Hi Teammates! It is important for players to have a clear vision of what an agent can and can not do for you. Too lofty expectations will set you up for disappointment. One of the biggest expectations that players have concerning their agents is their ability to get a gig for you. I have said it before but, no agent can guarantee you a job. I see it on social media all the time. Player X signs with an agency, and he and all his family and friends repost with congratulatory messages. “Time to get your bag!” While that is great to be supported, it will also put pressure on you and your agent. If you do not have a signed contract in front of you, you ain’t even close to a bag.
If you are lucky to have one, it does not mean you will get a job, it just increases the likelihood. Your resume has more to do with your chances than anything else. Do not expect to get a job offer if your past performances will not blow a coach or GM off their feet. Ultimately, they are the ones making the decisions and your agent is only there to offer you, big you up, and hope for the best. You will have no idea what is going on behind the scenes and sometimes that is a good thing.
Even if you have an agent, it will be hard for them to find you a job if you have poor stats from your last gig or your resume is weak (gap years, low competition, etc.). Having an agent gives you access to job openings and of course negotiations on your behalf but the true measure of what type of job or if you get offers at all depends on you and how you have played. That is the bottom line.
I always tell players that what they do now is for their next contract. That could be at the current team you play for or with another team next season. Your agent has no influence on how you play and the work you put in.
Another unrealistic expectation that players have of their agents is thinking that somehow their agent can stop them from getting fired. They cannot save you. If you’re lucky and you have a good agent, the agent will see it coming just based on watching you play. Hopefully, they will get in contact with you and discuss what’s going on. In general, they probably know long before you get fired based on their relationship with the team. That is important for two reasons.
The first is to give you a warning or a heads-up. They may not say directly, “Hey pick it up you are about to get fired,” but hopefully your agent will call and figure out what the problem may be. Good communication during times like this is important for the player/agent relationship. The better agents know how to handle this without making the player feel too much pressure.
The second reason is that if they know in advance, they can already start looking for another job just in case things don’t get better and you turn it around. The more time they have, the more they can look for something suitable. If they get a call the day of the firing with no warning, it could be difficult for them to find you a new gig.
90% of what happens to them overseas depends on the player. It is all in your hands and you cannot expect your agent to do magic if you are not able to produce. How you play, your attitude, behavior are all huge factors. The agent is there to fine-tune things and give you access to their connections and more jobs, but if you act a fool, there isn’t a lot an agent can do.
Make sure you have an open line of communication with your agent to avoid such expectations. Talk openly about what happens in the worst case situation of you not getting a job beforehand. Make sure that if you have a job, you heed the warnings of your agent if you are not playing so well. Be prepared for as much as you can, but in the meantime, continue working!