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player tips

21

May

Youth hockey players have many training options and it’s important to take the right track to success. This summer we invite you to train the CARTER method to reach your full potential!  The CARTER method includes key fundamental skills including:

Control

Our hockey camps educate all students on the importance of body control. We have designed a sequence of drills to help them understand and enhance body movements to improve their overall balance and body posture. 

Agility

Our unique training methods focus on quick lateral movements and foot work. With proper body control and weight distribution, students will develop evasive techniques, make them more effective hockey players. 

Reflex

Hockey is a read and react game. Reflexes and split second decisions affect the game. Increasing your hockey skills (skating, stick handling, shooting, checking and edge control) helps to improve all aspects of the game. Through the CARTER METHOD we raise the level of play and quicken your reflexes.

Technique

We teach and improve hockey techniques under controlled situations and through repetition. We then incorporate speed once the proper techniques have been mastered. 

Edge

Edges are challenged and enhanced throughout the week using control and overspeed drills. Edges are incorporated into the skating stride through Power Skating and Dynamic Skating.

Retention

Individual Skill Development. All of Greg Carter’s European Hockey School Training Camps work on total skill development through the use of European training equipment, parallel bars, and carousels. 

Thank you for reading! Although many of our summer 2024 hockey camps are sold out, we have limited space left at select locations. To check on dates and locations CLICK HERE.

29

April

Game 7 Success Secrets

Posted by Greg Carter

The NHL Playoff action has been high speed and action packed so far. And nothing is bigger than a Game 7, when everything is on the line. One team breaks out the golf clubs while the other advances one step closer to the Stanley Cup.

So what does it really take to win that decisive Game 7? What separates the winners? Typically it takes a combination of some puck luck, momentum and of course hard work. In all my years around the game as both a player as well as training hockey players, I’ve come to see some similarities among players who more times than not find themselves on the winning side of the Game 7.

It’s important to understand that these are not just player traits that appear on the eve of a Game 7, instead they are engrained in a player from the time they learn to love the game. Thinking back to the great players that I’ve played with and coached, they always seemed to bump up their game and take it to another level in the playoffs. The good players got great, and their ability to keep bringing the magic that it takes to win was even more evident in the biggest games.

These are the players – and I see them today at the youth level – that are so ‘wired’ after a shift that they can’t sit still on the bench to rest. These are the players that lean against the boards and watch every minute, every second of the game. They can’t wait to get back onto the ice for their chance to score the winning goal!

So what are the secrets, both as a player and a team, to winning a Game 7?

  • Ability to play with a ‘win at all cost’ mentality. This means doing everything possible, every shift to make sure you are always in the best position to have an impact.
  • High Risk / High Reward. Great players are not afraid to take chances to score the big goal. They have the confidence in themselves that given the chance, they will beat the odds and score the goal.
  • Confidence. It may sounds simple, but confidence goes a long way in winning. When a team hits the ice with confidence, you notice. And when you execute on your confidence and get the job done, oftentimes you win the game!
  • Hard work. Nothing compares to hard work. So often one team may look flat, while the other is buzzing around like gnat. Is one team really flat, or is the other just out working and out skating them?
  • Rely on what got you there. And this is the key, that to win the Game 7 you have to recognize that all the long hours of dedication, practice and persistence all plays out in dramatic fashion. Sure, all the players have put in the time, but the best of the best are the ones who do just that little bit more.

Enjoy the rest of the NHL Playoffs and good luck scoring the big one in your next big game! For players still looking for a summer hockey school, we have limited dates and locations available. Check it out by clicking here.

15

April

Hockey fans are being treated to a couple of historical seasons. Auston Matthews is the first player to score 66 goals or more in a season since Mario Lemieux in 1995-96. As of this writing, Matthews has netted 69 goals in 79 games.

With only a couple of games remaining in the regular season, he will likely break the 70 goal barrier and join the likes of Lemieux, Brett Hull, Phil Esposito, Wayne Gretzky and other legends at the top of the charts. This list is truly amazing when you consider Gretzky had 92 goals in 80 games and another season with 87 in 74 games. That 92 goal season included 120 assists. 120! A few seasons later the Great One tallied 163 assists.

This season Connor McDavid became just the fourth player in league history to eclipse the 100-assist threshold in a season. He is the first to do so since Wayne Gretzky in 1990-91.

Most teams have a goal scorer that can be counted on to find the back of the net on a regular basis. And as every good hockey coach will attest to, wherever you find a goal scorer, there is usually a great playmaker nearby. While everyone wants to score goals, having the talent to read a play and put the puck on the tape is an equally impressive skill.

Are you a good passer? Making a good pass can be the difference between winning and losing a game. In practice it can be the difference between a great start to a drill, or it ending before it ever begins as the puck slides down the entire length of the ice.

Practicing passing, and the proper fundamentals, should be a regular part of your skill training. Becoming a better passer is a simple way for players to make huge contributions to their team, and it all starts with a good hockey personality. A good personality you might ask? Absolutely, because in order to be a good passer you can’t be a puck hog! Great passers have a high ‘hockey IQ’ and try to making the right hockey play, not just trying to light the lamp themselves. And best of all? Great playmakers know that when they make a great pass, they oftentimes can expect a great pass back!

Tips and tricks to passing with precision:

Vision. Making a good pass starts with keeping your head up and being aware of the play. The skill of passing involves reading and anticipating the play, and not just making a pass, but making the right pass.

Accuracy = Tape-to-tape. Players hear this all of the time from coaches, and in order to make an accurate pass you need to look at your target and make a good, crisp pass with a proper follow through. Taking the extra split second to find your target and see how fast he is moving is something that will come naturally with practice. A pass into the skates of your linemate is a surefire way to quickly end a breakout or breakaway. Practice makes perfect, so hit the tape every time in practice and you stand a good chance of doing the same in the game!

Mechanics. The mechanics of passing have changed over the years as sticks have evolved. Gone are the days of needing to over emphasize receiving the puck, especially as players get older and stronger and the stick flexes when receiving passes. Some fundamentals do remain constant, such as not slapping at the puck. This is a common mistake players make at younger ages. Instead of slapping at the puck, players should concentrate on the puck rolling off the blade from the heel toward the toe in a sweeping motion. Weight transfer is also important, so move from your back to front skate as you begin your follow through.

Once players master the basic fundamentals of passing, they can start to practice more advanced passes such as a saucer pass, which is one of our absolute favorites! Take the time to work on your skills so that when the game is on the line, you make the perfect tape-to-tape pass!

Need more help with your passing and skill development? Join us at one of our 2024 Summer Hockey Camps! Check out available dates and locations by clicking here and we’ll see you at the rink!

26

March

To be the best, watch the best!

Posted by Greg Carter

This year there is a great debate brewing about who will win the Calder Trophy as the NHL Rookie of the Year. Chicago Blackhawk Connor Bedard and Minnesota Wild Brock Faber are both experiencing exceptional years. Bedard is a high talent forward while Faber is logging record ice time as a defenseman. What can you learn from watching both of these talents?

Train, Train & Train!

Faber leads the Wild with 25:05 played per game, logging 30-plus minutes five times. This would not be possible without being in top physical shape. This year we celebrated the 44th anniversary of the Miracle on Ice. A large part of the success of that team was head coach Herb Brooks whipping them into shape, better than any in the 1980 Olympics. “Again. Again. Again.” was a memorable part of the movie “Miracle” made about that team and as any top player will attest to, being in great shape is a key to success.

Skills = Success

While this is quite obvious, skill development is something that Bedard has mastered. The phenom entered the NHL as the most hyped rookie in years. He lived up to the expectations by showing off a shot, and release, that had even the Great One marveling over it. As a great coach once told our team, you can never quite working on skills.

Take advantage of every opportunity

Sometimes opportunities come along but once, and often are only there for a fleeting moment and must be taken advantage of. In the case of Faber, injuries to fellow Wild defensemen thrust him into a role that nobody imagined he would be in. He currently leads the power play and logs record ice time. When the opportunity presented itself, he was ready, and capitalized on an early career defining moment. Great players are ready for the moment!

Regardless of who wins the Calder Trophy, both players are worth watching anytime young hockey players have the opportunity. Much can be learned and applied each and very time they hit the ice!

Thanks for reading and we once again invite you to train with us this summer at one of our hockey schools. Many locations are already sold out, but you can click here to shop for dates, times and locations.

See you at the rink!

05

March

How Important is Hockey to You?

Posted by Greg Carter

It’s been a fun season from the peewees to the pros. With two NHL players (Nikita Kucherov and Nathan MacKinnon) eclipsing the 100 point mark and another (Connor McDavid) about to do the same, there have been plenty of goals and talent to celebrate!

With most youth hockey tournaments complete we are in the ‘inbetween season’ and depending on where you live, that can mean many different things. Here in Massachusetts for example, we are in tryout mode as our youth hockey teams for next season are chosen in the coming weeks. 

In other parts of the country where teams for next season are chosen in September or October, you are likely spending the next few weeks in a spring league or development league as well as making final plans for summer hockey training.

One of the biggest decisions players are faced with at this time of the year is this:

How bad do you want to achieve your hockey goal?

We have talked about goal setting in a variety of past articles and the importance of this can’t be overstated. 

What’s Next?

Regardless of how your hockey season started and ended, whether you felt like you deserved more ice time or anything else, what happens next is more important than what happened last. And it all starts with deciding how bad you want to improve your skills and take your game to the next level.

One of our favorite past articles was about a player who showed up every day for summer workouts. While friends were sleeping in, going to the beach or doing other things, this player was dedicated to sticking to a schedule, never making an excuses. Hockey was important enough to the player that there was always a way, never an excuse. The results and success of this player spoke for themselves. 

So as you make important decisions about how, where and when to train this summer, we invite you to join us at one of our summer hockey schools located in 12 states.

The only real question that remains is, will you find a way, or will you make an excuse?

Thanks for reading and we look forward to seeing you at the rink soon!

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