player tips

19

January

Succeed In Scoring More Goals

Posted by Greg Carter

Rails

As the season turns the corner and the standings start to tighten up, players and coaches know that the ticket to the tournament lies in scoring goals. Great defense is important, but you have to score to win the big prize. Here are a few tips to help you find the back of the net in your next game.

Pick a plate. If you ever watch skills competitions there are plates or bulls eyes in each corner that serve as targets for the all-stars to hit. When the pucks hits the plate they either fall off or break. It’s a fun way to show the impact and importance of picking a corner when shooting to score. Next time you are coming down the ice and have a chance to score, rather than firing right at the logo on the goaltenders sweater, think about picking a corner, and blowing up that plate!

Lateral movement. This is important at all levels of the game, but especially at the youth levels where if you can learn it young, you are bound to score a ton of goals. We see this a lot, especially on rebounds, where the puck will bounce from the goaltender right onto the stick of an attacking forward, but rather than moving right or left, the player shoots it right back into the goaltender. Practice moving the puck across your body to both the left and right and before too long it will become second nature to move laterally. And to score more goals!

Pass the puck. Great goal scorers know that they can’t do it alone. Passing the puck to teammates and then moving to open space for the return pass is one of the most effective ways to score goals. If the goalie only has one player to focus on they have a better chance of stopping the puck. Once you start involving other players and the goalie starts moving in their crease, space opens up and you will find more net to shoot at. Pass the puck and skate hard for the return pass or rebound.

Get to the net. This one seems obvious and easy, but the more youth hockey games I watch the more I realize that you can’t instruct players enough when it comes to getting to the net. Whether you are looking for a pass or a rebound, you need to be near the net…not on your way there or skating passed it below the goal line. In any given game there are going to be a lot of puck scrambles, rebounds and passes that happen in and around the crease, and the only way you are going to capitalize is if you skate hard and get there.

Good luck incorporating these tips into your game and have fun scoring your next big goal!

05

January

Rails

Here are 5 great skill-based resolutions for youth hockey players!

1. Finish every drill. As a coach, one of the great joys of running practices is in creating great drills that teach players to learn and improve. One of the great disappointments however is when players don’t skate hard through the entire drill. Finishing every drill is important for players as they develop. Whether you are skating lines, shooting pucks or working on edges, give 100% until the drill is complete and you will find yourself developing a new work ethic.

2. Dream. Players of all ages need to dream. Dream of making the team. Dream of scoring the big goal. Dream of winning the big game. Dream of moving on to the next level. Dream of playing in front of a big crowd. Dream of achieving your goals.
“If you can dream it, you can do it.” – Walt Disney 

3. Be a great teammate. The great players that I skated with in college and beyond were also really good teammates. They not only had talent, but they knew how to inspire those around them to work as hard as they did. Everyone wants to be around great teammates as they encourage, promote unity and lead by example.

4. Evaluate & Practice. This one is very important, and it starts with an honest evaluation of your game. If you favor stopping one way over the other, start practicing stopping on your weak edge every time. If you are having a hard time keeping up with teammates, enroll in a summer power skating program and work specifically on skating. If your game needs an overall tune up, enroll in a skills camp where you can work on all aspects of your game. Identify your weaknesses and commit to practicing them.

5. Attitude. Everyone wants to get to the next level and succeed, and we all know that attitude determines altitude. This seems simple, but I guarantee it works! Bring a great attitude to the rink every day, appreciate the opportunity to play the greatest game on Earth and watch your game take off this year!

From our hockey family to yours, Happy New Year and best wishes for a successful 2016!

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