player tips

29

October

Winning Is A Habit

Posted by Greg Carter

As the NHL likes to say “Hockey is the greatest sport on Earth!” Like you, we couldn’t agree more and one of the greatest moments is celebrating a big win after the game! I read the following quote about winning recently from the legendary football coach Vince Lombardi:

Winning is a Habit.
Watch your thoughts, they become your beliefs. Watch your beliefs, they become your words. Watch your words, they become your actions. Watch your actions, they become your habits. Watch your habits, they become your character. – Vince Lombardi

I’ve been lucky to have played on some great hockey teams and fortunate to coach several as well. It’s really special when winning truly becomes a habit, and you can start to understand how that occurs when you dissect Lombardi’s quote:

Watch Your Thoughts, They Become Your Beliefs
When you think you can win the race to the puck you are one step closer to actually winning! When you think you can outwork the other team you should. When your thoughts tell you that you actually can, you absolutely start to believe it, and for youth hockey players wanting to achieve the top level, that is the beginning of something special!

Watch Your Beliefs, They Become Your Words
Have you ever listened to the best hockey players talk in news conferences? They use language of champions, because they believe that they will win every night they hit the ice. And when you believe and don’t second guess, you begin to talk like a champion!

Watch Your Words, They Become Your Actions
When you talk like a champion and ‘walk the talk’ you have arrived at a great moment. Conversely, if your words are not those of a champion and instead detrimental to the chemistry of the team, your play will undoubtedly be impacted negatively.
Positive words lead to positive actions!

Watch Your Actions, They Become Your Habits
Habits are formed through repetition of behavior. Hockey players who make the right decisions – and take the right action – time and time again become great hockey players with habits that every hockey coach will love. Develop great habits and as a youth hockey player, you are definitely going places!

Watch Your Habits, They Become Your Character.
Hockey coaches and scouts can see talent, but what they really want to understand is the character of a hockey player. The fine line between talent from one player to another is often defined in the character of the player and there is no doubt that great character comes from great habits!

This season we hope that your focus on making winning a habit!

Thanks for reading and as we head into November and the front end of Thanksgiving and the holiday season, we look forward to seeing you at the rink soon! Be sure to check out our Thanksgiving & Holiday Clinics as well as our locations for our 2020 Summer Hockey Schools!

 

 

15

October

What’s The Story Behind The Stats?

Posted by Greg Carter
Hockey Puck NHL Player

This season the NHL is debuting a puck and player tracking system that includes sensors in the puck and devices embedded in uniforms. This all sounds great for the pros, but when it comes to youth hockey, what’s the story behind the stats?

Data and analytics are a part of everyday life as it seems virtually every move we make can be tracked on the internet and across our devices. Sports have changed dramatically because of data and analytics to the point that a Major League Baseball game can have a batter at the plate hitting against an infield with not a single player to the left side of second base.

Leveraging technology to better understand trends of players and teams has simply become the norm and part of the game. But should what works at the professional level also be utilized for youth sports teams and players?

The NHL plans to have their system ready by the 2020 Stanley Cup where millions of data points will be collected during every game. Some of the more notable stats include:

  • Player speed
  • Time in offensive vs. defensive zone
  • Distance between players
  • Total distance a player skates
  • Time of possession
  • Puck trail
  • Length of shift

During the 2019 NHL All Star game some initial testing was done and it was found that players skated over three miles during a game and a couple of players skated over 20 mph! Time of possession is an interesting stat because like football, it is a great indicator of which team is in control. Distance between players is another interesting stat that could aid in gap control for defensemen.

While this technology is expensive and likely not something that is going to creep into the youth game anytime soon, it does beg the question: What are the Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) for youth hockey?

At Greg Carter Hockey School we think that the data for youth hockey players that determine a successful season should include:

  • Did I have fun this season?
  • Did I improve my skills this season?
  • Did I show up with a good attitude and work hard at every practice?
  • Was I intent on learning from my coaches and teammates?
  • Was I a good teammate?
  • Am I going to play hockey again next season?

If the answer to each of these questions is yes, then the probability of success is extremely high! And that is a statistic that nobody can debate.

Thanks for reading and we hope you are off to a great start this season. Greg Carter Hockey School is headquartered in Concord, Massachusetts and we are starting our 26th year of Summer Hockey Schools. Click the following links for more information about our Sunday Night Skills Sessions, our Thanksgiving Clinic or our 2020 Summer Hockey Schools!

 

 

02

October

Summer Youth Hockey Camp

The start of the NHL regular season has fans excited to ‘tune in’ and cheer on their favorite team. For youth hockey players, this is also the time of year to ‘tune in’ to specialized skills to be super successful!

October means that hockey players have traded in their golf clubs for hockey sticks and that the season is officially underway! Golf clubs you might ask? Hockey players – especially NHL’ers – are notorious for also being ultra competitive golfers and as such, it should come as no surprise that they take after PGA pros and constantly work on their game at the driving range, putting green and just about anywhere they can gain an edge and a stroke. And when a golfer really wants to get serious, they take lessons and work with a swing coach who helps fine tune their swing.

In the same way, hockey players need specialized instruction to help refine and master specific skills. When the hockey season starts it’s important for players to not only work on team aspects of the game, but to also continue down the long term player development path. USA Hockey created the American Development Model (ADM) to aid in age-specific skill development for youth hockey players across the country. The success of this program has been undeniable, especially among players fortunate to play for coaches utilizing the ADM throughout their youth hockey career.

What we have found over 25 years at Greg Carter Hockey Schools is that many players seek out extra opportunities for skill development. Players who have participated in our Sunday Night Skills Sessions gain access to extra ice time for additional skill repetitions. We offer players the option to come every week or simply walk in and sign up at the rink which provides maximum flexibility to train when they are motivated and inspired. Our Thanksgiving Clinic also offers additional in-season specialized skill training.

Why is skill training important not just during the off-season but to also stay ‘tuned in’ during the season? 

  • It’s important to train throughout the season to maintain the skill progression that you made in the off-season. Don’t put unnecessary distance between what you learned over the summer and what you are working on this season! 
  • It’s important to push and continue to improve your skill development and working on specialized skills can accomplish this.
  • It’s important to be ready for the most important time of the season, the playoffs! 

As your season begins we encourage you to continue to fine tune your skills, work hard and always bring a great attitude. Thanks for reading and we look forward to seeing you at the rink soon!