player tips

20

November

5 Hockey Reasons To Be Thankful 

Posted by Greg Carter
Summer Youth Hockey Camp

Thanksgiving is an awesome time for hockey players to pause during the break in the action and reflect on the great things to appreciate this season!

Coaches
Coaches play an integral part in the development of hockey players and if you are fortunate enough to have a really good coach, make sure they know how much you appreciate them! It takes a lot of time, energy and dedication to coach youth hockey teams and what you see on the ice from a coach during practice is only part of the story. There is a lot of practice preparation that goes into that one hour practice session and game strategy and oftentimes the coaches are the last to leave the rink after a game or practice. To this day I can still remember my favorite coaches and the important skills they taught me!

Equipment
Technology advancements in equipment over the recent years has been nothing short of amazing. Protective equipment like shoulder pads, gloves and pants (breezers) that used to absorb sweat and water and up weighing what seemed like five pounds heavier at the end of the game, have been replaced with ultra lightweight and super durable protective equipment. Skates are amazingly light and players are spoiled not having to go through a week long painful – sometimes tearful – break them in. Perhaps the greatest advancement has been in stick technology as once a player is strong enough to benefit from the flex, the ability to develop a crazy hard shot is just a matter of putting in the time.

Parents
Hockey parents are the greatest sports parents ever. Parents willingly wake up long before the sun comes up only to stand in a freezing cold ice arena for that 6 a.m. mid-January practice. They travel hundreds and thousands of miles each season and attend enough weekend tournaments that they are on a first name basis with the front desk at the hotel. The dedication of hockey parents is awesome!

Opportunities 
There are more opportunities than ever for hockey players to develop their skills. From regular season hockey teams to in-season weekly skill camps and clinics. There are plenty of AAA teams and of course summer hockey camps and summer hockey schools. Skill development is a marathon, not a sprint, and there are so many great opportunities for players to master the fundamental skills required to reach their full potential!

The Game of Hockey
Perhaps that best thing to be thankful for is the also the most simplistic, the basic fact that kids have the opportunity to play the greatest sport in the world! Hockey has brought so much excitement, joy and happiness, taught so many life lessons, developed so many friendships and brought so many people together in such a positive way. Enjoy the season, fight through the adversity and always remember that hockey is a sport to be enjoyed, win or lose!

Thanks for reading and from our hockey family to yours, have a great Thanksgiving holiday and we hope to see you at the rink soon!

 

 

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!

 

 

13

August

New Skills Lead To New Heights

Posted by Greg Carter

We had another incredible summer of hockey camps and would like to thank everyone who attended and trained with us!  This was our 25th summer of hockey camp using the CARTER Method and wow did we see success! Skaters really dedicated themselves to build on each days’ skills and met the challenge to reach their full potential as the hockey camp progressed.

The skill level that we saw at the camps this year was super impressive! Stickhandling, shooting, powerskating and of course the CARTER Method that includes: Control, Agility, Reflex, Technique, Edge and Retention.

As you wind down the summer and get ready for the 2019-20 hockey season we encourage you to focus on continuing to work hard on the fundamental skills that are going to elevate your game this season. We worked with many players this summer that came into camp wanting to improve in a specific area and left at the end of the week feeling much more confident about their game!

The work however is just starting as players need to continue to improve everyday at practice. Remember the skills and tactics that you learned at hockey camp and continue to work on them each and every time that you hit the ice. If you dedicate yourself to becoming just a little bit better at every practice then you are well on your way to becoming the absolute best hockey player that you can be!

And when that happens, the sky is the limit!

Good luck to you as you start your season and on behalf of the entire staff at Greg Carter Hockey School, thank you for an awesome summer! It’s a privilege to train so many fun and talented hockey players!

 

 

09

July

An Inspiring Summer of Hockey

Posted by Greg Carter
Greg Carter Hockey Camp

The summer of 2019 is very special for Greg Carter Hockey Camp as we celebrate our 25th year of training hockey players. In the quarter century that we have been working on improving the skills of hockey players we have seen some very inspiring moments at our camps where as we like to say, players have that ‘lightbulb moment’, things click and they shift into the next gear.

Here are a few great quotes related to some player highlights that we have experienced during this inspiring summer of hockey:

“I’m [recruiting] gym rats who want to get better because so many kids are peaking and think they’ve already arrived.”

This quote from a coach perfectly articulates why we see so many motivated hockey players at our camp each summer. As players mature, they start to recognize which players are motivated and also those players who are not. We’ve written articles in the past about ‘going from the third line to the first line’ and when it comes to getting better and improving skills, sometimes it simply comes down to who wants it more! We are seeing a lot of players at our camp this summer who are really working hard and definitely ‘want it’!

“Good things take time, as they should. We shouldn’t expect good things to happen overnight.”

Player development is not a sprint, it is a marathon. Mastering the skills necessary to become a great hockey players takes dedication, which means time, commitment and self-discipline. Hockey players will not see results overnight, but instead over a period of time as success in practice translates to incremental improvements in performance.

“Little things make the big things happen.”

This is another player characteristic that we love to talk about at our summer hockey school and mastering fundamental hockey skills allows players to do the little things that make the big things happen! Watching the women’s soccer team advance through the preliminary rounds and ultimately win the World Cup was phenomenal and full of these little moments that led to the big moments. So many goals were scored because of a crafty little deke, a sprint beating the opponent to the ball or an incredible ball skill that allowed the player to control the ball and make a play. Like these awesome soccer players, great hockey players have mastered all of the ‘little’ skills.

We hope that you are enjoying your summer with family and friends and that you have been inspired to carve out some time to improve your game! Good luck with your training and we hope to see you at the rink soon!

Click here for a list of our July and August camps!

12

June

Defining A Game 7 Superstar

Posted by Greg Carter
Summer Youth Hockey Camp

As a Massachusetts-based hockey school for 25 years, our rooting interest in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs was obvious, Bruins all the way! As we watched the intensity and excitement of the playoffs unfold, it is always so amazing how even the most talented players in the world are able to elevate their game to an even higher level, a ‘must watch TV’ level! And wow did Jordan Binnington do just that for the Blues!

While the path to the Stanley Cup Finals was different in many ways for the St. Louis Blues and the Boston Bruins, when it comes to the level of play and ability to get the job done, both teams and the players left us with many lessons.

Grit – When Zdeno Chara left Game 5 for the trainer’s room after a deflected puck bloodied his face, anyone that knew his strength of character wasn’t shocked when he returned to the bench later in the same game. Throughout the playoffs, time and time again there were examples like Chara, when players from many teams pushed through pain and adversity to help their team to the ultimate prize. Grit matters in hockey and Game 7 superstars have plenty of grit.

Skill – Jaw-dropping passes and highlight reel goals were plentiful this playoff season and when you consider the skill and talent that it takes to win, it’s inspiration and motivation for the next generation of players to emulate today’s Game 7 superstars. For all the goalies out there, look no further than Binnington! If you have the will, you can develop the skill.

Leadership – When it comes to the biggest games on the biggest stage, the greatest leaders get the job done by doing what they do best, leading! Perhaps there is no better example of this than the Game 6 guarantee by the captain of captains, Mark Messier, in the 1994 Conference Finals. Needing a win to stay alive, Messier guaranteed a win.  Down 2-0 late in the second period, Messier set up a goal and followed that with a pure hat trick in the third to win the game 4-2. Leaders lead.

This summer as you train to become a better hockey player and prepare for the upcoming season dare to dream bigger than everyone else and like Charlie Coyle, practice those Game 7 dekes and dangles. Take your game outside of your comfort zone. Work hard on skating, shooting, stickhandling and the skills that matter most.

We are excited to celebrate our 25th year of summer hockey school and invite you to train with us and pursue your own dream of one day being a Game 7 superstar! Thanks for reading and we look forward to seeing you at the rink this summer!

 

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