player tips



Don’t Be in a Race to Be Mediocre

Posted by Greg Carter

Development is a marathon, not a sprint. When the season begins there is an appetite for immediate satisfaction in the way of goals, wins and championships.

It’s true everyone wants to win each and every game, but winning the last game is more important that winning the first game. Great coaches enter the season focused on development. Developing individual skills for each player, as well as developing team play and the chemistry that it takes to win championships. This development is what leads to goals, wins and championships.

If the players and team are performing at the same level and the end of the season as they did at the start, the results are not going to be favorable.

This season don’t be in a hurry for mediocrity. There are decisions being made by coaches that have the long term success of the team in mind, versus short term satisfaction. Yes, coaches want to win every game, but with the development of the players and team at the forefront.

We had a team with an amazing first power play. It would be easy to always put that first unit on each and every power play, regardless of time of year or score of game. However in order to develop more players, the second power play unit was used throughout the season.

When playoff time came, the top scorer and leader of the top power play got injured. It was fortunate that other players with a season worth of experience were able to step up. The coaches were never rushing development and sacrificing long term development for short term gain!

We hope your season is off to a great start, and for those just finishing a season, we hope it ended with a win!

Be sure to check out our website for 2023 Summer Hockey School dates and locations, registration is now open! Thanks for reading!



We hope your season is off to a great start! New beginnings – and new seasons – are special and important. Great players rely on their past experiences and build on them for future successes. They also realize that the past is just that, the past.

An NHL coach recently commented about a slow start to the season, and the sluggish play of some on the team, by commenting that nobody cares how good you were last year. The message was clear: it’s a new season, and new opportunity…to prove you deserve to play, or for others to prove they deserve to play, regardless of your past points or production.

Whether you scored 50 goals last season, assisted on dozens more or made more saves than Mr. Zero himself, this youth hockey season is another opportunity to do it again!

When our pro staff talks about youth hockey development in our Player Tips section of our website, we often remind players and parents that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Great players keep developing over a period of time, they keep setting goals and reaching higher. They don’t quit and rest on their laurels.

Regardless of past success or failures, learn from them, build on them and work harder than ever to make this your best season ever!

Thanks for reading and check back soon for the announcement of our summer hockey school dates and locations. Until then, we look forward to seeing you at the rink!



This is another great post written by our Pro Staff for our Player Tips Archive. To view the full content library click here.

Here’s how I’m going to beat you. I’m going to outwork you. That’s it. That’s all there is to it. – Pat Summitt

I saw this quote recently and it made me stop and think. You can have all the talent in the world, but if you don’t work hard, you aren’t going to be successful. Who is Pat Summitt you might ask?  Summitt was the head coach of the Tennessee women’s basketball team and at the time of her retirement had 1,098 wins, which was the most in college basketball history. As a player she won a sliver medal at the 1976 Olympics and later coached the US Women’s Olympic Basketball Team to a gold medal at the 1984 Olympics. She knew a thing or two about winning.

Good coaches are good coaches regardless of sport, and it’s interesting as a hockey coach to learn from others.  And the thing about Summitt’s quote about winning, especially winning consistently, in the big games and in the playoffs is this: you can have all the talent in the world, but if you don’t work hard, someone else, regardless of talent level is going to want it more, work harder and win the game. Will over skill is much more than a simple motivator or cliche.

At our summer hockey schools we focus heavily on skill. Specifically, the CARTER Method focuses on Control, Agility, Reflex, Technique, Edge and Retention. We challenge players to reach their full potential in each of these key areas and also teach of the fundamentals of skating, stickhandling, and shooting, and we teach in a way that builds confidence and leads to continuous improvement.

While we strive to instill not only these fundamental skills, we also stress the importance of hard word. A great quote from the best of all time is;

The highest compliment that you can pay me is to say
that I work hard every day, that I never dog it.
-Wayne Gretzky

The Great One finished his career with a 1.921 points per game average. Think of that, nearly two points per game in the NHL and what he wants to be remembered for is that he worked hard every day and ‘never dog it.’

Players who want to be successful in hockey need to continually work on skill development, but must also ask themselves if they ‘dog it’. One of the greatest and most fun part of being a coach is being a part of a team that not only has a ton of talent, but also three lines of players who all want to be at the rink and all want to work hard every practice, every game, every period and every shift.

This season have fun, become a better hockey player and make it the season that you focus on hard work. Good luck, thanks for reading and we look forward to seeing you at the rink very soon!



Note: A similar version of this article ran several years back and with only some simple modifications, it still (fortunately or unfortunately) applies in 2022!

With Election Day just around the corner there is plenty of consideration – and consternation – among voters. Leading up to this election candidates on both a local and national level have displayed their character and aptitude through both action and words. At this point all that remains is the final decision of voters on who is best positioned to be a leader.

The definition of a leader is “the power or ability to lead other people”. Characteristics of a leader are similar, whether in sport, business or politics. A leader is someone who inspires and motivates. They are humble, intuitive, dedicated and solution oriented.

When hockey teams vote on who deserves the honor of wearing the “C” on their sweater, teammates and coaches make their decision based on many of the same considerations voters use to elect politicians, namely, the ability to lead. This should not be a popularity contest or an honor simply given to the best player on the team.

So what does it really mean to be a team captain?
A captain and leader:

* Is respectful of teammates as well as the game of hockey. 

* Has a deep desire to win, to work hard and to inspire others to work just as hard.

* Is honest and trustworthy.

* Sets good examples in the good times, and well as during the challenging moments of the season.  

During this election season we have seen plenty of examples of what defines leaders and captains, as well as unfortunate situations that do not define leadership.

For youth hockey players and captains, it’s important to remember that captaincy is a special honor, and one to be taken seriously on behalf of both teammates and coaches who look to their captain for leadership. Remember that the role of the captain and leader also extends beyond the ice, into the locker room and into daily life.

The following is one of our favorite quotes regarding leadership: “The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.”

We hope you are have a great start to the season and that you elect a great captain – and leader – for your team!

Thanks for reading and we hope to see you at the rink soon!



Labor Day has come and gone, cooler weather and football is upon us and preseason NHL games are starting to pop up on the TV schedule. This could only mean one thing; the youth hockey season is upon us!

As youth hockey players gear up for the season, it’s important to reflect on what was accomplished during your summer hockey training. What are your plans to use the development to be a huge contributor and leader on your team this season?

A good way for young hockey players to start this season, is to reflect back to last season.

What areas of your game needed work? What goals did you set for the summer and did you accomplish them?

Hopefully your summer hockey training allowed you to refocus, work on new skills, get rid of any bad habits and position yourself for a great season.

The areas that you identified as needing work in your post season evaluation were hopefully the key areas of focus for you over the summer. Now is the time to apply everything that you learned, as well as show off those skills that you mastered. Maybe you needed to increase your speed, develop a better shot or improve your stick handling skills. Make sure you take what you learned and apply it to every practice, every game and every shift this season!

Hockey is a game that requires many skills, and putting forth the time and effort in the off-season to work hard on your development is part of the equation, but what you do on the ice this season is the true test. Are you prepared to apply your development to your everyday hockey experience?

Everyone has heard the slogan that ‘practice makes perfect’ and this is especially true when it comes to using the tools that you learned over the summer to improvement your skills each and every day this season.

Thanks for reading and good luck with the start of  your season. We look forward to hearing about your next great hockey experience and seeing you at the rink soon!


With RSS feeds, you don't have to visit our site everyday to keep up to date. Simply subscribe to our blog via RSS or Email and our posts will come to you!