1. What is the difference between an agent and family advisor (FA)?
There is no difference except that the NCAA will not allow the student-athlete to have an agent. The NCAA will allow the student-athlete to have a family advisor. The CHL, on the other hand, will allow a player to have an agent. If you are unsure about which path you would like to take - NCAA or Major Junior - then stick with the Family Advosor.
2. How can a family advisor play a role in advancing the recruiting process for a hockey prospect?
When a player makes the decision to go the NCAA route, the Family Advisor can then talk to coaches and assistant coaches on behalf of the player.The FA can be available at the college and major junior level to handle all inquiries.
3. When should a player consider working with a family advisor? What age? level of play?
A player should consider working with a family advisor in Minor Midget. It is a this point in the player's career that many things start to unfold all at once. There is the pressure of the Major Junior Draft, there are more tournaments that they play in to be showcased, there are the scouts, there is the gossip and buzz in the crowd. The FA will be there to take the pressure off the player. The FA will take the player through the different options that are available and clarify the scenario to maintain NCAA eligibility and stay within the NCAA rules. The FA will remove the "arena talk" and gossip so that the player can focus on playing hockey and maintaining proper conduct. The FA will guide the player on how to handle recruiters and set proper expectations.
4. What questions should a family be asking when choosing a family advisor?
Ask about the Family Advisor's background - What post secondary education does the FA have? What experience does the FA have with NCAA and MAjor Junior?Is the FA an advocate of the player?What does the FA do to solve problems for the player?What does the FA know about negotiations with respect to contracts, labour and mediations?
5.What is the first thing the player and the family can do to prepare for the college hockey recruiting process?
Market your self. Create DVD's videos, a resume, and a portfolio to get yourself out there. Call the coaches. Then look to the FA to do these things on an on going basis. Ask questions to get answers in regards to the forms that need to be completed, financial aid, scholarships, and finances. Understand the "game" of the recruiting process.
6.Bill Markle, what is your biggest challenge with players and their parents?
My biggest challenge is getting them to understand all of their available options and then getting them to think about those options. It is a great struggle to get parents to think smart and remove their emotions from their thoughts. We emphasize to the parents that hockey is a business and that their child is a commodity and that they must focus on the real issues and remove their emotions when making decisions. It is a challenge to get their trust so that they open their eyes and accept that hockey is a business.
7. What is unique about your service?
We spend a great deal of time being in contact with our players. We provide multiple avenues of accessibility so that we are always available to answer questions, provide encouragement, provide instruction and give advice to our players. We operate in the best interest of the player. We provide them with the truth - whether it's good or bad and let them know if they are moving in the right direction or the wrong direction. We make it our responsibility to provide Personalized Atetention to our players at every step of their
8. How long have you been in this industry and what is the biggest thing you have learned from your experience?
I have been in this industry for 27 years. I have experience with the NCAA, Major Junior and with Junior A. I was certified as an agent in 1996. The biggest thing I have learned is that you must be prepared that no matter how hard you work and toil for your client, they can turn on you for the wrong reasons.
Learn more about Bill Markle and Pro Vision Sports Management at www.provisionsports.net