player tips

Hockey Camp

The 2019 IIHF World Junior Championships just wrapped up in Vancouver, Canada. This tournament features the best hockey players under the age of 20. The action is intense, the speed is incredible, the passing is crisp and the overall talent out of this world!

So you might ask yourself, how do players take their game to the next level, and along with their team, rise to the occasion and take home a championship? How in ‘The Wolrd’s’ do they do it?

As witnessed at ‘The World’s’ in this tournament, here are the common characteristics of how players and teams win championships:

Bonding for a Common Goal: Teams are only as good as the players, and therefore the players need to all ‘buy-in’ to the process and systems to achieve the common goal of winning. Teams that are unable to bond and are instead comprised of a bunch of individuals skating for their own stats and recognition will most often not come out on top. To win, everyone needs to be a great teammate and always put the team first!

Selflessness: It’s always team first, ‘we’ over ‘me’. Individual stats and accomplishments come second. Fans saw this during the World Juniors when the Player of the Game was announced. It was evident in the humble reception of the individual award versus the overwhelming emotion to the team winning the game. Selfish players rarely win championships.

Talent & Teamwork: Talent wins hockey games, teamwork wins championships. This one is pretty obvious and can be seen at the local rink every week during every game. When a player has the opportunity to take a low percentage shot versus making a pass to a teammate for a better opportunity, what is the decision? As we have discussed in previous articles, it’s more important ‘that we do’ than ‘who’.

Winning Attitude: A great coach once said that ‘you have to believe you are a champion before you ever will be a champion’. While there is a ton of training, talent and hard work that factors into being a champion, a positive mindset and winning attitude definitely go a long way. Successful teams that I have played on have always believed that ‘we will win’ right up until the final buzzer. Do you believe?

From start to finish the World Junior hockey tournament was awesome. Although the U.S. Team came up a goal short and finished with the silver medal, it was must watch hockey TV. If you missed it, make sure to add it to your holiday calendar this year!

Thanks for reading and as always, we invite you to join us at one of our summer hockey camps in ten states this summer. 2019 is our 25th year of hockey camps and we are excited to celebrate it with you!

Click here for more information or to register!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

25

February

Olympic Inspiration

Posted by Greg Carter
IMG_0313

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!

31

January

Goal Scorers & Prolific Passers

Posted by Greg Carter
Greg Carter

Most teams have a goal scorer that can be counted on to find the back of the net on a regular basis. And as every good hockey coach will attest to, wherever you find a goal scorer, there is usually a great playmaker nearby. While everyone wants to score goals, having the talent to read a play and put the puck on the tape is an equally impressive skill.

Are you a good passer? Making a good pass can be the difference between winning and losing a game. In practice it can be the difference between a great start to a drill, or it ending before it ever begins as the puck slides down the entire length of the ice.

Practicing passing, and the proper fundamentals, should be a regular part of your skill training. Becoming a better passer is a simple way for players to make huge contributions to their team, and it all starts with a good hockey personality. A good personality you might ask? Absolutely, because in order to be a good passer you can’t be a puck hog! Great passers have a high ‘hockey IQ’ and try to making the right hockey play, not just trying to light the lamp themselves. And best of all? Great playmakers know that when they make a great pass, they oftentimes can expect a great pass back!

Tips and tricks to passing with precision:

Vision. Making a good pass starts with keeping your head up and being aware of the play. The skill of passing involves reading and anticipating the play, and not just making a pass, but making the right pass.

Accuracy = Tape-to-tape. Players hear this all of the time from coaches, and in order to make an accurate pass you need to look at your target and make a good, crisp pass with a proper follow through. Taking the extra split second to find your target and see how fast he is moving is something that will come naturally with practice. A pass into the skates of your linemate is a surefire way to quickly end a breakout or breakaway. Practice makes perfect, so hit the tape every time in practice and you stand a good chance of doing the same in the game!

Mechanics. The mechanics of passing have changed over the years as sticks have evolved. Gone are the days of needing to over emphasize receiving the puck, especially as players get older and stronger and the stick flexes when receiving passes. Some fundamentals do remain constant, such as not slapping at the puck. This is a common mistake players make at younger ages. Instead of slapping at the puck, players should concentrate on the puck rolling off the blade from the heel toward the toe in a sweeping motion. Weight transfer is also important, so move from your back to front skate as you begin your follow through.

Once players master the basic fundamentals of passing, they can start to practice more advanced passes such as a saucer pass, which is one of our absolute favorites! Take the time to work on your skills so that when the game is on the line, you make the perfect tape-to-tape pass!

Need more help with your passing and skill development? Join us at one of our 2018 Summer Hockey Camps in ten states this summer!