player tips

19

July

Summer Dreams – Dream Big!

Posted by Greg Carter
Greg Carter Hockey Camp

A big part of the enjoyment of training hockey players all summer is helping them reach their full potential. And when it comes to dreaming big about hockey careers, we’ve learned to never count out anyone!

Watching the Major League Baseball All Star Game this week it was amazing how many players have made it to the big leagues, despite being undersized. Consider the following players who were featured during the game:

– Atlanta Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies is 5′ 8″. He has 20 homers this season.

– Cleveland Indians second baseman Jose Ramirez is 5′ 9″ and 165 pounds. He has 29 homers so far this season which is tied for first in the American League.

Mookie Betts, a right fielder for the Boston Red Sox, is also 5′ 9″. This season he has hit 23 home runs. Last season he hit 31.

– Often described as the “best inch-for-inch hitter in baseball” Jose Altuve is 5′ 6″. Altuve is a three-time batting champion. He has hit 24 home runs in both of the past two seasons.

All of these players made it to the top of the game because yes, they have a ton of talent. But they also overcame coaches, so-called experts and scouting reports claiming they were too weak, too small or too whatever to make it to the next level. But you know what? They made it to the next level. Why? Because they never game up on themselves!

This summer as you are training and working hard to become a better hockey player you have a decision to make. Are you going to listen to what others might say about your talent or physical stature – good, bad or otherwise – or are you going to stay focused on your training and your goals and overcome the obstacles. You have to believe in yourself before anyone else will!  

A great coach once told me that you can’t ever let anyone control your destiny and that ‘if it’s going to be, it’s up to me”. As you progress through this summer and increase your strength, stamina and skills remember these lessons, and find some inspiration from these ‘boys of summer’ that not only made it to the Major Leagues, but became All-Stars!

Whatever your summer dreams, dream big, work hard and never give up!

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.

14

March

Hockey Camp

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!

16

November

Greg Carter Hockey Camp

One of my former coaches used to say that if you stay in the moment, good things can happen. I’ve always believed and preached this coaching games when my team is both leading as well as behind, but especially when we are behind by several goals. I was reminded of this former coach after watching an absolutely incredible finish to a recent high school football that made national news.

The game was between two teams from Minnesota. With one minute left in this quarterfinal state tournament game, Maple Grove High School was down by 19 points.

Game over, right?

As fans were heading for the exits, Maple Grove scored a touchdown to make it 27-16 with 59 seconds left in the game. Failed onside kick, and game over, right?

Maple Grove recovered the onside kick and had the ball at mid-field. Ok, interesting, but they still need to score a touchdown, and even if they do, they are still down by five points, and will be kicking off with little or not time remaining. A quick pass led to another touchdown, and suddenly the score was 27-22 with 46 seconds left.

Ok, at this point, it’s been a great story, but there’s no way a football team can successfully execute another onside kick, right? And even if they miraculously did, they would still need another touchdown.

Incredibly, this team recovered another onside kick, and once again had the ball around mid-field. A few pass plays got them down near the goal line, and the next play they ran in their third touchdown in a minute. Pandemonium ensued, and I’m sure sometime later that night the reality of what they had accomplished set in.

In our last blog we talked talked about the awesome baseball we saw during the World Series this year, and about the importance of believing in your own game. We asked the question about when the game is on the line, do you believe and dig down, and think of all of your time, energy and training, and confidently know that you can win.

This football game brought up another important aspect of this, which is not just believing that you have the talent to win, but also and just as importantly, staying in the moment and doing your job.

It would have been very easy for the kicker of this high school football team, down by two touchdowns and thinking the game is over, to not concentrate on the first onside kick. Instead, he executed it flawlessly, as if that kick was going to win the game. He stayed in the moment!

It would have been equally easy for the quarterback to then take the field, still knowing a comeback was nearly impossible, and to lose focus on the plays and passes.

These players stayed in the moment, and even after converting one successful onside kick into a touchdown, did it again, this time to finish a comeback like football fans had never witnessed, and may very well never see again!

Whether you are on the winning side of a game, or the losing side, this wild finish is a great reminder to never lose focus, and regardless of the score, to play hard and do your job until the final second ticks off the clock.

Great coaches leave lasting impressions, and that old coach of mine always taught me to stay in the moment, and I’ve got a feeling both of the teams that participated in this wild game will never forget that same lesson!

We hope you are off to a great start to your season. All of our 2018 summer school dates and locations will be finalized soon. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday with family and friends and remember, if you stay in the moment, good things can happen!

17

October

Shoot To Thrill

Posted by Greg Carter

When it comes to scoring goals, it all starts with a great shot.

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An old coach of mine used to tell our team that you can never shoot enough pucks, and that the all of the great goal scorers could pick a spot, and hit it 9 out of 10 times. He would then tell us to go home and shoot pucks in the driveway, basement or back yard, and once you hit your target 9 out of 10 times, pick up the pucks and do it all over again.

Of all the great players that I’ve skated with, I always remember the guys who could shoot the puck. Some had a really heavy shot, but not great accuracy. Others could snipe a spot no larger than a mouse hole every time, but weren’t strong enough to beat the better goalies. The really great shooters had a combination of both power and accuracy.

With today’s stick technology, finding the right stick is a very important factor in shooting. The science in sticks today has been a game changer because of the flex and whipping motion that with the right technique, allows players to shoot harder than ever. Make sure to pay attention to the the pattern and flex which will play a role, especially as players get older, in developing a good shot.

So how can you increase the accuracy and power behind your shot? At our hockey camps we stress the importance of the fundamentals in shooting technique. This varies a bit from player to player and also by the age of the player. Older, stronger players have the strength to lean on a stick, creating the torque necessary to best leverage the technology in sticks. Younger players meanwhile, may not have the strength, and need to really rely on accuracy, while developing the strength and technique needed to score on goalies as they get older, and as the goaltenders get better.

Another key to a great shot is keeping your head up and your feet moving. We see a lot of players who have a good shot, but cant snipe the spot because their head is down and they don’t ever see that wide open top corner! Also, as soon as you stop moving your feet, it’s a big clue to the goaltender that you may be going for a deke versus a shot.

If you are spending your time away from the rink shooting pucks , you are already on your way to scoring more goals this season. Remember to practice all shots including the wrist shot, snap shot and slap shot. Each require a unique discipline that with the right stick, will allow you to shoot to thrill!