player tips

25

February

Olympic Inspiration

Posted by Greg Carter
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Watching the Olympics in Pyeongchang, and specifically the U.S. Women’s Hockey Team win gold, was a great opportunity for young athletes to gain some motivation and inspiration. Here are some of the excellent lessons and takeaways for hockey players from the 2018 Winter Games.

Follow Your Dream. One of the best parts of the Olympic telecasts are the stories about the athletes themselves. Where they came from, their home town, their grassroots level coaches, their family and friends. When you get a behind the scenes look at these athletes competing on a world stage for all to witness their extreme highs and devastating lows, you realize they are just like . . . you! They started as normal, everyday athletes from across the U.S. who followed their dream, and were lucky enough to accomplish it! What is your dream?

Stick With It. Olympic hockey without NHL players was interesting. Some of the coolest stories were about the players in the twilight of their career who only a short time ago never dreamed of pulling an Olympic jersey over their shoulders. These are the guys who perhaps appreciated it the most; players who grinded through a career in the minors or played in Europe or other far-away places. But their love of the game and commitment earned them a spot representing their country in the Olympics!

Training Pays Off. Whether it was cross country skiing, hockey or snowboarding, these are extremely well-conditioned athletes. Every single one of them. It seemed however, that when you followed the story line of the best of the best, these were the athletes that went above and beyond the rigorous training of their teammates and competitors. Sure, there is some God-given talent in these athletes, but the best of the best combine that talent with a work ethic and training program outdone by no one.

Winning Is The Greatest! Watching the emotional celebrations of the athletes was super cool. Seeing the raw emotions when they captured a medal, it was evident that the culmination of all of their years of training, sacrifice and dedication was spilling over. To spend the thousands of hours training, away from school, family, friends and a normal life, all to capture that win, is something special and should serve as motivation as we all try to win in our own lives each and every day!

The Olympics are a very special time, and there are many inspirational lessons to be learned from all of the athletes from around the world. Take those lessons and apply them to your daily routine for hockey, and you are sure to improve your overall game, on and off of the ice. Thanks for reading, and we invite you to follow your dream with us this summer at one of our 2018 hockey camps located in 10 states! Registration is in full swing, claim your spot today!

13

February

What Are You Teaching About Tryouts?

Posted by Greg Carter
Greg Carter

Tryouts are undoubtedly one of, if not the most, stressful times of the hockey season. What can you do to reduce some of the anxiety and nervousness during the week? Over the years we have discovered a few great nuggets of advice to assist both players and parents.

The first thing we like to talk about is preparedness. Have you done everything you could at hockey camp, during the season, and practicing on your own to work on your weaknesses and improve your skills? Being prepared for tryouts includes getting good rest, having the little things taken care of ahead of time – such as skate sharpening, tape and laces – as well as eating the right types of food that will provide much needed energy. I’ll never forget watching a parent park on the curb of the rink to unload a player who ran a 40 yard dash to the locker room. Why? Because the line for skate sharpening at the local sporting goods store was 10 deep! How do you think that player performed that day!

Confidence is also important, and is a direct result of preparedness. When you hit the ice for tryouts, are you poised and self-assured, knowing that you have done all you possibly could to improve every aspect of your game. Skating is one of the primary skills that a tryout evaluator will take notice of. Shooting, stickhandling, hustle and ‘game awareness’ are also important. Be confident in your game and it will show!

Manage the mayhem. This is very important, because as a parent, the more excited you get about tryouts and the more stress and anxiety that you show, the more your child will bring it onto the ice. What are you teaching and talking about when it comes to tryouts? Rather than spending the week quizzing your child about how they did during each and every drill and scrimmage, focus on making sure they are prepared with good rest and meals. What we have found is that it’s best to simply give your player everything they need to properly prepare and have the confidence to perform, and then let them talk about it when they are ready. It’s amazing how obvious it is to see the stress and downright fear in the face of the players who get lectured on the way to the rink.

Finally, one very important thing to keep in mind about the week of tryouts, is that although it is one short period of time to show what you’ve got, coaches have been watching and listening. This is where some intangibles come into play. If you are a player that consistently is a positive player who brings a great attitude and a team player mentality, this is going to help when it comes down to tough decisions. Coaches know players, whether they have coached them recently or not, they know what they are getting both on and off the ice. If you have worked hard this season and been a good player and teammate, you are already well on your way to a great tryout.

Remember, this is one tryout in one moment in time. We have seen plenty of players make a team one year, and get cut the next. The motivated ones are those who come back the following year and make the team again. There are plenty of great players in college and the NHL who have been cut from a team. The biggest regret you will have is if you weren’t prepared and didn’t give it your all, so get prepared, get some rest and eat well and the rest will take care of itself!

Good luck at tryouts and we look forward to hearing how you did this summer at one of our camps in 10 states!
If you haven’t already signed up, registration is in full swing and you can claim your spot today!

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