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06

January

The Best Hockey of the Year!

Posted by Greg Carter

Each year the top talent in the world comes together for the World Junior Championship. This year’s tournament was inspiring to watch as we restart our own seasons! Hopefully youth hockey players tuned in for these 5 important lessons! 

You Gotta Want It

In the Gold Medal game the favored team from Canada came out fast. It would have been easy for the US to be intimidated (more on that in a minute). However, the US survived the first ten minutes and then things changed.  The US started to dominante the zone, managing the puck and got a goal. No intimidation whatsoever. They continued to grind it out in a tight first period and put Canada behind for the first time in the entire tournament. In fact the goal was the first five-on-five goal Canada had given up in the entire tournament, against the top talent in the world nonetheless! Plain and simple, the US wanted this game! 

Get To The Net 

With less than a minute gone in the second period the US got a huge goal. It’s always big to get a goal in the first or final two minutes of a period, and this goal was all tenacity. Alex Turcotte got to the front of the net and tipped in a great shot from the point. Too often players get ‘around’ the net but they aren’t ‘at’ the net. In this case the player was perfectly positioned to tip a shot from the point because he was at the net. 

Confidence

Canada was the favored team heading into the game and with the two goal ‘toughest lead in hockey’ it would have been easy for the US team to question it against such a formidable opponent. The US didn’t waver and played with confidence from the forward to the defence and especially between the pipes. They were confident in their play and it showed!

Carry the Momentum

Much like confidence, momentum is huge in hockey, and once you have it, it’s important to ride the wave. Canada had many good spurts of play but when the pendulum swung back to the US they rode the momentum and looked like the better team for much of the game. When you have the momentum, work even harder and keep it! 

Play All 60 Minutes

I like to tell the story about a round of golf. A friend started out really well, was up by several strokes and clearly started to take things for granted, lost focus and over the last few holes coughed it up and ultimately lost the match by several strokes. There are 18 holes in golf and they all count the same. There are 60 minutes in hockey and they all count the same. The US played the third period with the poise and confidence that this game was theirs and when the final buzzer sounded it was!

Play each second of each shift, each minute of every period and all 60 minutes. If you do, good things will happen, as it did for the US celebrating their 2-0 shutout victory over Canada on their home soil!

Thanks for reading at good luck resuming play and your season. We are excited for our summer hockey schools and invite you to train with us this summer. Our early bird special runs in January! For dates, times and locations click here!

16

December

The absence of a normal hockey season has left hockey families wondering what to look forward to. Are you ready to score some hockey happiness?

Just the other day in a conversation with a fellow hockey parent it came out that among the many things we miss about a traditional hockey season is looking forward to the next game. Looking forward to the weekend tournament. Looking forward to playing the first place team. Looking forward to the playoffs. We miss looking forward to what’s next with the season!

Reading some articles from past seasons later that same day I kept coming across college and professional players talking about being excited about where they are at as a team and looking forward to what they can accomplish. Looking forward to the Frozen Four. Looking forward to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Looking forward to a championship run. 

Hockey players need something to look forward to! 

For our staff at Greg Carter’s Hockey School we have used much of the extra time during the pandemic to look forward to the summer of 2021. In some ways it has been therapeutic for us to focus on brighter days ahead, when we will be back to a normal situation this summer. The thought of warm weather has also been great! 

But we wanted to do more. We wanted to provide something that will really give something for hockey players to look forward to. 

Registration is open for our 2021 summer hockey camps, dates and locations can be found HERE.

For a short period of time we are offering a discount of 10% for all registrations on our full and half day summer hockey schools.

We have summer hockey camps in 11 states that all share the same goal, to help hockey players take their game to the next level! 

This holiday season we wish you some hockey happiness and invite you to our 2021 summer hockey school.

Afterall, everyone deserves something to look forward to!

Thank you for reading and have a wonderful holiday season! For more information about our 2021 Summer Hockey Schools or to register today, click HERE.

02

December

The No Puck Pandemic

Posted by Greg Carter
Greg Carter Hockey Camp

It’s been a tough start to the season, what are hockey parents and player missing most during the pandemic?

We all have taken for granted going to the rink for practice or a game. Or to watch a brother, sisters, son, daughter or friend play a game. Or maybe you just made a trip to get skates sharpened or to buy a roll of tape at the pro shop. Many have also been known to simply drop in to see who is practicing or playing a game. And maybe that’s what we miss most. Just being at the rink. 

Puckless Pandemic & What We Miss Most

(in no particular order)

  1. Watching the resurfacer clean the ice in anticipation of the game or practice. 
  2. Arena steaks. Otherwise known as hot dogs at the ice rink. The official meal of hockey parents everywhere! 
  3. The people. The players, the coaches, friends, even the referees. Hockey people are the best people!
  4. The smell. Maybe not the smell of equipment, but there is a distinct smell inside an ice rink!
  5. Becoming a better hockey player. There is great satisfaction in leaving the rink knowing that you are just a little bit better than you were when you walked in. 
  6. The popcorn. Maybe it’s eating warm popcorn in a cold rink, but it just seems like popcorn always tastes better at the ice rink. 
  7. Bringing Dunkin coffee to the rink. Because regardless of what anyone says, coffee from the ice rink tastes like that last cup melded to the pot at a 2 am truckstop. 
  8. Snuggling under a warm blanket with family and friends in the stands of a super cold rink. 
  9. The sounds. Skate blades carving into the ice, pucks clanging off the goal posts, into the boards and plexiglass. Whistles, coaches instructions and even the animated hockey parent barking instructions to their child or angst at the referee.
  10. The arena manager. Even though the vision of an ice arena manager is a grizzled old guy with cheeks that you could strike a match on, admit it, you sort of miss getting yelled at for playing street hockey in the hallways and lobby or for rocking the vending machine trying to shake loose that bag of chips that got stuck. 
  11. Playing without a mask. 
  12. Watching your son or daughter make a great pass, assist on a goal or best of all, scoring the big goal.
  13. The car ride home with your son or daughter….an experience that only a hockey parent can truly appreciate. 

Thank you for reading, and if you want more to read, we have plenty of great player development articles in our BLOG ARCHIVE.

Hang in there and let’s all look forward to brighter days ahead. And when we return to the rink under normal conditions, maybe we’ll all just appreciate things a little bit more!

21

October

Focus On What You Can Control

Posted by Greg Carter

In these uncertain times hockey players have many questions. The best way to this season is to not worry about things out of your control, and to focus on what you can control! 

As both a player and a coach, there are always those seasons that stick out where there seemed to be more questions than answers. Looking back at those uncertain times, I can remember coaches telling players to focus. Don’t get distracted. Take one game at a time. One shift at a time. 

Years later it seems easy to now look back and agree. In the moment however, it just seemed like a bunch of coaches cliches strung together to motivate and help get us through the moment.

Do not let what is out of your control interfere with all of the things that are within your control.

Focus on what you can control, rather than the outcome you cannot.

Focus on what you can do rather than stress about what you have no control over. 

The secret of confidence is focusing on what you can control, not on what you can’t.

Rather than worrying about the unclear, focus on who is in the mirror. 

As we enter this season like no other, there in all likelihood will be more questions than answers from players, parents and even coaches. From arena restrictions and procedures for dressing for practice and preparing for games, to the number of games, out of town tournaments and end of the season championships.

As we’ve discussed in previous player development articles, the opportunity this season is to focus on one thing: development. This season above all others should be about developing skills, getting better at skating, stickhandling, shooting and scoring. These are all things that you can control! 

With ice time being limited this season coaches are going to be more focused than ever with practice plans and skill development. As a player, practicing and absorbing as much information as possible will be a key to your success. Think of yourself as a sponge this season, trying to soak up as much hockey knowledge and instruction as you possibly can. 

Take all of this knowledge and use it to your advantage. This is something you absolutely can control, without any outside influences. Remember the ‘5 S’s’ Skills, Skating, Stickhandling, Shooting and Scoring! 

We wish you the best of luck with the start of your season. Stay healthy, happy and focused! 

01

October

There’s an old saying in sports about hitting home runs in baseball, scoring touchdowns in football or goals in hockey: “Nobody asks how, they just ask how many.”

As you start a youth hockey season unlike any other, it will be more important than ever this season to stay focused and keep your eye on the prize. 

In youth hockey, that prize should be development, improving fundamental skills and ending the season a better hockey player than you entered it. Of course championships are nice prizes as well! In all of our years coaching and playing this great game, typically if every player on the teams is improving, those championships will follow!

As we were watching the Stanley Cup Playoffs, there was much made of scoring records, wins and losses and stats that ultimately can end up defining the careers of players and the legacy of a team. Recent social media discussions debated the abbreviated season and the non-traditional Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

Will the Stanley Cup winning team be remembered the same in a COVID season as past and future champions that win in a traditional year? History has proven that when it comes to stats, records and legacies, they really don’t ask how, but how many. 

As you start your own youth hockey season, keep this in mind as the year in all likelihood not be typical when it comes to practices, games and tournaments. The easily distracted players will lose focus. Those that stay focused, however, will understand that they need to only concern themselves with what they can control, which is learning from coaches and developing skills. 

We hope you have a great start to the season and that when it’s over, you’ll be proud to answer ‘how many’! 

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

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