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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!

22

January

Greg Carter Hockey Camp

In recent articles we have talked about the importance of being well prepared with development plans and that youth hockey skill development is much more of a marathon rather than a sprint. FOMA should not be a driving force in determining how, where or with whom you train this summer and when it comes to making your final decision, one size definitely does not fit all.

A great way to start this process is setting goals for what you hope to accomplish with your summer hockey training. Once your winter season is over, write down areas of your game that need improvement and that you would like to focus on over the summer. Whether it is very specific positional play or fundamental skill development with skating, stickhandling, passing or shooting, it’s important to identify areas of growth opportunity.

Next, research opportunities that can provide the specific training that you need and match those opportunities against your goals and objectives. This is an important step as there is so much variety available to youth hockey players that one can easily get lost in the confusion. One tried and true recommendation that we offer at Greg Carter Hockey Schools is that development won’t occur by simply playing games all summer long. Find a place to train and then dedicate yourself to that training, which brings us to ‘training versus straining.’

When we talk about training versus straining it’s important to recognize that no player is going to magically take their skills to an extreme level overnight, or over a summer. Improvement can definitely be made, and sometimes significant improvement can be made. But running from camp to camp, game to game, skill session to skill session and lesson to lesson all summer will in all likelihood create a single outcome; burnout.

After a successful summer, players should have a burning appetite to hit the ice in the fall refreshed with new skills and excited for the season, versus burned out from a strained non-stop summer hockey regiment.

Bottom line, take the time to set goals, research and align opportunities with your needs. Of course we invite you to train with us at any of our 2020 Summer Hockey Schools taking place across 11 states this summer!

Good luck with the rest of your season as you head into playoffs and please email us with any development questions that you may have!

 

 

07

January

New Year, New Me!

Posted by Greg Carter
Greg Carter

With the excitement of the holidays in the rearview mirror, it’s back to business as usual which, for those of us in a cold climate, means trying to survive the rest of a snowy, cold winter. But there’s plenty of awesome hockey to come in the next few months!

It was fun to be at the rink over the holidays and talk with so many parents and players at practices, games and tournaments. One of the things that struck me was the number of times conversations turned to summer hockey plans.

The trend over the past several years has been a growing urgency to make plans for the summer earlier and earlier, and trends of our summer hockey camp registrations support this.

While there seems to be a rush to make decisions about how and where to play and train during the summer months, there also is a very calculated approach.

As the game has become more sophisticated and players are bigger, faster and more fundamentally skilled than ever before, planning for player development and training has followed suit, with plenty of planning and research going into these important decisions.

If you are a player that in the past has typically taken more of a wait and see approach to summer hockey training, maybe this is the opportunity for a “New Year & New Me” when it comes to planning and preparation.

An old coach used to say that the best players are also the best prepared, and as the game continues to evolve, I think these words of wisdom ring truer than ever.  Sure, the best players have great talent, but that talent comes from hard work away from the spotlight of the in-season practices and games. Players who have great talent have a burning desire to continually improve and therefore are always prepping and planning for what’s next and taking their game to the next level. These players are oftentimes the first to register for our summer hockey camps and clinics.

With the New Year upon us, we invite you to contact us to help make your summer skill development plans. We are excited to once again offer summer hockey camps in a variety of states with many great options to improve your game. Make this the year you are proactive about your puck plans!

Thanks for reading and make this a New Year & A New Me!

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!

 

 

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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