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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!
Thanksgiving is an awesome time for hockey players to pause during the break in the action and reflect on the great things to appreciate this season!
Coaches play an integral part in the development of hockey players and if you are fortunate enough to have a really good coach, make sure they know how much you appreciate them! It takes a lot of time, energy and dedication to coach youth hockey teams and what you see on the ice from a coach during practice is only part of the story. There is a lot of practice preparation that goes into that one hour practice session and game strategy and oftentimes the coaches are the last to leave the rink after a game or practice. To this day I can still remember my favorite coaches and the important skills they taught me!
Technology advancements in equipment over the recent years has been nothing short of amazing. Protective equipment like shoulder pads, gloves and pants (breezers) that used to absorb sweat and water and up weighing what seemed like five pounds heavier at the end of the game, have been replaced with ultra lightweight and super durable protective equipment. Skates are amazingly light and players are spoiled not having to go through a week long painful – sometimes tearful – break them in. Perhaps the greatest advancement has been in stick technology as once a player is strong enough to benefit from the flex, the ability to develop a crazy hard shot is just a matter of putting in the time.
Hockey parents are the greatest sports parents ever. Parents willingly wake up long before the sun comes up only to stand in a freezing cold ice arena for that 6 a.m. mid-January practice. They travel hundreds and thousands of miles each season and attend enough weekend tournaments that they are on a first name basis with the front desk at the hotel. The dedication of hockey parents is awesome!
There are more opportunities than ever for hockey players to develop their skills. From regular season hockey teams to in-season weekly skill camps and clinics. There are plenty of AAA teams and of course summer hockey camps and summer hockey schools. Skill development is a marathon, not a sprint, and there are so many great opportunities for players to master the fundamental skills required to reach their full potential!
The Game of Hockey
Perhaps that best thing to be thankful for is the also the most simplistic, the basic fact that kids have the opportunity to play the greatest sport in the world! Hockey has brought so much excitement, joy and happiness, taught so many life lessons, developed so many friendships and brought so many people together in such a positive way. Enjoy the season, fight through the adversity and always remember that hockey is a sport to be enjoyed, win or lose!
Thanks for reading and from our hockey family to yours, have a great Thanksgiving holiday and we hope to see you at the rink soon!
As the NHL likes to say “Hockey is the greatest sport on Earth!” Like you, we couldn’t agree more and one of the greatest moments is celebrating a big win after the game! I read the following quote about winning recently from the legendary football coach Vince Lombardi:
Winning is a Habit.
Watch your thoughts, they become your beliefs. Watch your beliefs, they become your words. Watch your words, they become your actions. Watch your actions, they become your habits. Watch your habits, they become your character. – Vince Lombardi
I’ve been lucky to have played on some great hockey teams and fortunate to coach several as well. It’s really special when winning truly becomes a habit, and you can start to understand how that occurs when you dissect Lombardi’s quote:
Watch Your Thoughts, They Become Your Beliefs
When you think you can win the race to the puck you are one step closer to actually winning! When you think you can outwork the other team you should. When your thoughts tell you that you actually can, you absolutely start to believe it, and for youth hockey players wanting to achieve the top level, that is the beginning of something special!
Watch Your Beliefs, They Become Your Words
Have you ever listened to the best hockey players talk in news conferences? They use language of champions, because they believe that they will win every night they hit the ice. And when you believe and don’t second guess, you begin to talk like a champion!
Watch Your Words, They Become Your Actions
When you talk like a champion and ‘walk the talk’ you have arrived at a great moment. Conversely, if your words are not those of a champion and instead detrimental to the chemistry of the team, your play will undoubtedly be impacted negatively.
Positive words lead to positive actions!
Watch Your Actions, They Become Your Habits
Habits are formed through repetition of behavior. Hockey players who make the right decisions – and take the right action – time and time again become great hockey players with habits that every hockey coach will love. Develop great habits and as a youth hockey player, you are definitely going places!
Watch Your Habits, They Become Your Character.
Hockey coaches and scouts can see talent, but what they really want to understand is the character of a hockey player. The fine line between talent from one player to another is often defined in the character of the player and there is no doubt that great character comes from great habits!
This season we hope that your focus on making winning a habit!
Thanks for reading and as we head into November and the front end of Thanksgiving and the holiday season, we look forward to seeing you at the rink soon! Be sure to check out our Thanksgiving & Holiday Clinics as well as our locations for our 2020 Summer Hockey Schools!
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:
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:
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!
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