I spoke with an agent some months back and she told me something I hadn’t previously thought about. She said something to the effect of “whatever a player does now affects their next contract.”
Of course, I understood even as a player that my stats were important, but when the agent told me that, I realized that she meant more than what the stats said at the end of the season and that is true. It has more to do with your work ethic, your personality, and your professinalism.
Your work ethic has a direct effect on your next contract. You putting extra time in will ensure you play a consistent season. If your play fluctuates during a season, it generally will lead back to how you are working. If you are in a slump, ask yourself if you are really doing everything the same as when you were playing at a high level. Only you can answer that.
That is why the work you put in today is so important for your next contract. The more consistent you play, the more consistent your stats will be. The more consistent your stats are, the easier it will be for your agent to find you a job next season.
If you are professional off the court, not getting into trouble, and are overall likable, it will help when a new team contacts your current team. Coaches and GMs do their homework when they are serious about signing a player. That includes calling the former team to get information. Yes, a part of it will be about your skills, but if they are serious about signing a player, they will have watched enough film and have a good idea if you would be a good fit for their team. What they will probably want more information about is your character. That is something they cannot see by watching videos.
The more good things a team has to say about you, the more chances you will have to secure that new (and hopefully better) contract.
I know quite a few players that are unsatisfied with the current situation they are in but I believe you still have to make the best of each situation. Not so much for the TEAM but for YOU.
Some players are not playing enough, some are not able to get the extra amenities promised by the team before signing, others are getting paid late, and the list goes on. When I talk to players in these situations, I normally advise them to be patient, unless it is a completely unhealthy situation that the player is in.
I preach patience for a few reasons.
- The grass is not always greener on the other side and leaving in the middle of a season is risky. Your agent will have to deal with not only finding you a new job but explaining and negotiating with a team that may not want to let you go. You may then get the stamp of being a “difficult” player.
- Sometimes things get better as the season goes on. I have seen time and again, that a player who wanted to leave in the middle of the season, ends up re-signing with that team after the season.
- Smooth seas do not make great sailors. Sometimes you have to GO THROUGH IT to understand yourself better. These experiences will end up making you better on and off the court.
- Usually, decisions to leave a team are made in moments of emotion. That is never a great time to make possibly life-changing decisions. With time, situations tend to look different.
If a situation is unbearable for the player, then of course you should let your agent know so he or she can monitor the situation first of all, and start to monitor possible destinations for you in the case that you do want to leave. Calling your agent and demanding to get out of your contract is hardly advisable.
In the end, you are your advertising board. If you want people to see it, you have to do what is needed and take responsibility. Do not expect your agent to get you a Champagne contract when you were producing and acting like a Coca-Cola professional.
Everything you do now will affect your future. Accept that and take the responsibility for it…EVERY SINGLE DAY!