player tips

03

December

25 in 27! Pass The Pasta! 

Posted by Greg Carter

Inspiration comes in many forms and what is happening with Boston Bruin David Pastrnak is enough to keep everyone heated up, especially young hockey players looking to improve their skills and score more goals.

It’s always exciting when a team goes on a run and rattles off win after win, and when a player goes on an individual scoring streak everyone seems to rally around that player for inspiration and motivation.

I can remember playing alongside many awesome hockey players who went on goal scoring streaks, or with goalies who were seeing the puck like a beachball and nothing was getting by them. And when I say nothing, I mean absolutely nothing they were a brick wall!

Those moments were very special and the one common trait amongst all of these great players was how hard they worked to put themselves in a position to succeed and once they were there, how focused and determined they were to achieve even more. None of it was left to chance or luck, and the same can be said about Pastrnak.

Pastrnak’s amazing goal scoring pace has people talking about a potential 70 goal season, yet when asked what his incredible start means to him, his reply is “Nothing.”

Clearly a ‘team first’ response by “Pasta” and while he may not admit it now, 25 goals in 27 games is a special moment and something youth hockey players should be paying attention to, not just because of the quantity of goals, but also the quality.

The NHL game is wide open and scoring is up across the league, including on the power play which has been huge for “Pasta” as he has racked up an incredible 12 power play goals. He is the 11th different player in NHL history to score 25+ goals by Dec. 1 and first since Mario Lemieux 27 years ago.

Right now the puck has eyes when it comes off the stick of David Pastrnak and for fans and youth hockey players it’s a great moment to watch and learn. If you keep working hard, you too will have a moment in time when everything just seems to be going right and in that moment, cease the opportunity to not just enjoy each goal and assist, but to push yourself to new limits, like a 70 goal “Pasta” season!

Thanks for reading and as we approach the holidays, we are excited to have all of our 2020 summer hockey school dates and locations available for that perfect holiday gift!

 

 

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!

 

 

02

October

Summer Youth Hockey Camp

The start of the NHL regular season has fans excited to ‘tune in’ and cheer on their favorite team. For youth hockey players, this is also the time of year to ‘tune in’ to specialized skills to be super successful!

October means that hockey players have traded in their golf clubs for hockey sticks and that the season is officially underway! Golf clubs you might ask? Hockey players – especially NHL’ers – are notorious for also being ultra competitive golfers and as such, it should come as no surprise that they take after PGA pros and constantly work on their game at the driving range, putting green and just about anywhere they can gain an edge and a stroke. And when a golfer really wants to get serious, they take lessons and work with a swing coach who helps fine tune their swing.

In the same way, hockey players need specialized instruction to help refine and master specific skills. When the hockey season starts it’s important for players to not only work on team aspects of the game, but to also continue down the long term player development path. USA Hockey created the American Development Model (ADM) to aid in age-specific skill development for youth hockey players across the country. The success of this program has been undeniable, especially among players fortunate to play for coaches utilizing the ADM throughout their youth hockey career.

What we have found over 25 years at Greg Carter Hockey Schools is that many players seek out extra opportunities for skill development. Players who have participated in our Sunday Night Skills Sessions gain access to extra ice time for additional skill repetitions. We offer players the option to come every week or simply walk in and sign up at the rink which provides maximum flexibility to train when they are motivated and inspired. Our Thanksgiving Clinic also offers additional in-season specialized skill training.

Why is skill training important not just during the off-season but to also stay ‘tuned in’ during the season? 

  • It’s important to train throughout the season to maintain the skill progression that you made in the off-season. Don’t put unnecessary distance between what you learned over the summer and what you are working on this season! 
  • It’s important to push and continue to improve your skill development and working on specialized skills can accomplish this.
  • It’s important to be ready for the most important time of the season, the playoffs! 

As your season begins we encourage you to continue to fine tune your skills, work hard and always bring a great attitude. Thanks for reading and we look forward to seeing you at the rink soon!

 

 

11

September

Summer Youth Hockey Camp

Greg Carter Hockey School just wrapped up our 25th year of hockey schools and what a fun and exciting summer we had training great hockey players from across the United States. Throughout our more than two decades of running hockey camps we have always maintained that what you learn at camp is important, but how you retain and continue to work on the skills you learn is even more beneficial to your long term skill development.

September is a busy month with the transition from summer to fall, the start of school, the first kickoff for your favorite football team and ultimately, the start of the hockey season! It is also the transition month when players are either going to continue working on the skills they developed during the season and retain that knowledge, or lose focus and let some of it slip away.

“Skills in September” is an easy reminder that development is a marathon, not a race and that to master any skill it requires repetition and practicing ‘the right way’. For example, if you were struggling to take a slap shot and learned the proper technique this summer and finally developed that “A Team” power and accuracy, it’s important that you continue shooting pucks in September, and not just shooting pucks, but shooting them with the proper mechanics that you learned at summer hockey school.

The staff at Greg Carter Hockey Camps was super impressed this summer with the level of talent hockey players have and especially how young players start to acquire awesome skills at such a young age. The youth hockey game is more competitive than ever and to get to the next level, players need to have all of the tools in their toolbox.

Hopefully you went to hockey camp this summer with skill development goals in mind and you are entering the season with more confidence in your game, more desire to get better and a positive work ethic. September is the month to continue bringing that energy and excitement to your training so that you can continue the momentum and hit the ice when the season starts turning heads and impressing coaches.

Thanks again to everyone who attended our camps this summer and to all of the hockey players out there, good luck with the start of your season and remember, your success this season starts NOW, in September!

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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