Posted by Greg Carter
A few years back we wrote this article about the great ones making it look easy. After watching Connor McDavid compete and win the skills competition at the recent NHL All-Star Game, we were reminded just how easy the great ones make it look!
Social media is full of skill videos featuring hockey players making incredible dekes and dangles and then finishing with a storybook goal. Watching this talent leaves everyone on the edge of their seat wondering ‘how’d they do that’? The answer is really quite simple: practice!
This summer we enter our 30th year of summer hockey camps in 12 states. It never ceases to amaze our pro staff how much the talent of young hockey players increases with each passing season.
The level of play from peewees to preps has gotten to a point where each and every year the discussion in the coaches room is whether the level of play can continue to improve. Amazingly enough, each year skills do improve and the level of play does get better.
Last year at summer hockey school after watching a player make a move that literally brought the coaches to applaud, we asked the player where he learned the move. The answer, not surprisingly, was by practicing it. Over and over and over again.
Like so many do, this player saw a goal scored on social media and immediately tried it. Then again at practice, and then again at home, in the basement and in the driveway. Everywhere and anytime this player had a stick and a puck, ball or anything else, he was practicing the same move.
Repetition and muscle memory are key to athletic success and within a relatively short period of time the player became successful with this move. After several more hours of practice he became great. Soon, he would ready to try it in a game!
There is an old saying in sports and life that “The great ones make it look easy” and when it comes to hockey skills this is definitely true. However, as we have talked about in past articles, the great ones only become great after spending hundreds or even thousands of hours honing their craft.
We encourage you to become great! Start by identifying an area of your game that needs improvement and dedicating yourself to working on it until it becomes natural. Find a great deke or dangle on the internet and work on it until you become great!
Thank you for reading. We invite you to train with us this summer at one of our hockey camps! For dates, locations and to register, click here.