player tips

Greg Carter's Hockey School

The top players in hockey are the best for many reasons, including possessing above average skill, but in addition to the talent, the best of the best also are the most driven to learn, develop and succeed. As you work hard to improve your game over the next few months, keep in mind the following list of intangibles that will help you make successful strides this summer!

Desire
We love players with desire! Desire to learn, desire to work hard, desire to go the extra mile, desire to be a leader, desire to be a great teammate. Players with desire are a coach’s favorite and the ones they rely on in key situations.

Creativity
Players can’t be afraid to make mistakes, especially at summer hockey school. This is the time to work on areas of your game that you have been compensating for during the season. Try that new move around the defense, take a snap shot rather than a wrist shot, try a deke on the goalie rather than firing the puck right away. Summer is the best time to not only work on new moves, but to incorporate them into your game so that when the season hits, you are ready to win!

Skill
When we talk about the CARTER method of training we incorporate six key areas that build a solid foundation for players: Control, Agility, Reflex, Technique, Edge, Retention. Players of all ages and talent levels need to increase their skill, and hard work is the best way to accomplish this.

Discipline
Good players show up to the rink. Great players arrive early, ready to warm up and are focused on accomplishing something, each and every time they hit the ice. Good players might do this 50 percent of the time, but great players have the discipline to set aside everything else (school, friends, phones, etc.) and focus 100% on hockey during the time they are training. “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.”

Dedication
Similar to discipline, dedication is the commitment to the game of hockey, and not just during the fun times (games!) but more importantly, during practices and training, both on and off the ice. If you are both disciplined in your approach to the game, and dedicated to your goals, the sky is the limit!

We look forward to seeing you at the rink this summer. We have camps in ten states over the next few months and it’s not too late to register! Click here for last minute registration opportunities.

Greg Carter Hockey Camp

The final rounds of the NHL Playoffs have featured some incredible hockey, and a great reminder that who scores is not as important as that you do score.

We see many skilled and talented players at our hockey camps each summer. We love to work on fundamental skills including skating, shooting and stickhandling, as well as agility, edge work, control and technique, which are all part of “The Carter Method” of reaching your full potential as a hockey player.

As we train and help develop the skill of hockey players we like to see the results in scrimmages and games during camp. And what we often see is that some players have very good skill sets, but they lack hockey sense and “hockey IQ” and don’t always make the best hockey decisions.

Common teaching moments include things like forcing a pass rather than taking advantage of open ice and skating with the puck. In the offensive zone players often take bad angle or low percentage shots trying to score, rather than passing the puck to a wide open wing for what could be an easy tap in goal, and an assist.

While we have covered the benefits of watching NHL games to help improve your own game, as well as talking about “me versus we players“, the importance is accentuated when you get down to the final eight or four teams competing for the Stanley Cup.

At this level and at this time of year, it’s clear that individual accomplishments are secondary to the team goal. The team comes first and players are always going to use the best option to make the best hockey play. When the game is on the line, and it’s win or go home, what matters most is that you do score, not who scores.

As you train and develop your hockey skills this summer, continue to improve your hockey IQ and think about always making the best hockey decision, regardless of whether or not your stats will benefit. A group of great teammates will always go further than a group of individuals!

Have a great summer and we look forward to seeing you at hockey camp!

11

April

This spring we’ve seen the first pitch of America’s summer pastime lead to games being postponed because of snow; and wow, have we seen snow! So what has the weather and baseball taught us about hockey? Well, just as we saw at the NCAA Frozen Four, to be prepared for anything.

As the commentators described how the Bulldogs were lucky to even get into the NCAA tournament with the last at-large bid – ironically via an overtime win by Notre Dame who they eventually beat for the National Championship – I was reminded of many times in sports when an unexpected opportunity presented itself, and the outcome being squarely rooted in being prepared.

Just like the UMD team was prepared to make the most of the opportunity to play in the NCAA’s, players themselves need to be ready for the unexpected. When the chance presents itself to fill in on the power play, will you be ready? When your linemate gives you the perfect no-look pass on the tape, will you bury it? When the coach calls your number in the shootout with the game on the line, do you have a ‘go-to’ move or a sure-fire shot?

Even though I wasn’t ready for all of the snow this winter, or what I thought would be a nice little late-season snowfall that lead to a dreadful blast in mid-March, and ended with what we can only hope is a final kick in the teeth last week, I am ready now, with a snowplow large enough to blow out three lanes of interstate highway in a single pass. 

Like our unexpected battles with Mother Nature this winter, UMD’s unexpected birth in the NCAA’s and the boy’s of summer having snow delays, hockey players need to always be ready for what the game presents.

We hope you take advantage of the opportunity to train with us this summer. Our hockey camps have locations in 10 states and specialize in key areas of skill development that we call the CARTER METHOD. This includes the fundamentals of skating, stick handling, and shooting, and we teach in a way that builds confidence and leads to continuous improvement. Control, Agility, Reflex, Technique, Edge and Retention.

Our talented and knowledgeable staff is eager to answer your questions and help you prepare for next season, as well as the next time the unexpected opportunity presents itself. Because when it’s your turn to shine, great teams and great players are prepared, confident and ready to perform!  

 

14

March

Hockey School

As a hockey player, to achieve something special, you need to know what you want, and once the top of the mountain is in sight, it’s time to set the goals to get there.

A coach used to say that goals without a plan, are just dreams. And while there is nothing wrong with dreaming, if you really want to make dreams come true, there needs to be a road map with mile markers to help you get there.  Each summer we work with players from across the country who share a common goal, to become better hockey player. Most have an idea of what they want to achieve in hockey, and a select few have a really thought out plan on a training regiment that will increase their odds of accomplishing their goal.

So what are your summer plans? If you are really serious about becoming a better hockey player, your summer plans should include goals written on a piece of paper. One youth hockey player that I know actually has goals written in inspirational quotes on the bedroom wall. Documenting goals on paper, bedroom walls or on the goalposts of the net you shoot on in your basement or garage is important. If a goal is not written down somewhere they are too easily and often forgotten.

Start simple with your goals, maybe this summer you hope to develop a really good wrist shot. Or maybe you need to increase your speed or quickness. Power skating is something every player needs to continually improve on, so maybe that is on your list. The point is, when you start to set goals and work towards achieving them, when you finally do it is an extremely rewarding process, and increases the likelihood that you will reevaluate your game, and set higher goals next time. The most important step in this process is the first one, to get in the routine of setting goals, and then developing the good habits of working towards that goal!

Alexander Ovechkin recently scored his 600th goal, and did so fourth fastest in the history of the NHL. Ovechkin is obviously graced with plenty of natural talent, but his off season focus is about fitness. He knows that if he is in the best shape, he stands the best chance of dominating in the top hockey league in the world. His summer goals are focused around fitness and conditioning. Ovechkin was quoted as saying “Without training, I’m nothing. If I’m not training, I’m done.”

Long before he scored all these goals, he set his own goals. And after 600, he’s still committed.

So what are your goals for the summer? We invite you to set your goals and train with us to help achieve them at one of our 2018 summer hockey camps in ten states this summer.  Thanks for reading!

25

February

Olympic Inspiration

Posted by Greg Carter
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Watching the Olympics in Pyeongchang, and specifically the U.S. Women’s Hockey Team win gold, was a great opportunity for young athletes to gain some motivation and inspiration. Here are some of the excellent lessons and takeaways for hockey players from the 2018 Winter Games.

Follow Your Dream. One of the best parts of the Olympic telecasts are the stories about the athletes themselves. Where they came from, their home town, their grassroots level coaches, their family and friends. When you get a behind the scenes look at these athletes competing on a world stage for all to witness their extreme highs and devastating lows, you realize they are just like . . . you! They started as normal, everyday athletes from across the U.S. who followed their dream, and were lucky enough to accomplish it! What is your dream?

Stick With It. Olympic hockey without NHL players was interesting. Some of the coolest stories were about the players in the twilight of their career who only a short time ago never dreamed of pulling an Olympic jersey over their shoulders. These are the guys who perhaps appreciated it the most; players who grinded through a career in the minors or played in Europe or other far-away places. But their love of the game and commitment earned them a spot representing their country in the Olympics!

Training Pays Off. Whether it was cross country skiing, hockey or snowboarding, these are extremely well-conditioned athletes. Every single one of them. It seemed however, that when you followed the story line of the best of the best, these were the athletes that went above and beyond the rigorous training of their teammates and competitors. Sure, there is some God-given talent in these athletes, but the best of the best combine that talent with a work ethic and training program outdone by no one.

Winning Is The Greatest! Watching the emotional celebrations of the athletes was super cool. Seeing the raw emotions when they captured a medal, it was evident that the culmination of all of their years of training, sacrifice and dedication was spilling over. To spend the thousands of hours training, away from school, family, friends and a normal life, all to capture that win, is something special and should serve as motivation as we all try to win in our own lives each and every day!

The Olympics are a very special time, and there are many inspirational lessons to be learned from all of the athletes from around the world. Take those lessons and apply them to your daily routine for hockey, and you are sure to improve your overall game, on and off of the ice. Thanks for reading, and we invite you to follow your dream with us this summer at one of our 2018 hockey camps located in 10 states! Registration is in full swing, claim your spot today!