player tips

20

February

You Have To Believe To Achieve

Posted by Greg Carter
Greg Carter Hockey School

When I evaluate hockey talent there are many skill-based considerations including the obvious stickhandling, shooting and skating.  There are also the intangibles including work ethic, coachability, hockey smarts and confidence.

Oftentimes the fine line in separating talent comes down to confidence, not only individually, but also as a team. With confidence comes poise and composure, and the ability to perform on the biggest stage under the most pressure. You have heard players and teams described as having ‘ice in their veins’. This characterization is earned, through experience and perseverance.

At a recent game a team was down 3-2 and with their goalie pulled and their ‘go-to’ players on the ice, they tactically moved the puck around the offensive zone with precision. They didn’t force anything, but instead waited for just the right opportunity to put the puck on net in the hopes of tying the game.

With the clock running down the final few seconds, the top scorer wound up with the puck and just like that, the game was tied. Less than 30 seconds into overtime that same team scored the game winner. Sure, this included a little puck luck, but it was clear to everyone in the building, including the opposition, that this team believed without a doubt that they would tie the game. The players on the ice believed wholeheartedly that they were destined to tie, and ultimately win the game.

Not only did the team have the confidence, but individually, the players knew that they had the skill and the will to win. The players knew that all of the hard work and practice time spent shooting extra pucks, working on powerskating, stickhandling and shooting was going to pay off. They absolutely believed that they could achieve.

As the playoffs approach do you believe that you will achieve? Both individually and as a team? And once that final buzzer sounds signaling the end of the season, do you believe that you can set goals, work hard this summer and hit the ice next season as a bigger, stronger, more skilled hockey player?

We invite you to take your game to the next level at one of our hockey schools located in 12 states this summer.  We know that with some great instruction, hard work and dedication, we can help make you a believer, and an achiever!

Thanks for reading and good luck the rest of your season!

 

 

22

January

4 Keys To Earning More Playing Time

Posted by Greg Carter
Greg Carter's Hockey School

Sure, every player wants more playing time! However, wanting isn’t good enough, you need to earn playing time and here are four tips to work your way into more playing time.

1. The first priority for coaches is how you can contribute on the ice, and for the top players that determination is fairly easy. However, when it comes down to deciding line combinations and playing time amongst players of similar skills, coaches might rely on the player who shows up and does all of the extras. Things like off-ice training sessions, team activities and other team building events. The lesson here is go the extra mile both on and off of the ice

2. When you aren’t getting the ice time you want or thin you deserve, there are two directions you can go, and the best players know that attitude determines altitude. Coaches like players that are plugged in, listen and are coachable. Great coaches pride themselves on developing hockey players as much as they do in winning championships. If you are a coachable hockey player you stand a great chance of improving and earning that playing time!

3. There is no substitution for hard work. We have discussed this in recent articles and the bottom line is to earn more playing time you need to put in the effort. Most often the best players that you see in the games are also the best players in practice and the first ones onto the ice and the last ones to leave. As they say, the only time that success comes before work is in the dictionary!

4. Character counts. That’s right, as you progress through your youth hockey career and players start to separate themselves, character is something that is discusses among coaches. Players who are great teammates and have great character are always going to find a way to be successful. What you do on the ice can get you noticed, but how you carry yourself off of the ice can get you forgotten.

Thanks for reading and good luck as you head towards the final stretch of the season and into the playoffs! Please considering joining us this summer at one of our summer hockey schools located in ten states! For a complete listing and registration information click here.

 

 

 

 

 

19

July

Summer Dreams – Dream Big!

Posted by Greg Carter
Greg Carter Hockey Camp

A big part of the enjoyment of training hockey players all summer is helping them reach their full potential. And when it comes to dreaming big about hockey careers, we’ve learned to never count out anyone!

Watching the Major League Baseball All Star Game this week it was amazing how many players have made it to the big leagues, despite being undersized. Consider the following players who were featured during the game:

– Atlanta Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies is 5′ 8″. He has 20 homers this season.

– Cleveland Indians second baseman Jose Ramirez is 5′ 9″ and 165 pounds. He has 29 homers so far this season which is tied for first in the American League.

Mookie Betts, a right fielder for the Boston Red Sox, is also 5′ 9″. This season he has hit 23 home runs. Last season he hit 31.

– Often described as the “best inch-for-inch hitter in baseball” Jose Altuve is 5′ 6″. Altuve is a three-time batting champion. He has hit 24 home runs in both of the past two seasons.

All of these players made it to the top of the game because yes, they have a ton of talent. But they also overcame coaches, so-called experts and scouting reports claiming they were too weak, too small or too whatever to make it to the next level. But you know what? They made it to the next level. Why? Because they never game up on themselves!

This summer as you are training and working hard to become a better hockey player you have a decision to make. Are you going to listen to what others might say about your talent or physical stature – good, bad or otherwise – or are you going to stay focused on your training and your goals and overcome the obstacles. You have to believe in yourself before anyone else will!  

A great coach once told me that you can’t ever let anyone control your destiny and that ‘if it’s going to be, it’s up to me”. As you progress through this summer and increase your strength, stamina and skills remember these lessons, and find some inspiration from these ‘boys of summer’ that not only made it to the Major Leagues, but became All-Stars!

Whatever your summer dreams, dream big, work hard and never give up!

15

January

Hockey Camp

There are two types of hockey players, a player who thinks of themselves first, and the player who is unselfish, and puts the team first. If you want to play at the next level, your best chance is not by being a “me” player focused on personal stats and accomplishments, but instead by being a player who makes the entire team better through unselfish play.

Someone summarized a recent game by saying that it seems like parents used to come to the rink to cheer on the team, but now they come to the rink to cheer on their child. While every parent wants nothing more than what’s best for their child, hockey is a team sport, and it should be treated that way.

What makes hockey such a great sport is that you celebrate a win, or become humbled by a loss, with your buddies. It can become a major distraction to team chemistry however if a player doesn’t celebrate the win because they themselves didn’t score a goal or make a big play. This is the beauty of the sport of hockey, it was your friends who picked you up and help earned the win so that the next game, it can be your turn to ride the momentum and make the big play.

 

Every hockey player loves to win! And playing with a “we” versus “me” attitude is a key to this success.

“We” players make the easy pass to their buddy standing on the side of the crease for the tap in goal.

“Me” players take a bad angle shot.

“We” players get off the ice when they can after a good shift.

“Me” players stay on longer than they should.

“We” players celebrate a win, regardless of their personal contributions.

“Me” players celebrate, win or lose, based on how they played.

“We” players win championships!

Coaching hockey and developing skills is extremely rewarding. Players with really good talent need to have a lot of “we” in their game. At younger ages the better players can develop a “do it all” attitude. However as players develop into teenage years, it becomes increasingly more difficult to dominate games. “Me” players need to develop a “we” attitude to play at the next level.

As a college scout recently said to me about a player he was watching “The distinguishing factor for us in recruiting this player versus another with equal talent is that he is selfless and makes the right hockey decisions regardless how it impacts their name in the box score. He puts team success ahead of individual accomplishments. That tells me he understands the game, the team, and that fits in with the culture of my team.”

And just at that moment the “we” player came down on a two-on-one and with an opportunity to shoot from an awkward angle, feathered a saucer pass over the sprawling defenseman’s stick onto the tape of the winger who tapped it into an open net.

With a wink of an eye the scout closed his book and walked off saying I’ll take “we” over “me” every time.

Thanks for reading and we welcome the opportunity to help develop your hockey skills at one of our summer hockey schools located in ten states this summer. Click here for dates and locations!

17

October

Shoot To Thrill

Posted by Greg Carter

When it comes to scoring goals, it all starts with a great shot.

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An old coach of mine used to tell our team that you can never shoot enough pucks, and that the all of the great goal scorers could pick a spot, and hit it 9 out of 10 times. He would then tell us to go home and shoot pucks in the driveway, basement or back yard, and once you hit your target 9 out of 10 times, pick up the pucks and do it all over again.

Of all the great players that I’ve skated with, I always remember the guys who could shoot the puck. Some had a really heavy shot, but not great accuracy. Others could snipe a spot no larger than a mouse hole every time, but weren’t strong enough to beat the better goalies. The really great shooters had a combination of both power and accuracy.

With today’s stick technology, finding the right stick is a very important factor in shooting. The science in sticks today has been a game changer because of the flex and whipping motion that with the right technique, allows players to shoot harder than ever. Make sure to pay attention to the the pattern and flex which will play a role, especially as players get older, in developing a good shot.

So how can you increase the accuracy and power behind your shot? At our hockey camps we stress the importance of the fundamentals in shooting technique. This varies a bit from player to player and also by the age of the player. Older, stronger players have the strength to lean on a stick, creating the torque necessary to best leverage the technology in sticks. Younger players meanwhile, may not have the strength, and need to really rely on accuracy, while developing the strength and technique needed to score on goalies as they get older, and as the goaltenders get better.

Another key to a great shot is keeping your head up and your feet moving. We see a lot of players who have a good shot, but cant snipe the spot because their head is down and they don’t ever see that wide open top corner! Also, as soon as you stop moving your feet, it’s a big clue to the goaltender that you may be going for a deke versus a shot.

If you are spending your time away from the rink shooting pucks , you are already on your way to scoring more goals this season. Remember to practice all shots including the wrist shot, snap shot and slap shot. Each require a unique discipline that with the right stick, will allow you to shoot to thrill!

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