Behind the curtain of the agent's job

After the contract is negotiated, a lot of dirty work gets done when nobody is looking. Jack Bechta

Print This October 10, 2012, 06:30 PM EST

Counsellor and advisor: I, along with other agents spend the majority of our time talking to clients. Although I personally have one of the lowest maintenance, high character clienteles in the industry, I am still on the phone talking about many different subjects with my players. It could be about new a contract, where to live, buying vs. renting, job security or lack thereof, problems with coaches, what to say to the media, pros and cons of skipping the team’s offseason workout to train elsewhere, getting married, getting a prenuptial, hiring/firing a financial advisor or accountant, managing an injury and what to do about it, desire to move on to a new team or even something like where/when to vacation in the off-season. A good agent will be in tuned to each and every one of their clients and be direct in telling them what they need to hear and not what they want to hear. A lot of time can also be spent talking to wives and parents.

Those agents with high maintenance clients spend a lot time putting out fires and cleaning up their messes and keeping it out of the public’s eye.

Concierge services: Sometimes a player just doesn’t know who to call to get what he wants. So they usually call the agent. Some agents are legendary in their off field services to their clients and will get them whatever they want even if it's not in their best interests. We help our clients with travel, research, major purchases and even help remind them of their anniversary. If you want to be successful in the agent business you better have a full time person dedicated to client needs. Unfortunately, some agents look the other way when the need is actually detrimental to a player’s social development and fiscal responsibilities and perform the task anyway.

Getting a client work: When an agent has a player or players on the street during the season, we really have to work hard in getting them workouts and keeping them on a team’s radar. When a player gets cut he needs his agent the most. Sometimes we really have to harass and sell teams in getting workouts and even calling in chips to do so. Every Monday morning I have my staff scan the wires and web to find out which players/positions were hurt and or performed poorly. I then contact those teams and sell them hard on taking a look at my player at the same position. This is doing the needed work when nobody is looking.

Preparing for life after football: This is a part of the job that no one wants to talk about but everyone must endure. An agent should always be doing the little things to help his client prepare for the future off the field in conjunction with working to give his older players a few extra years. Whether it’s researching and providing info or contacts to a post-career aspiration a player may have, or assisting with the paperwork and logistics of retirement benefits that need to be kept track of, an agent’s job is never done once a player retires. Even if it is just reminding them that a playing career could be cut short and to always be developing the next career. I continue to work with my retired clients in any aspect they need, introduce them to anyone I can in their field of interest, and even filter my active clients information about programs and training for post-playing careers.

We as agents may only do two or three contracts for a client in their entire career but believe me; there is a lot of tireless and not so glamorous work going on behind the curtain.

Follow me on Twitter: @Jackbechta

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