player tips

03

October

Summer Hockey Camp’s Best Reward 

Posted by Greg Carter
Greg Carter's Hockey School

As we hit the ice full speed for the season, I was recently reminded of one of the best rewards from our summer hockey camp, and it’s not at all what I would have imagined, or you might think!

Having played hockey for nearly my entire life – youth, collegiately and in the ECHL – and more recently running our hockey camp for the past two decades, I have met virtually every ‘category’ of player. There are the players who have all of the talent in the world, but never figure out how to dedicate themselves and put it to good use, resulting in shortened careers. There are the players who have all the will in the world, but at a point in time run out of the skill needed to make it to the next level. And of course a million other ‘categories’ of players including those who just want to have fun, meet friends and enjoy the camaraderie and teamwork.

But every so often you meet a player who is as good of a person off of the ice as they are a hockey player on the ice. Nothing is more refreshing than a player who can go out and score a hat trick, lead the team in points all season and is at the same time respectful to coaches and officials, a great student and maybe even volunteering to help others in the community. What is even more refreshing, and rewarding, is when as a coach and instructor, you have had the opportunity to watch this player grow throughout their career knowing you have had a hand in helping shape such a well-rounded individual, both on and off of the ice.

This past summer I had the pleasure of welcoming back a couple of players who grew up participating in our programs and our summer hockey camps. Both will be playing Division I hockey this year for a storied program that ‘wins’ as much in the classroom as they do on the ice. One will be a captain as an underclassman after leading his team in goals last year. These two players skated with our youth players and it turned out to be one of the most memorable and rewarding weeks of the summer.

When they arrived everyone knew who they were and that they were great hockey players. They didn’t have to say please and thank you to everyone they met, but they did. They didn’t have to interact, smile, laugh and try to help every player on the ice, but they did. They didn’t have to pull a struggling skater aside for extra edge work, but they did. They didn’t have to tell stories to every kid that asked about playing college hockey, but they did, because not too long ago it was them looking up to someone, asking those same questions!

Character is critical in hockey, and I was reminded of this watching these two at camp this past summer. We’ve said in past articles that “talent gets you noticed, but character gets recruited.” It was extremely rewarding – and inspiring – as I watched these two at camp to know that yes, they became great hockey players, but even more importantly, they became incredible young adults.

As you go through this season and strive to win every puck battle, every shift, every period and every game, keep in mind that the very best players, especially in the game of hockey, are also great off of the ice. Respect your coaches, teammates, officials, parents and teaches, and most of all, respect the great game of hockey. I can tell you that after spending more than four decades in hockey that if you do this, you will be remembered, and rewarded, for the rest of your life!

Thanks for reading and we look forward to seeing you at the rink soon!

 

22

August

Greg Carter

Whether you are playing football this fall or just enjoy cheering on your favorite team, the CARTER Method of training can be applied to multiple sports and athletes, whether it’s in the centerfield to the backfield!

Control. The importance of body control in an athlete is critical. Every movement is a skill and in order to master a skill, and movement, an athlete must be dedicated to it, whether on the offensive line in football, or the blue line in hockey. Athletes must understand and enhance body movements to improve their overall balance and performance.

Agility. There was a great video that came out this summer of Nashville Prdators’ defenseman P.K. Subban working out on the ice skating with quick feet, changing directions and position of his body quickly and effectively. And, he did all of this under complete control. Speed, coordination, quick reflexes and balance are all important characteristics of having great agility.

Reflex. The Little League World Series is one of the great sporting events of the year. Watching a recent game I saw a batter send a line drive screaming right back at the pitcher. This pitcher stuck out his glove and snagged the ball before it flew by him into the outfield for a base hit. Great athletes have excellent reflexes.

Technique. Proper technique is the foundation of training. Enhancing performance without the proper technique is virtually impossible, especially as athletes mature. With football season upon us, color commentators love to talk about the technique of players, especially quarterbacks! There have been many good quarterbacks who never became great or elite, because they didn’t have the technique that would allow them to get to the next level. Make sure to pay attention to and work and proper technique!

Edge. When we talk about ‘edge’ in hockey we are talking about skating and using the inside and outside edges of the skate blade. Having great control and agility as an athlete will give you every advantage when the game is on the line.

Retention. The retention of motor skills, technique and other skill attributes is paramount. Repetition leads to retention. Repeatedly test yourself on what you are learning and over time, you will find success!

We hope you have a great Labor Day Weekend and an awesome start to the season! 

 

 

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.

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!