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11

March

How Important Is Hockey To You?

Posted by Greg Carter

With most postseason tournaments complete we are in the ‘inbetween season’ and depending on where you live that can mean many different things. Here in Massachusetts for example, we are in tryout mode as our youth hockey teams for next season are chosen in the coming weeks versus trying out this fall. 

In other parts of the country where teams for next season are chosen in September or October, you are likely spending the next few weeks in a spring league, development league and making final plans for summer hockey training. Most importantly, making plans to play hockey again next season!

One of the biggest decisions players are faced with at this time of the year is how bad do they want whatever it is that they have set a goal to achieve next season. We have talked about goal setting in a variety of past articles and the importance of this can’t be overstated. 

What’s Next?

Regardless of how your hockey season started and ended, whether you felt like you deserved more ice time or anything else, what happens next is more important than what happened last season. And it all starts with deciding how bad you want to improve your skills and take your game to the next level.

One of our favorite past articles was about a player who showed up every day for summer workouts. While friends were sleeping in, going to the beach or doing other things, this player was dedicated to sticking to a schedule, never making an excuses. Hockey was important enough to the player that there was always a way, never an excuse. The results and success of this player spoke for themselves. 

So as you make important decisions about how, where and when to train this summer, we invite you to join us at one of our summer hockey schools located in 11 states.

The only real question that remains is, will you find a way, or an excuse?

19

February

Why Do Certain Teams Always Win?

Posted by Greg Carter

As we head into summer hockey school season we have a really fun stretch of games ahead of us, the playoffs! I can remember as a youth hockey player that there were always the same few teams that every year found themselves in the championship game and most often, winning the title. Sometimes I was on those teams, other times it was that dreaded rival team that we loved playing, but also found a way to win a fair amount of the time.

As I’ve coached youth hockey over the past two decades and run hockey schools all over the country, I can say that this trend has not changed as the same teams seem to always be in the conversation at the end of the year.

In recent articles we’ve talked about Winning Being A Habit and that To Be The Best, You Need To Set Goals Like The Best. When it comes to winning, it’s pretty obvious that the best teams have players who are doing all the little things that add up to the big things! But why is it that certain teams and programs always seem to produce winners? Yes, it starts with skill, talent, work ethic and all of the ingredients that you would expect in a successful recipe, but there is something that I’ve noticed in recent years, especially at the youth levels that great teams share.

Selflessness. (Related Articles: “Are You A Me or We Player” & “That You Do Is More Important Than Who”)

As I watch teams, from the good to great, I’m always intrigued by the top players. I watch their skill sets, their style and how they interact with their teammates. From an individual standpoint, this is important because much of the time as the top players go, so goes the team. More specifically, if the team relies on the top player for everything, other teams can usually contain the threat. But if that top player (or players) relies on themselves for everything, and tries to do everything either out of selfishness or not trusting that teammates can get the job done, well this is separation between good teams and championship teams.

What I mean is this: How bad does a top player, or any player for that matter, want to score themselves vs. making sure that the team wins. I’ve seen players in game changing moments shoot from bad angles for example, rather than sliding the puck to a teammate for an easy tap in goal. I’ve seen players that want the notoriety of scoring in the big game or scoring a big goal seemingly more than an assist on a teammates goal. These things don’t happen on championship teams.

The teams that are playing for the championship are the teams that operate like teams! The players, all the players, want the team win more than the individual stats. Championship teams make good hockey decisions, they make good hockey plays, they are unselfish and we is always more important than me.

As you head into the the playoffs we wish you the best of luck at your Mass Hockey USA Hockey or local tournament! We hope that your team comes together and plays like a team and when that final buzzer sounds, you are celebrating a well-deserved championship!

Thanks for reading and as you set goals for next season, please accept our invitation to join us at any of our hockey schools at 11 states this summer!

05

February

Greg Carter Hockey School

We are excited and proud to be entering our 26th year of summer hockey schools. Over the more than two decades that we have been training hockey players from coast to coast and border to border, we have had a lot of fun and met some great families and youth hockey players. In fact two years ago we were greeted by a black bear upon arriving at our cabin in Alaska for our camp at the McDonald Center in Eagle River!

In past articles we have talked about who you will meet at summer hockey school and training with players from surrounding regions is definitely part of the adventure. We have also talked about how new skills lead to new heights and the work and effort that it takes to go from the third line to the first line.  

Summer hockey school is the time to take successes from the season and build on them. It’s the time to make a list of goals for next season and improve on your fundamental skills including skating, passing, stickhandling and shooting. The CARTER Method that we use to train at our camp focuses on Control, Agility, Reflex, Technique, Edge and Retention. It’s a proven, time-tested training method and we invite you to join the thousands of players who have already experienced the results.

In fact many of our summer hockey school alum have gone on to play college hockey, junior hockey and some have made it to the NHL! Regardless of what your goals are for hockey our Pro Staff is excited to train with you this summer and help provide an awesome hockey adventure that will be both productive and memorable.

And maybe even an encounter with a bear!

For dates, locations and information about our 2020 Summer Hockey Schools in 11 states, click here.

22

January

Greg Carter Hockey Camp

In recent articles we have talked about the importance of being well prepared with development plans and that youth hockey skill development is much more of a marathon rather than a sprint. FOMA should not be a driving force in determining how, where or with whom you train this summer and when it comes to making your final decision, one size definitely does not fit all.

A great way to start this process is setting goals for what you hope to accomplish with your summer hockey training. Once your winter season is over, write down areas of your game that need improvement and that you would like to focus on over the summer. Whether it is very specific positional play or fundamental skill development with skating, stickhandling, passing or shooting, it’s important to identify areas of growth opportunity.

Next, research opportunities that can provide the specific training that you need and match those opportunities against your goals and objectives. This is an important step as there is so much variety available to youth hockey players that one can easily get lost in the confusion. One tried and true recommendation that we offer at Greg Carter Hockey Schools is that development won’t occur by simply playing games all summer long. Find a place to train and then dedicate yourself to that training, which brings us to ‘training versus straining.’

When we talk about training versus straining it’s important to recognize that no player is going to magically take their skills to an extreme level overnight, or over a summer. Improvement can definitely be made, and sometimes significant improvement can be made. But running from camp to camp, game to game, skill session to skill session and lesson to lesson all summer will in all likelihood create a single outcome; burnout.

After a successful summer, players should have a burning appetite to hit the ice in the fall refreshed with new skills and excited for the season, versus burned out from a strained non-stop summer hockey regiment.

Bottom line, take the time to set goals, research and align opportunities with your needs. Of course we invite you to train with us at any of our 2020 Summer Hockey Schools taking place across 11 states this summer!

Good luck with the rest of your season as you head into playoffs and please email us with any development questions that you may have!

 

 

07

January

New Year, New Me!

Posted by Greg Carter
Greg Carter

With the excitement of the holidays in the rearview mirror, it’s back to business as usual which, for those of us in a cold climate, means trying to survive the rest of a snowy, cold winter. But there’s plenty of awesome hockey to come in the next few months!

It was fun to be at the rink over the holidays and talk with so many parents and players at practices, games and tournaments. One of the things that struck me was the number of times conversations turned to summer hockey plans.

The trend over the past several years has been a growing urgency to make plans for the summer earlier and earlier, and trends of our summer hockey camp registrations support this.

While there seems to be a rush to make decisions about how and where to play and train during the summer months, there also is a very calculated approach.

As the game has become more sophisticated and players are bigger, faster and more fundamentally skilled than ever before, planning for player development and training has followed suit, with plenty of planning and research going into these important decisions.

If you are a player that in the past has typically taken more of a wait and see approach to summer hockey training, maybe this is the opportunity for a “New Year & New Me” when it comes to planning and preparation.

An old coach used to say that the best players are also the best prepared, and as the game continues to evolve, I think these words of wisdom ring truer than ever.  Sure, the best players have great talent, but that talent comes from hard work away from the spotlight of the in-season practices and games. Players who have great talent have a burning desire to continually improve and therefore are always prepping and planning for what’s next and taking their game to the next level. These players are oftentimes the first to register for our summer hockey camps and clinics.

With the New Year upon us, we invite you to contact us to help make your summer skill development plans. We are excited to once again offer summer hockey camps in a variety of states with many great options to improve your game. Make this the year you are proactive about your puck plans!

Thanks for reading and make this a New Year & A New Me!

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