player tips

16

March

Once that final buzzer sounds it’s only a short time before most players start to think “What’s next” . . . “How do I improve my game?” While many players think this, it’s those that follow through, set goals and work hard that actually hit the ice next season as a better player than last season. So the question is, how are you going to make the most of your off season training?

5 tips to the top of your game: 

  1. Start with a plan. This seems simple and obvious, but a plan isn’t a plan unless goals are identified and written down. Think back to last season and the difficulties that you had, identify areas of improvement and create a plan that will improve skills in areas that need the most work. Many players work on areas in which they are already strong. The great players spend time focusing on their weaknesses.
  2. Choose a program. There are many options on how and where to train. Do your homework, and research opportunities that are reputable and offer training and skill development in the areas that align with your goals and objectives. Once you make this important commitment, you will be once step closer to your off season goals.
  3. It’s summer, enjoy it! Off season training should be mixed in with a good balance of traditional summer activities. Hockey players that create a mix of training and fun are more likely to reduce injuries and also will stay with the program for a longer period of time.
  4. Dedicate yourself. When it does come time for training, whether it’s before going to the beach or after a round of golf, focus on what you need to improve on. Put yourself back into the place you were last season and think about the areas of your game that frustrated you. Listen to your instructors and coaches and skate each drill with the same intensity that you play the game. Dedicate yourself to the moment!
  5. Split the summer into 3 periods. June, July and August come and go very quickly. If you split your training and define goals for each month, it will allow you to focus and access your progress on a monthly basis. Players that we have trained at our summer hockey schools have told us they will identify 3 key areas of focus, and while they train all summer with them in mind, they may spend more time in June in shooting for example, and then shift the focus of July to power skating, and then August is all about stickhandling.

The goal of your off season training should be to improve your skills, increase your love of the game and to hit the ice this fall as a better hockey player than you left it in the spring. Good luck in all of your training and we hope to see you on the ice at one of our camps in 10 states this summer!

14

September

This Season, Make it Matter

Posted by Greg Carter

When it comes to applying your hard work from hockey camp this summer, what are you doing this season to make it matter?

Each summer at our hockey schools we teach a wide variety of hockey skills including shooting, passing, power skating, speed, agility and of course, scoring! We enjoy watching hockey players develop and improve fundamental skills, as well as helping them understand what it really takes to become a better hockey player.

There really is no secret to the ingredients resulting in success, and it all  starts with a big helping of hard work. What the best players understand however, is that while the ingredients may be similar for players’ path to achieving their goals, it’s the recipe that differs from player to player. And the top players understand that the recipe, just like a favorite dish, requires effort.

Summer hockey school is a great time to fine tune your game and work on developing your personal goals. Everything that you worked on this past summer will play an important role in your success this season. And to really make it matter this season, an emphasis needs to be placed on continuing to improve on the skills learned and developed over the summer.

It’s easy to get lost in the excitement of the start of the season and get caught up in some early season success. By mid-season however, it’s not uncommon to fall back into bad habits or taking short cuts. Players need to take the instruction learned over the summer and apply it each and every practice. Think of this in terms of building the foundation to a home. Each layer of bricks will continue to support the structure of the house, and every layer must be as strong or stronger than the previous.

In the same way, hockey players must advance through their development consistently striving to improve skills, and adding to a strong foundation that will lead them to becoming a great hockey player and achieving their goals.

So with the hockey season upon us, and to really make it matter this season, write down your greatest strengths and also areas of your game that require improvement.  Think back to what you learned at summer hockey school and how you can apply that knowledge at every practice and every game.

Continue to work hard and tweak the ingredients in your recipe for success. When things are going great continue to stay focused, and when you find a challenging time, think back to your foundation and the skills that you have developed.

And most of all this season, make it matter!

19

May

summer-camp-blog

Youth hockey players always start the summer with great intentions on training. Developing a better shot, a better stride and a better all-around game might be on your list. So how can you make sure that when the sun sets on Labor Day you will have better skills than the first of June or 4th of July? Here are some tips, and it all starts with a plan.

Make a plan. And make a list. Think back to last season and the areas of your game that you needed to improve on. Prioritize the skills that you are going to focus on and then commit to a regular schedule. Post your plan and your list in an area that you will see it every day, and let it be a motivator to get started, and keep going.

Fun Factor. Summer should be about having fun, and there is no reason that your training can’t be fun, along with some sweat and hard work. Turn on some music, dump out a bucket of pucks and start stick handling and shooting. Before you know it, 10 songs will have gone by and your shot will be better for it.

Try Something Different. At our hockey camp we like to talk about training the CARTER Method: C=Control, A=Agility, R=Reflex, T=Technique, E=Edge, R=Retention. Including a new routine or training method into your schedule will help keep things fresh and motivating.

Everyone loves winter hockey, but here at Greg Carter Hockey Schools we especially love summer hockey and all of the training and growth opportunities that come with it. We have watched so many young athletes blossom over the summer months as they push and challenge themselves to get out of their comfort zone and take their game to the next level.

We invite you to take advantage of the outstanding high performance training opportunities we have available this summer. Our hockey school will be in ten states including Alaska, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Virginia.

For more than two decades our experienced team of coaches has been focused on player development and summer hockey training. We hope to see you at one of our camps this summer and look forward to helping you reach your goals!

13

April

One of the many great things about hockey camp is the people you meet. Players, coaches, trainers and families from all over the country come together for this special week and it’s nothing short of an awesome experience to skate, talk and learn from others. So who will you meet at hockey camp this summer? Here are 5 people you are sure to have fun with and create lasting memories.

The Coach. We all have a coach who makes an impression on us, and some of the best coaches are those who teach you new things, in a way you have never been instructed. Each summer at camp our students create a bond with a coach that extends long after the week of camp is over. Many keep in touch throughout the season, and we are very proud of our knowledgeable and personable coaching staff.

The New Buddy. Going to a hockey camp can be intimidating, especially when doing it for the first time or going alone. Over the years we have watched kids show up the first day and hardly say a word to anyone, and end up being the kid we can’t keep quiet by the end of the week. Everyone finds a buddy at hockey camp and like the coach, those relationships often last beyond the last day of camp.

The Skillmaster. This one is kind of difficult to explain, but think the top scorer, mixed with a gift of gab and a healthy dose of confidence. Every camp has the player that has worked their tail off and has become just a step faster and a goal better than everyone else. We like these kids at camp because they motivate and inspire – one way or another- for the rest of the players to be just as good as they are.

The Most Improved. The first day at camp is always exciting for everyone, including the staff. We really enjoy getting to know the kids, assessing their talents and identifying their areas for improvements. What we really look forward to on the last day of camp is deciding which player has worked the hardest and developed the most during camp. We have a motto at camp: “get better every day”.  And we push players to do just that.

The Class Clown. This kid is part Drake, part Josh; innocent, but always guilty. He’s the kid everyone at camp instantly connects with, keeps the group bonding and always has something funny to say. Oftentimes the class clown is also the hardest worker and most respectful. But one thing is for certain, he/she is always funny.

There are no shortages of stories, lessons and learning that takes place at hockey camp, and we hope you choose to improve your game and make your memories at our hockey camps this summer. Remember to have fun playing this great game, and to get better every day!

08

March

Rails

Watching Jaromir Jagr pass Gordie Howe for third on the all-time points list is nothing short of a historic moment in the NHL. 743 goals and 1,107 assists. That is simply amazing. When you watch Jagr’s highlight reel goals it becomes evident very quickly that he has great hands, incredible vision on the ice and can shoot and pass the puck with awesome accuracy.

So what can youth hockey players learn from a player like Jagr? There is plenty in his bag of tricks to borrow from, and here are a few of the best.

A Great Teammate. Jagr has played with 8 different teams during his NHL career. Along the way he has played with literally hundreds of players and when you ask them about Jagr, they all say the same thing; incredible talent and great teammate who makes everyone around him better. It’s one thing to have the skill and the will, it’s another thing to want to share it with everyone around you. Great players truly do make everyone around them better.

A Nose for the Net. An old coach used to preach all the time that it doesn’t matter how it goes in, only that it goes in. While Jagr has had plenty of highlight reel goals, he has also scored a lot by simply being in the right place at the right time to bang home a rebound or to redirect a shot. Get to the net and good things will happen!

Outstanding Anticipation.  Parents at hockey school ask me all the time about how to teach players to anticipate the game. The reality is that you can’t teach anticipation, but the best players know where to be on the ice to make things happen. The really good players don’t go to where the puck is, they go to where the puck will end up.

I know we said top 3, but this one is a bonus.

Stickhandling. Again, Jagr has had plenty of highlight reel goals during his career and it just never gets old watching the dangles and dekes. If there is one thing players can do this summer to really take their game to the next level it is stickhandling. Whether it’s a puck on the ice or a ball in the driveway, the hand-eye coordination that it takes to master the skill of stickhandling is a lifetime worth of work. As I tell my own son, you can never shoot enough pucks or stickhandle long enough if you really want to be the best.

Perhaps what is most amazing in all of this is that even with over 1,850 points, Jagr is still more than 1,000 points from catching Wayne Gretzky who is number one on the list with 2,857 career points. More on that in a future article!

Thanks for reading and we hope to see you at one of our camps this summer!

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