player tips



This is another great post written by our Pro Staff for our Player Tips Archive. To view the full content library click here.

Here’s how I’m going to beat you. I’m going to outwork you. That’s it. That’s all there is to it. – Pat Summitt

I saw this quote recently and it made me stop and think. You can have all the talent in the world, but if you don’t work hard, you aren’t going to be successful. Who is Pat Summitt you might ask?  Summitt was the head coach of the Tennessee women’s basketball team and at the time of her retirement had 1,098 wins, which was the most in college basketball history. As a player she won a sliver medal at the 1976 Olympics and later coached the US Women’s Olympic Basketball Team to a gold medal at the 1984 Olympics. She knew a thing or two about winning.

Good coaches are good coaches regardless of sport, and it’s interesting as a hockey coach to learn from others.  And the thing about Summitt’s quote about winning, especially winning consistently, in the big games and in the playoffs is this: you can have all the talent in the world, but if you don’t work hard, someone else, regardless of talent level is going to want it more, work harder and win the game. Will over skill is much more than a simple motivator or cliche.

At our summer hockey schools we focus heavily on skill. Specifically, the CARTER Method focuses on Control, Agility, Reflex, Technique, Edge and Retention. We challenge players to reach their full potential in each of these key areas and also teach of the fundamentals of skating, stickhandling, and shooting, and we teach in a way that builds confidence and leads to continuous improvement.

While we strive to instill not only these fundamental skills, we also stress the importance of hard word. A great quote from the best of all time is;

The highest compliment that you can pay me is to say
that I work hard every day, that I never dog it.
-Wayne Gretzky

The Great One finished his career with a 1.921 points per game average. Think of that, nearly two points per game in the NHL and what he wants to be remembered for is that he worked hard every day and ‘never dog it.’

Players who want to be successful in hockey need to continually work on skill development, but must also ask themselves if they ‘dog it’. One of the greatest and most fun part of being a coach is being a part of a team that not only has a ton of talent, but also three lines of players who all want to be at the rink and all want to work hard every practice, every game, every period and every shift.

This season have fun, become a better hockey player and make it the season that you focus on hard work. Good luck, thanks for reading and we look forward to seeing you at the rink very soon!



Note: A similar version of this article ran several years back and with only some simple modifications, it still (fortunately or unfortunately) applies in 2022!

With Election Day just around the corner there is plenty of consideration – and consternation – among voters. Leading up to this election candidates on both a local and national level have displayed their character and aptitude through both action and words. At this point all that remains is the final decision of voters on who is best positioned to be a leader.

The definition of a leader is “the power or ability to lead other people”. Characteristics of a leader are similar, whether in sport, business or politics. A leader is someone who inspires and motivates. They are humble, intuitive, dedicated and solution oriented.

When hockey teams vote on who deserves the honor of wearing the “C” on their sweater, teammates and coaches make their decision based on many of the same considerations voters use to elect politicians, namely, the ability to lead. This should not be a popularity contest or an honor simply given to the best player on the team.

So what does it really mean to be a team captain?
A captain and leader:

* Is respectful of teammates as well as the game of hockey. 

* Has a deep desire to win, to work hard and to inspire others to work just as hard.

* Is honest and trustworthy.

* Sets good examples in the good times, and well as during the challenging moments of the season.  

During this election season we have seen plenty of examples of what defines leaders and captains, as well as unfortunate situations that do not define leadership.

For youth hockey players and captains, it’s important to remember that captaincy is a special honor, and one to be taken seriously on behalf of both teammates and coaches who look to their captain for leadership. Remember that the role of the captain and leader also extends beyond the ice, into the locker room and into daily life.

The following is one of our favorite quotes regarding leadership: “The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.”

We hope you are have a great start to the season and that you elect a great captain – and leader – for your team!

Thanks for reading and we hope to see you at the rink soon!



Labor Day has come and gone, cooler weather and football is upon us and preseason NHL games are starting to pop up on the TV schedule. This could only mean one thing; the youth hockey season is upon us!

As youth hockey players gear up for the season, it’s important to reflect on what was accomplished during your summer hockey training. What are your plans to use the development to be a huge contributor and leader on your team this season?

A good way for young hockey players to start this season, is to reflect back to last season.

What areas of your game needed work? What goals did you set for the summer and did you accomplish them?

Hopefully your summer hockey training allowed you to refocus, work on new skills, get rid of any bad habits and position yourself for a great season.

The areas that you identified as needing work in your post season evaluation were hopefully the key areas of focus for you over the summer. Now is the time to apply everything that you learned, as well as show off those skills that you mastered. Maybe you needed to increase your speed, develop a better shot or improve your stick handling skills. Make sure you take what you learned and apply it to every practice, every game and every shift this season!

Hockey is a game that requires many skills, and putting forth the time and effort in the off-season to work hard on your development is part of the equation, but what you do on the ice this season is the true test. Are you prepared to apply your development to your everyday hockey experience?

Everyone has heard the slogan that ‘practice makes perfect’ and this is especially true when it comes to using the tools that you learned over the summer to improvement your skills each and every day this season.

Thanks for reading and good luck with the start of  your season. We look forward to hearing about your next great hockey experience and seeing you at the rink soon!



Our Summer of Superstars!

Posted by Greg Carter

Our summer hockey schools were as exciting and successful as we’ve ever seen in our 28 years of running hockey camps! Why? Because this year each and every week our camps were packed with superstars.

We started the summer in Eagle River, Alaska where the wildlife outside the rink was just as exciting as the action on the ice. Camps in Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia and Rhode Island all were packed with talent, energy and excitement.

So who were these summer superstars you ask?


We owe the success of all of our camps to the players. Each and every day we saw players show up who wanted to learn, work hard and improve their skills. And wow, the talent level this summer was off the charts! Thank you to all of the players who attended our 2022 summer hockey camps, it was a joy to coach you!

Pro Staff

We are fortunate at our summer hockey camp to employ some of the most talented and dedicated staff you will find anywhere. Having a great ‘Hockey IQ’ is important to us. But so is being a great mentor, coach and communicator. We couldn’t be more proud of our Pro Staff that brought their ‘A Game’ each and every session to make sure players were soaking up as much instruction as they possibly could!


Of course none of the success would be possible without the commitment from the parents of these great players. One of the best parts of each week of camp is when we receive compliments from parents about how we run our camps. From emails, phone calls and social media posts, we appreciate the acknowledgement of the hard work of our staff and more importantly, the players!

From our entire summer hockey camp to your hockey household, we thank you for a great summer. We wish you the best of luck with the start of your USA Hockey season and invite you to stay in touch with us, sharing your season successes!

Thanks for reading and check out the Pro Staff section of our website for frequent player tips and updates! We hope to see you at the rink soon!



As the summer begins to set and excitement for another season begins, it’s time to ask some important questions! 

We hope you have had a great summer both relaxing and also working on your hockey skills. It’s been another awesome year training hockey players across the U.S. and we are looking forward to the remaining weeks of camp!

Based on the skill level of players we have witnessed this year, summer hockey skill development is more important than ever for youth hockey players. While time away from the rink is beneficial for players, so too is a focus you put on the areas of your game that need improvement.

In past articles we have talked about the importance of setting goals after a season. These goals should be a big part of your focus over the summer. What specific skills did you set out to improve? Did you train in those defined areas and see improvement? These are just a couple of the important questions players need to ask of themselves.

Yet another youth hockey season is within sight and the biggest question is if you are prepared to be the best hockey player possible.

Every player wants to be the captain.

Every player wants to skate on the power play and penalty kill.

Every player wants to be on the first line and score the winning goal.

However, only the players that are truly prepared for the season can realize their goals. 

As you enjoy the final weeks of summer and anticipate the start of the season, continue working on your skill development. We still have limited availability in select camps this summer and invite you to train with us! Check our website for dates and locations. In the meantime, enjoy the hot summer sun and we look forward to seeing you in a chilly rink soon!


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