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player tips

11

January

Don’t Think You Ever Deserve It

Posted by Greg Carter

When you think about choosing the right summer hockey camp this summer, think about this bit of this sage advice given by Rip at the Dutton Ranch to the young boy Carter. What does it have to do with youth hockey? Actually, quite a bit.

The best hockey teams have talent, they are selfless and play as a team, they have a burning desire to win and above all, they possess a super strong work ethic.

Several of our Pro Tips articles have focused on Doing The Little Things that end up making a big difference. To Beat You I’m Going To Out Work You is great advice about staying focused and to never quit learning, developing skills and working hard. Said another way, the best players aren’t ever satisfied and always have an appetite for more. 

Whether hitting the ice for the first practice after making the team or scoring a big goal to get to the championship game, the best players understand that once ‘they have arrived’ that is when the work really begins. Great players don’t think they deserve anything. Great players are never satisfied. Nothing is given and everything is earned.

Some of the best players that I have coached over the years are also the players that are the most excited when they make the team. And not just because they made the team, but more importantly, because they are one step closer to becoming a better player. These are the players that show up everyday, work hard on skill development and never take their position on the team for granted.

Perhaps it is said best by these two recent quotes from great hockey players:

Jack LaFontaine, a goalie playing NCAA hockey this season, recently signed a rare, mid-season contract to leave the college ranks to play professionally. “I just got a ticket to the dance, so now it’s time to come work even harder.

When NHL’er Nate Prosser announced his retirement recently, he said of playing in the top league in the world “Every day was a tryout.”

Just like Rip told Carter, if you want to last, don’t think you ever deserve it.

Thanks for reading and we invite you to train with us this summer at one of our summer hockey school’s located in 11 states. Our Pro Staff will provide instruction using The CARTER Method to help players reach their full potential. If you are a player that is never satisfied and always looking to get better, we’ve got a great training program for you! 

21

December

Summer Hockey & Santa

Posted by Greg Carter

Picking out the perfect summer hockey camp can be as fun as picking out the perfect gift!

Our summer 2022 hockey camps are located in 11 states and include the skill development training that youth hockey players need to take their game to the next level. What is the right summer hockey school for you? Here is a brief overview of our summer hockey camps for 2022:

Summer Hockey Camps in Alaska

We’ve grown to love our summer hockey camp in Alaska at the McDonald Center in Eagle River. This camp has multiple options in June and July and in addition to providing excellent on-ice instruction, has provided some memorable off-ice experiences with bear encounters and more! For more information click here

Summer Hockey Camps in Connecticut

Summer Hockey School at South Windsor Ice Arena in South Windsor, CT is one of our most popular camps! For more information click here

Summer Hockey Camps in Illinois

We have three summer hockey schools in Illinois including Addison Arena in Addison, North Shore Ice Arena in Northbrook, and Canlan Ice Sports in Romeoville, Illinois. For more information click here

Summer Hockey Camps in Massachusetts

Our home state! We have something for everyone when it comes to summer hockey in Massachusetts, including: Ed Burns ice Arena in Arlington, NESV in Attleboro, Raymond Bourque Arena in Beverly, Warrior Ice Arena in Brighton, Canton Ice House in Canton, Valley Sports Arena in Concord, Valley Forum Haverhill in Haverhill, Pilgrim Skating Center in Hingham, Hyannis Community Center in Hyannis, The Bog Ice Arena in Kingston, New England Sports Center in Marlboro, Essex Sports Center in Middleton, Chase Arena in Natick, Charles Moore Arena in Orleans, Rockland Ice Arena in Rockland, Hockeytown USA in Saugus, Somerville Veterans Memorial Rink in Somerville, Roche Arena in West Roxbury and O’Brien Arena in Woburn! For more information click here. 

Summer Hockey School in New Hampshire

The Tri-Town Ice Arena in Hooksett and the Keene Ice Arena in Keene are the awesome hosts for our summer hockey camps in New Hampshire! For more information click here. 

Summer Hockey School in New Jersey

We have a great option for summer hockey camp in New Jersey at the Jersey Shore Arena in Wall Township, NJ! For more information click here

Summer Hockey School in New York

Bill Gray’s Ice Arena in Rochester, New York is home to our 2022 summer hockey camp in New York! For more information click here

Summer Hockey Camp in Pennsylvania

We have two options for training and summer hockey school in Pennsylvania including Hatfield Ice in Colmar and Lehigh Valley Ice Arena in Whitehall. For more information click here

Summer Hockey School in Vermont

We love our camps in Vermont at both Cairns Arena in South Burlington and Union Arena in Woodstock! For more information click here

Summer Hockey Camp in Virginia

The Chilled Ponds Arena in Chesapeake is home to our summer hockey school in Virginia! For more information click here

Summer Hockey School in Rhode Island

Boss Ice Arena in Kingston is the host for youth hockey players looking to take their game to the next level at summer hockey camp in Rhode Island! For more information click here

We invite you to train with us and look forward to our summer hockey 2022! 

01

December

A Hockey Player’s Present

Posted by Greg Carter

Puck luck, pride & passion top this years’ wish list for youth hockey players!

With the 2021-22 youth hockey season well under way the holidays are always a good time to pause and evaluate your game. Very likely there are certain aspects of your game that are going really well, and also a few areas that need some work. 

Our past holiday hockey player wish lists have delivered some great gifts and this year the list starts with pride.

Hockey Players Play With PRIDE

A recent conversation with a fellow youth hockey coach was about how much pride their entire team is taking in the way they approach each and every practice and game. From being on time to working hard and getting along in the locker room, each and every player is taking great pride in being a contributor to the team. It’s no surprise their season is off to an awesome start. 

Hockey Players Play With PURPOSE

Youth hockey players have more skill than ever. The best players approach every drill at every practice with purpose. They don’t skate the drill to simply get back in line to do it again, they skate the drill with the purpose of getting better. If you play with purpose you will prosper! 

Hockey Players Are PREPARED

We’ve talked in past articles about the “6’s P’s of Performance’: Proper Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.” Being prepared is part of a winning mindset. Are you prepared for every practice and every game?

Hockey Players Play With PASSION

The best hockey players have one thing in common beyond a high skill level; they are also the most passionate about everything hockey. Passion can’t be taught, but if you have it, dream it, live it and pursue it! 

Hockey Players Create Their Own PUCK LUCK

How many hockey games have you watched where the puck just seems to be bouncing in the right direction for one team all game. Hockey is a game of inches and there is something to be said for being in the right place at the right time and ‘lucky bounces’ . . . but there is also something to be said for creating the opportunities to be in that lucky spot in the first place. Work hard and create your own puck luck this season!

Thanks for reading and we hope our annual hockey player holiday list provides you with plenty to think about and to help improve your game this season. As a reader of our Player Tips from our Pro Staff, we would also like to extend our Early Bird Special to you for our summer of 2022 Hockey Schools. Take advantage of the best prices of the season by clicking here

18

November

Summer Hockey Camp in Massachusetts

You made it through tryouts. You made it through the first few practices of the season. You’ve pulled the game jersey over your head. Now what?

We all know the saying that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. The question for youth hockey players is, how tough are you?

Toughness In Youth Hockey Players

We are not talking about physical toughness here, but instead mental toughness and the ability to fight through adversity. This season a friend’s daughter started her freshman year at a top Division I school. She came out of high school as a highly regarding player. Being handed a redshirt for her freshman year – and being told she would not see any game action – was not something she expected or was used to.

At this point, there are a few paths that this player could go down:

1. Frustration at the coach, program and fellow players that there would be zero game action for an entire year, again not something she was accustomed to since she started playing hockey in pre-school. It’s a long year when all you do is practice and frustration can set in!

2. Go with the flow, knowing she wasn’t going to be playing, hang in the shadow of the team for the season, and do just enough to get by until she had a chance to see some game action after her redshirt season.

3. Maintain her character, rely on what got her to that and even ratchet it up another notch, continuing to work as hard to harder than anyone on the team.

When the going gets tough, what would you do in this situation?

This player chose to shift into the next gear. Super positive attitude on and off the ice. First on and off the ice and practice. Always in the weight room. Always shooting pucks. Then more pucks. And when it was time to go, shooting a few more pucks.

Youth Hockey Lesson: Hard Work Always Pays Off

When the time came to fill an unexpected opening on the roster, guess who got the call into the coaches office. This player traded the redshirt for a game jersey, and the rest is history!

This season you are sure to experience disappointment and adversity, youth hockey is full of it. The important question is, how will you respond to it? Like this college hockey player, we hope that when the going gets tough, you too, will get going!

Thank you for reading and have a wonderful Thanksgiving next week. All of our 2022 Summer Hockey Camps are listed on our website and we once again invite you to train with us!

03

November

In a recent article we talked about Alex Ovechkin’s pursuit of Wayne Gretzky’s all-time scoring record and lessons youth hockey players can learn from watching this chase unfold over the next few years. After a dozen or so games this season, the excitement has only continued to build.

While scoring goals garner the headlines – and in the case of Ovechkin another notch closer the record – assists and great passes can be equally impressive and exciting. 

Great players know where teammates are on the ice and great passers have the ability to put the puck on their stick: stretch passes that spring players into the offensive zone to split the defensemen are just as exciting as the goal itself. Tic-tac-toe passes that force the goalie to move laterally across the goal crease allowing for an easy tap in are as pretty as it gets.

Saucer passes across a sprawling defenseman’s stick landing perfectly flat on a linemate’s stick should be an ESPN Top 10 every time. Full-stride tape-to-tape passes heading up ice that leave a defender spinning like a top, is just as fun to watch as the puck crossing the goal line.

Precision passing is a skill that just like any other, requires practice, practice, and more practice. Youth hockey players should focus on the fundamentals of passing such as keeping your head up and proper form and follow through. Mechanics are important to passing, but one of the greatest passers said it best ‘great passers don’t miss the tape, just like great goal scorers don’t miss the net.’ 

As your youth hockey season gets underway, focus on making great passes – precision passes – every time.  Too often practices and drills lose their flow because of errant passes. The drill stops, players get back in line and the opportunity is lost. A great coach once said that players need to work as hard as making a great pass as they do taking a great shot on a goal.

This season pass with purpose and pass with precision! 

Thanks for reading and good luck with the start of your season!  If you are starting to think about youth hockey schools for the Summer of 2022, so are we! Stay tuned HERE for dates and locations!

This article first appeared in the Massachusetts Hockey Newsletter.
Greg Carter Hockey School is a proud partner of Mass. Hockey, the governing body of youth hockey in Massachusetts.

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