player tips

Hockey players of all ages, especially youth players, are used to having people around at training sessions, practices, games and even when they are working out on their own. Constantly having eyes on them is likely some good motivation, but with COVID and social distancing it begs the question, are hockey players getting better?

Summer hockey school 2020 will be remembered for many years to come. From trying to follow new rules and regulations at local ice arenas to just trying to find a regular training regiment, the plans of youth hockey players feels just like taking a slap shot right in that part of the ankle that doesn’t have any padding!

As we work and train hockey players at our summer hockey schools one thing is certain, youth hockey players are taking this opportunity to get better. We see players applying what they have learned in practices throughout the season, at camps in the past and are showing up at the rink ready to go.

In many cases you would never guess that players haven’t been on the ice in weeks or months! And what a great feeling that is to see players come to the rink with an “A” game.

If you are working hard this summer and taking every opportunity to shoot pucks in the basement, stickhandle in the driveway and even run some sprint around the block, you are well on your way to being a better player this coming season.

I can remember playing with some kids that seemed like the only time they really worked hard was when the coach was watching. Or at practice when their parents were watching. Or at training sessions when the trainer was watching. Well, with social distancing and minimal access to ice time, no one is watching.

The question for hockey players across the U.S. this summer is this, are you getting better? As an old coach used to say, “If it’s going to be, it’s up to me.” Never has that been more true than this crazy summer of 2020.

We hope you are all staying healthy and are enjoying as much as you can this summer. We still have many camps left and invite you to join us. Thanks for reading and we look forward to seeing you at the rink soon!



Making The Most of The Moment

Posted by Greg Carter

I experienced something inspiring recently which made me more excited than ever to get back on the ice! 

Like everyone during these difficult and challenging times, each day can bring a roller coaster of emotions. I had a conversation recently with someone who told me that they feel like they go through the seven stages of grief daily: Shock, Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Testing and Acceptance.

There is no playbook, blueprint or John Madden-like white board to diagram something that will serve as a crystal ball. Everyone is sort of doing what they can to get through this moment in time, including our youth, who also all have a unique way of dealing with things.

As I was out for a recent run I noticed something that, prior to this ‘new frontier’ that we are entering, was nothing short of routine and normal. A young hockey player was in her driveway shooting a stack of pucks larger than I had previously seen.There were stickhandling balls, orange cones to stickhandle through and also a passing device that bounced pucks back to the passer. 

If that wasn’t enough, inside the garage was a pull up bar and some dumbbells for weightlifting. There was even a weight tied to a rope and a handle; I hadn’t seen a homemade wrist roller in a long time and was super impressed!

When I again passed by this house returning home on my run, the pucks were gathered ready for more shots and this kid was now working on stickhandling around the cones. Naturally, I had to stop and inquire, and essentially what I heard was this. 

“I figure if I keep working harder than I ever have I’m going to pass by some of the players that aren’t,” she said. “I started shooting pucks one day, bought more, then went online and learned how to make a wrist roller, found the cones in the garage which I’m using to stickhandle around and also found all of these different sized balls in the house. When I get back on the ice I’m going to be a better stickhandler, better shooter and have better hand-eye coordination than I’ve ever have!”

The excitement in her voice was unmistakable, and you know what, she said it with confidence and a smile that made my day. 

As I continued on towards the homestretch of my run, I realized that as a hockey coach missing my players and stopping to offer a tip or two for this player, it was actually this young hockey player that taught me something. 

As we look back at this moment, there will be those who sat idle during these times and those that kept their focus, motivation, great attitude and perspective. There is light at the end of the tunnel. When we are on the other side of this, we will all appreciate things just a little more and approach things with a renewed sense of optimism?

I was inspired by this young hockey player, her positive attitude, work ethic and genuine enthusiasm for the future. I hope by sharing this story that you are as well!

Thank you for reading and we look forward to seeing you back on the ice soon!

Please check our website for updated summer hockey school information.



How Important Is Hockey To You?

Posted by Greg Carter

With most postseason 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 versus trying out this fall. 

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, development league and making final plans for summer hockey training. Most importantly, making plans to play hockey again next season!

One of the biggest decisions players are faced with at this time of the year is how bad do they want whatever it is that they have set a goal to achieve next season. 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 season. 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 11 states.

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



Why Do Certain Teams Always Win?

Posted by Greg Carter

As we head into summer hockey school season we have a really fun stretch of games ahead of us, the playoffs! I can remember as a youth hockey player that there were always the same few teams that every year found themselves in the championship game and most often, winning the title. Sometimes I was on those teams, other times it was that dreaded rival team that we loved playing, but also found a way to win a fair amount of the time.

As I’ve coached youth hockey over the past two decades and run hockey schools all over the country, I can say that this trend has not changed as the same teams seem to always be in the conversation at the end of the year.

In recent articles we’ve talked about Winning Being A Habit and that To Be The Best, You Need To Set Goals Like The Best. When it comes to winning, it’s pretty obvious that the best teams have players who are doing all the little things that add up to the big things! But why is it that certain teams and programs always seem to produce winners? Yes, it starts with skill, talent, work ethic and all of the ingredients that you would expect in a successful recipe, but there is something that I’ve noticed in recent years, especially at the youth levels that great teams share.

Selflessness. (Related Articles: “Are You A Me or We Player” & “That You Do Is More Important Than Who”)

As I watch teams, from the good to great, I’m always intrigued by the top players. I watch their skill sets, their style and how they interact with their teammates. From an individual standpoint, this is important because much of the time as the top players go, so goes the team. More specifically, if the team relies on the top player for everything, other teams can usually contain the threat. But if that top player (or players) relies on themselves for everything, and tries to do everything either out of selfishness or not trusting that teammates can get the job done, well this is separation between good teams and championship teams.

What I mean is this: How bad does a top player, or any player for that matter, want to score themselves vs. making sure that the team wins. I’ve seen players in game changing moments shoot from bad angles for example, rather than sliding the puck to a teammate for an easy tap in goal. I’ve seen players that want the notoriety of scoring in the big game or scoring a big goal seemingly more than an assist on a teammates goal. These things don’t happen on championship teams.

The teams that are playing for the championship are the teams that operate like teams! The players, all the players, want the team win more than the individual stats. Championship teams make good hockey decisions, they make good hockey plays, they are unselfish and we is always more important than me.

As you head into the the playoffs we wish you the best of luck at your Mass Hockey USA Hockey or local tournament! We hope that your team comes together and plays like a team and when that final buzzer sounds, you are celebrating a well-deserved championship!

Thanks for reading and as you set goals for next season, please accept our invitation to join us at any of our hockey schools at 11 states this summer!



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.


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