Aiming For The Top! – Episode 11: Ups and Downs

This is an in depth weekly series that chronicles the quest of a boutique hockey agency, VSM Hockey, to reach the top of the NHL hockey agent world. Its story is narrated by its president and founder, Nikolaï Ray.

Life is about ups and downs. If life was always easy, how would one appreciate anything? How would one grow and evolve? It is through difficult situations that a person can assimilate the new environment and demands, then adapt and become better and stronger.

The last 2 weeks have been all about ups and downs at VSM Hockey. From health and family problems, to injuries, to conflicts, VSM has seen it all!

A couple of weeks ago, our pro’ goalie was on fire! He had the pole position with his new ECHL team and was dominating. Winning his first 4 games, he then fell from his high, losing the fifth. Things went down from there: pulled groin in practice the next morning. This annoying little injury would prevent him from playing the next 5 games. He had worked hard all season in order to get a shot at #1 with the ECHL team, and just after finally earning it, injury strikes! That’s the way she blows mate, as many fisherman would say.

I feel that the constant communication between he and I is truly a key factor. Having guided him through the last 3 years of his career, I understand how he feels in certain situations and how he reacts. I spent most of my time on the phone with him trying to guide him in the right direction. The important thing for him was to see this situation in a positive light, even though his first reflex was to think disaster. Life is all about perceptions. Instead of seeing this as a deception and negative, I tried to bring him to see it as an opportunity. A chance to work on making sure his body is full of energy for the playoffs, a chance to learn more about the way his team plays and a chance to become even stronger mentally.

Man, this kid is a beast! He can certainly get down on himself, but he picks himself up so fast and gets back to what he needs to do, it is truly impressive. So, as the story goes, he comes back from injury and wins a big game. Life is what you make it!

So back to ups and downs. This year is a very trying year for VSM, as we have let go many players and business partners. From the outside, this might look negative to certain people, but sometimes it is a due process. One thing that has been very pleasant is to be able to give more attention to players who truly deserve it. Bigger is not always better, so for all of you young and aspiring agents, do not worry about the number of players that you represent, make sure that you simply represent a few and that you give them your 100%!

Until next time.