said ‘NO’ to a stat sheet or player profile. You aren’t being a ‘pushy’ hockey Mom or Dad, you are simply providing them with the information that they probably want or need to help them do their job. Scouts are usually pretty easy to spot. They tend to carry some kind of writing utensil or booklet and are dressed like they are prepared to jump on the ice at a moments notice to conduct an emergency practice if called upon. Even more helpful to you, they like to proudly wear their Team Jackets or Jumpsuits so you can easily separate them out from the herd. If your team Manager isn’t already doing this service as he or she is too busy dealing with a million other responsibilities, take 5 minutes, put together a BRIEF profile, print out sufficient copies and spend 10 minutes during the breaks handing them out at the game. This simple deed could be the difference between your player(s) being noticed or just lost in the crowd with the other 200+ players at the event.
I hope this helps answer your questions! Happy Holidays! Jason
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