Skill Building & New Year’s Resolutions
Posted by Greg Carter
Building skills is what we do best at our hockey schools each summer. With the fresh ice of the New Year, what skills will you focus on in 2018? Here is a list of some of the most important skill sets that you need, and definitely those that should be a part of your New Year’s hockey resolutions!
Patience. Players need patience, especially as they get older, and opportunities to make plays become increasingly more difficult. Sometimes the perfect pass isn’t made handling the puck like a hot potato, but instead waiting for the opponent to react to your line mate, to your head fake or simply panicking and committing before they need to. Good hockey players keep their head up, have great awareness and know that patience is a virtue!
Create odd-man situations. This is one of our favorites, and it’s really pretty simple. How many times have you seen a winger in the offensive zone work hard to win a battle in the corner and pass the puck back to the point, only to have the defense shoot the puck right into the opponents shin pad? If that defenseman had their head up, and rather than shooting the puck, simply made a move to get around that forward (who most likely is over-committed in attempting to block the shot) the defenseman would have all kinds of time and space to make a great pass or shot. Why? because they made a move around a player and created an odd-man situation. The same holds true for break-outs, if the defense is able to beat one player before making a pass, there is an immediate odd-man rush heading out of the zone!
Skating. The best players can flat out skate, and there is no substitution for quickness and speed, as we’ve discussed in previous articles. Make 2018 the year that you reinvest time and energy into power skating, as this might be the best single skill that you can work on to improve your game!
Agility. Body control is important in the ladder of skill development, and is a key component of the Carter Method of teaching. There are a sequence of drills that players can use to help them understand and enhance body movements to improve their overall balance and body posture.
As you hit the ice to start 2018, take the time to evaluate your progress this season, and if you are on track to accomplishing your goals. Making some New Year’s resolutions to improve your hockey skills is a great way to identify and refocus, and will make you a better hockey player! From our hockey family to yours, Happy New Year and we look forward to seeing you at one of our camps in ten states in 2018!