player tips



Once that final buzzer sounds it’s only a short time before most players start to think “What’s next” . . . “How do I improve my game?” While many players think this, it’s those that follow through, set goals and work hard that actually hit the ice next season as a better player than last season. So the question is, how are you going to make the most of your off season training?

5 tips to the top of your game: 

  1. Start with a plan. This seems simple and obvious, but a plan isn’t a plan unless goals are identified and written down. Think back to last season and the difficulties that you had, identify areas of improvement and create a plan that will improve skills in areas that need the most work. Many players work on areas in which they are already strong. The great players spend time focusing on their weaknesses.
  2. Choose a program. There are many options on how and where to train. Do your homework, and research opportunities that are reputable and offer training and skill development in the areas that align with your goals and objectives. Once you make this important commitment, you will be once step closer to your off season goals.
  3. It’s summer, enjoy it! Off season training should be mixed in with a good balance of traditional summer activities. Hockey players that create a mix of training and fun are more likely to reduce injuries and also will stay with the program for a longer period of time.
  4. Dedicate yourself. When it does come time for training, whether it’s before going to the beach or after a round of golf, focus on what you need to improve on. Put yourself back into the place you were last season and think about the areas of your game that frustrated you. Listen to your instructors and coaches and skate each drill with the same intensity that you play the game. Dedicate yourself to the moment!
  5. Split the summer into 3 periods. June, July and August come and go very quickly. If you split your training and define goals for each month, it will allow you to focus and access your progress on a monthly basis. Players that we have trained at our summer hockey schools have told us they will identify 3 key areas of focus, and while they train all summer with them in mind, they may spend more time in June in shooting for example, and then shift the focus of July to power skating, and then August is all about stickhandling.

The goal of your off season training should be to improve your skills, increase your love of the game and to hit the ice this fall as a better hockey player than you left it in the spring. Good luck in all of your training and we hope to see you on the ice at one of our camps in 10 states this summer!

Playoff games can be stressful, but ask any player or parent, and they will tell you that when it comes to stress, tryouts are at the top of the list. Players are no longer competing with their buddies against another team during tryouts, they are now facing each other, competing for a limited number of spots on a team. I have evaluated tryouts for many years and noticed that players seem to fall into a few different categories: those that rise to the occasion and tryout really well, those that don’t tryout well for a variety of reasons, and then those in a middle group that don’t do much to hurt their chances, but also don’t do a whole lot to shine and really help their chances of making the team.

So do tryouts bring out the best in you, or the worst in you? Or are you somewhere in the middle group? What is interesting is that the players that seem to have their best stuff during tryouts, are also the players who have a calm and collected demeanor. In other words, they come to the rink prepared and in a good mindset, ready to compete and showcase the skills that they have developed.

The “Six P’s” can apply not only at tryout time, but also with school, work and just about every task that presents itself. Proper, prior, preparation is all about making sure that you are in the best position possible to succeed. It is often said that a big part of stress is directly attributable to simply not being prepared. When it comes to hockey, and tryouts, how prepared are you? Are you hitting the ice with enough rest to perform at your peak? Have you paid attention to your diet so that you have the fuel that you will need to bring the energy necessary to outwork the competition?

How about your hockey skills? Have you put in the necessary time required to improve the skills in your game? As we have noticed at our Massachusetts-based hockey school, as players advance through the various levels of  youth hockey, the skill level of players increases dramatically, and no where is it more evident than at tryouts where dangles and snipes can be the difference in whether or not you make the team.

What I really like about the six p’s is the word proper. Preparation can mean many different things to players, and the key is preparing the proper way. If you need to work on your skating, you need to understand the proper fundamentals of power skating. If you are working on your stick handling, you need to practice the proper mechanics, such as keeping your head up. If you prepare in the proper manner, you will reap the benefits. Practice like a champion to perform like a champion.

Good luck with your tryouts and we look forward to seeing you at one of our hockey schools this summer!


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