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player tips

07

April

Driveway Dekes & Dangles

Posted by Greg Carter

It’s a challenging time for everyone, and hockey players wanting to improve their skills are faced with a problem themselves as ice time and access to training facilities is non-existent. So what can be done to work on skills? It’s actually pretty simple, grab a stick and a ball and head out the front door! 

Stickhandling

A stick and a ball is really all that is needed to get some great stickhandling practice, and it can be done in a garage, basement or driveway. Keep your head up and practice stickhandling with the ball side to side in front of your body. Get creative and stickhandle on both sides of your body, then bring the ball behind and through your legs and back to the front. Hockey players only have the puck on their stick for about 45 seconds during a typical youth hockey game, so imagine the improvement of the ball being on your stick for 15 or 20 minutes in the driveway!

Shooting

If you want to develop a hard, accurate shot and score more goals, the best way to do so is by developing this motto: You Can Never Shoot Enough Pucks. Shooting pucks into a net or tarp can be super fun and competitie by creating games like around the world or, similar to playing ‘pig’ in basketball, playing ‘puck’ in hockey. When you think you’ve shot enough for one day, shoot 100 more!

Fitness For Hockey

Great hockey players are in great shape. Get out and exercise by going for a run. Stop along the way and do some sprints. Situps and pushups are also great exercises to develop strength. Stay strong and healthy and when it’s time to hit the ice, you will feel the difference and be a leader of the pack!

Stay Focused On Goals

When you finished last season hopefully you developed a sense of what areas of your game need improvement. Stay focused on those areas and continue your planning and preparation to improve your fundamental hockey skills!

Thanks for reading and we invite you to join us at one of our Summer Hockey Schools in 11 states during the summer of 2020. Please feel free to contact us with any questions and we look forward to seeing you at the rink in the near future.

Stay safe and healthy!

05

February

Greg Carter Hockey School

We are excited and proud to be entering our 26th year of summer hockey schools. Over the more than two decades that we have been training hockey players from coast to coast and border to border, we have had a lot of fun and met some great families and youth hockey players. In fact two years ago we were greeted by a black bear upon arriving at our cabin in Alaska for our camp at the McDonald Center in Eagle River!

In past articles we have talked about who you will meet at summer hockey school and training with players from surrounding regions is definitely part of the adventure. We have also talked about how new skills lead to new heights and the work and effort that it takes to go from the third line to the first line.  

Summer hockey school is the time to take successes from the season and build on them. It’s the time to make a list of goals for next season and improve on your fundamental skills including skating, passing, stickhandling and shooting. The CARTER Method that we use to train at our camp focuses on Control, Agility, Reflex, Technique, Edge and Retention. It’s a proven, time-tested training method and we invite you to join the thousands of players who have already experienced the results.

In fact many of our summer hockey school alum have gone on to play college hockey, junior hockey and some have made it to the NHL! Regardless of what your goals are for hockey our Pro Staff is excited to train with you this summer and help provide an awesome hockey adventure that will be both productive and memorable.

And maybe even an encounter with a bear!

For dates, locations and information about our 2020 Summer Hockey Schools in 11 states, click here.

20

November

5 Hockey Reasons To Be Thankful 

Posted by Greg Carter
Greg Carter

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!

 

 

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!

 

 

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