REGISTER
NOW!

player tips

17

June

The Happiest Hockey Ever

Posted by Greg Carter

The Return to the Rink. After more than 25 years in the Summer Hockey School business this is a phrase that, given the moment in time, we never thought we’d be using. But we are, and after walking into the rink for the first time, we must admit, it has never felt better to be back in an ice arena! 

The chill in the air, the Zamboni, the sounds of pucks clanking off the pipe and the boards. Heck, even the smell of hockey equipment seems refreshing! All the familiar faces and places are back online and the energy inside of the ice rinks is nothing short of amazing!

Players have been so fired up to see their coaches, friends and to get back onto the ice that they have literally been running into the rink with their equipment! What a cool sight to see!  

As we launch our full schedule of 2020 Summer Hockey Schools we have some great plans and procedures in place to guarantee that players will receive top training and instruction geared towards maximizing skill development. Based on our first weeks back on the ice, the desire of players to learn, succeed and take their game to the next level has never been greater.

The intensity on the ice during drills and skills sessions is fantastic. Staff is focused on making the very most of the moment and players are responding with enthusiasm at an all time high. 

Over the past weeks we have answered many questions about dates, times, locations and more. Please feel free to email us with any questions you have about joining in the excitement and enthusiasm for Summer Hockey School 2020!

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

13

May

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.

07

April

Driveway Dekes & Dangles

Posted by Greg Carter

It’s a challenging time for everyone, and hockey players wanting to improve their skills are faced with a problem themselves as ice time and access to training facilities is non-existent. So what can be done to work on skills? It’s actually pretty simple, grab a stick and a ball and head out the front door! 

Stickhandling

A stick and a ball is really all that is needed to get some great stickhandling practice, and it can be done in a garage, basement or driveway. Keep your head up and practice stickhandling with the ball side to side in front of your body. Get creative and stickhandle on both sides of your body, then bring the ball behind and through your legs and back to the front. Hockey players only have the puck on their stick for about 45 seconds during a typical youth hockey game, so imagine the improvement of the ball being on your stick for 15 or 20 minutes in the driveway!

Shooting

If you want to develop a hard, accurate shot and score more goals, the best way to do so is by developing this motto: You Can Never Shoot Enough Pucks. Shooting pucks into a net or tarp can be super fun and competitie by creating games like around the world or, similar to playing ‘pig’ in basketball, playing ‘puck’ in hockey. When you think you’ve shot enough for one day, shoot 100 more!

Fitness For Hockey

Great hockey players are in great shape. Get out and exercise by going for a run. Stop along the way and do some sprints. Situps and pushups are also great exercises to develop strength. Stay strong and healthy and when it’s time to hit the ice, you will feel the difference and be a leader of the pack!

Stay Focused On Goals

When you finished last season hopefully you developed a sense of what areas of your game need improvement. Stay focused on those areas and continue your planning and preparation to improve your fundamental hockey skills!

Thanks for reading and we invite you to join us at one of our Summer Hockey Schools in 11 states during the summer of 2020. Please feel free to contact us with any questions and we look forward to seeing you at the rink in the near future.

Stay safe and healthy!

11

March

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?

19

February

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!

subscribe

With RSS feeds, you don't have to visit our site everyday to keep up to date. Simply subscribe to our blog via RSS or Email and our posts will come to you!