How to Handle the First Conversation When You’re Recruiting a New Player

Kelvin Cech

Steady contributor in multiple roles over the years at the coaches site, current head coach of the West Van Warriors Academy U18 Prep Team, former MJHL coach of the year with the Winkler Flyers and assistant coach with the UBC Thunderbirds Men's Hockey team.

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Want to get comfortable with something? Do it. Over and over again. Nothing helps you get over the initial awkwardness of a cold call with a new hockey player like practice. Picking up the phone and reaching out to a human being with whom you’ve never had a conversation is fascinating. They don’t know who you are or what you’re all about. They don’t know where you work or what you’ve done in the past.

But none of that matters yet. You’re calling to listen first, talk second. 

1. But Before You Call…

Do your homework. Reach out to your contacts to see if you can learn more about the player before you make the call. This is why you’ve got a circle of contacts in the hockey world, so lean on the people you trust. If you’ve been helpful in the past then most coaches will be happy to make time to talk about a player you’re recruiting. Try to find differing opinions too – sure, the player might have been the captain one year on a great team where he or she got a ton of ice time, but what about the down years? How does the player react when times ain’t so rosy?

Want to get comfortable with something? Do it. Over and over again. Nothing helps you get over the initial awkwardness of a cold call with a new hockey player like practice. Picking up the phone and reaching out to a human being with whom you’ve never had a conversation is fascinating. They don’t know who you are or what you’re all about. They don’t know where you work or what you’ve done in the past.

But none of that matters yet. You're calling to listen first, talk . . .

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