player tips

I have a friend in Minnesota, the Great State of Hockey, who loves spending time in the summer on the open water as much as he does in the winter playing hockey on the frozen ponds. Stories of catching walleyes during the months of May and June are told with as much enthusiasm as scoring goals in January and February. When the calendar turns to mid-July and August however  – the dog days of summer – fishing slows down, but that is when he gets the most excited!

As the water temperature heats up in the late summer, the fish become a bit lethargic and can be difficult to find. For those who are able to find fish, that is when the real game begins, which is getting them to take the bait. As my friend tells me, for the most part, he used to buy the same bait, use a similar presentation and fish some of the same spots, regardless of the time of year. As he became a more experienced fisherman, he tried new techniques, new lures and new spots on the lake.

As he put it, most fisherman don’t really put in the time to try new things, they are sort of stuck in the same old way of doing things, and the result is very few fish finding their way into the frying pan. My friend spent many winter hours reading about tactics that he was unfamiliar with, watching YouTube videos of professionals, and studying new ways to catch fish during the ‘slow’ months. And once he invested time and energy into exploring and learning, he found a better, more productive way to fish, and now looks forward to this time of year, when the boat traffic is less, and the abundance of fish has increased.

For hockey players, this fisherman’s story is no different than the hockey season. There will be that part of the season that is the ‘grind’, when you are physically and mentally tired. You have already played a lot of games and you still have a lot to go, plus playoffs!

The question is, what are you doing now, during the off-season, to prepare for the grind, or the dog days of the season. Are you, like this fisherman, preparing yourself so that when the team needs you most, you are able to step up and bring your best effort.

Players who prepare now, trying new moves, perfecting their stride, shooting pucks on a regular basis, they are the players who will outperform the opponents during the season, just as my friend is out fishing nearly everyone on the lake. It takes dedication and commitment during the off-season to not just hit the ice this fall in great shape, but perhaps more importantly, to carry your team through the tough stretches of the season.

As my friend from the State of Hockey put it, ‘It’s amazing how many people just quit fishing this time of year, because it’s so hot, or because the fish just aren’t biting. The fish are always biting, you just have to find the right presentation.’

Work hard this summer, train with a purpose and you will be ready for the mid-season grind when, like many fishermen, many hockey players go through a slump. Train hard and be ready to take advantage of the opportunity, because when everyone else slows down, the best players speed up.

Good luck and we look forward to seeing you at the rink soon!

Click here for a full list of our remaining summer hockey schools.

13

June

There can always be an excuse for why something can’t or didn’t get done. It’s too early, too cold, too late or too difficult. But people who set goals and really want to achieve something don’t make excuses. They simply find a way to get it done and make it happen, regardless of the obstacles.

Stairs

I was chatting recently with a rink manager about an NHL player. This arena manager described the player as ‘one of those kids who came to the rink to run stairs‘. He would show up at the rink unannounced, ask permission to run the stairs, and there in the dark – the only one in the entire building – he would start his workout.

Eventually the arena manager started turning on the lights for this athlete and over time developed a friendship.  Sometimes friends would show up to run stairs with him, but eventually they would drop off and within a week or two, it was back to this one player running stairs, alone.

One day the arena manager asked the athlete what happened to his buddies. They had work. They went to the beach. They went fishing. They went to a movie. They were tired . . . The excuses were endless.

However for this one player who set a goal, who wanted to make the most out of his hockey career and play at the highest level he possibly could, there was no stopping him. This was his priority and he wasn’t going to let anything get in the way of it. There were no excuses, ever, for why he couldn’t find time in his daily routine to workout and best prepare himself to reach his goal.

There is a quote that says, “If it’s important enough, you’ll find a way. If it’s not, you’ll find an excuse.”

So this summer ask yourself, are you finding a way, or are you finding an excuse?

02

May

Finding Your Next Level

Posted by Greg Carter

Watching the NHL Playoffs, it becomes obvious very quickly that the players are competing at an entirely different level out there compared to the regular season. The speed and quickness of the game is greater. The intensity is higher. It makes you wonder, how do these players take an already accelerated game to a whole new level?

There is a quote about leadership and coaching that says if you can raise the level of effort and performance in those around you, you are officially a leader. When it comes to coaching hockey players, especially elite hockey players such as those playing in the NHL, finding a way to connect with each player and understanding how to get the most out of them is a key ingredient in the recipe for success.

But when it comes to finding that next level it begins and ends with the individual player. The great Vince Lombardi once said that if you’ll not settle for anything less than your best, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish in your lives. When you watch playoff hockey, these players are not settling for anything less than their best. They lay it on the line for every race to the puck. Every shot on goal and every pass is a laser. The battles in front of the net and in the corners are their own individual cage matches.

When you break down the game and analyze how amazing the individual talent and skill sets are out there, it can be compared to an engine in a machine. If the engine is built properly – in the case of hockey players, developed and trained properly – and also cared for properly, there will be a time when you can run that engine at the highest RPM’s and push it to maximum performance.

Youth hockey players who spend the time training and working on skills are doing just that, they are preparing themselves – their engine – for the periods of time (the playoffs) when they are going to need to rely on optimizing their performance at the highest level.

As the run for the Stanley Cup continues, it should serve as inspiration to take your own game to the next level, to shift your engine into the next gear. There is another great quote about commitment that says you’re either IN or you’re OUT. There is no such thing as life in-between.

We invite you to join us at one of our hockey schools this summer and with our training, find your very own next level!

 

 

 

 

 

Hockey SchoolGet ready to start your journey! With the hockey season behind us and summer training and development on the minds of hockey players everywhere, we invite – and challenge – you to become a better hockey player this summer.

Mapping out your summer hockey training is an exciting process, and our staff at Greg Carter’s Hockey School welcomes you to join us at one of our camps located in 10 states this summer. As we have discussed this season in our many player development articles, we have 23 years in the hockey school business and have enjoyed training thousands of hockey players who come to us sharing the same goal as you; to become a better hockey player!

We take development seriously. Our pro staff challenges skaters to reach their full potential by teaching the fundamentals of skating, stick handling and shooting. We pride ourselves in teaching in a way that builds confidence and leads to continuous improvement. Simply put, at our hockey camps and hockey clinics we offer you the most on-ice instruction with the best results.

A few of the highlights of training with the CARTER METHOD include Control, Agility, Reflex, Technique, Edge and Retention. Our website is loaded with player tips and testimonials about our successful teaching methods. If you are a serious hockey player looking for an elite training program this summer, give us a call or click here to register for one of our programs!

We look forward to a great summer and to having the opportunity to help you achieve your goals!

16

March

Once that final buzzer sounds it’s only a short time before most players start to think “What’s next” . . . “How do I improve my game?” While many players think this, it’s those that follow through, set goals and work hard that actually hit the ice next season as a better player than last season. So the question is, how are you going to make the most of your off season training?

5 tips to the top of your game: 

  1. Start with a plan. This seems simple and obvious, but a plan isn’t a plan unless goals are identified and written down. Think back to last season and the difficulties that you had, identify areas of improvement and create a plan that will improve skills in areas that need the most work. Many players work on areas in which they are already strong. The great players spend time focusing on their weaknesses.
  2. Choose a program. There are many options on how and where to train. Do your homework, and research opportunities that are reputable and offer training and skill development in the areas that align with your goals and objectives. Once you make this important commitment, you will be once step closer to your off season goals.
  3. It’s summer, enjoy it! Off season training should be mixed in with a good balance of traditional summer activities. Hockey players that create a mix of training and fun are more likely to reduce injuries and also will stay with the program for a longer period of time.
  4. Dedicate yourself. When it does come time for training, whether it’s before going to the beach or after a round of golf, focus on what you need to improve on. Put yourself back into the place you were last season and think about the areas of your game that frustrated you. Listen to your instructors and coaches and skate each drill with the same intensity that you play the game. Dedicate yourself to the moment!
  5. Split the summer into 3 periods. June, July and August come and go very quickly. If you split your training and define goals for each month, it will allow you to focus and access your progress on a monthly basis. Players that we have trained at our summer hockey schools have told us they will identify 3 key areas of focus, and while they train all summer with them in mind, they may spend more time in June in shooting for example, and then shift the focus of July to power skating, and then August is all about stickhandling.

The goal of your off season training should be to improve your skills, increase your love of the game and to hit the ice this fall as a better hockey player than you left it in the spring. Good luck in all of your training and we hope to see you on the ice at one of our camps in 10 states this summer!