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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!

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?

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