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player tips

20

November

5 Hockey Reasons To Be Thankful 

Posted by Greg Carter
Greg Carter

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
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!

Equipment
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.

Parents
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!

Opportunities 
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!

 

 

17

January

Tough Season? No Problem!

Posted by Greg Carter

Mid-season can be a challenging time of year for players, coaches and parents. It’s that in between time when the hype and anticipation of the new season has worn off, and although the playoffs are on the horizon, the next few weeks can be a bit of a grind. This can be especially true for players who just aren’t quite having the season they expected.

We have written about the importance of setting goals at the start of the season, and that development is a marathon, not a sprint. This is the time of year to remind yourself of these goals and that this is one season and one moment in time when regardless of how good, bad or average things are going, there is a ton of opportunity down the road, be it the next game, tournament or season!

Many coaches take the opportunity at this juncture to provide mid-season evaluations that should give players some specific examples of successes, as well as areas that need improvement. This feedback should be the motivation for players to refocus and get energized for the homestretch of the season and beyond.

Every team needs positive players who work hard and bring energy to practices and games. As the old saying goes, there is no substitute for hard work, and the best way to get the results that you want is exactly that, working as hard as you possibly can during each and every practice.

Changing the way things are going on the ice can also start with changing habits off of the ice. For example, if you aren’t scoring as many goals as you anticipated, try shooting pucks for 30 minutes prior to going to the rink. If you don’t feel like you have the energy or quickness you need during the game, try changing your warm up routine and pay attention to the types of food and drink you are consuming prior to the game.

Finally, I like to tell the story of a very successful coach who addressed our team prior to a big game by saying “In order to be good, you first have to believe that you are good.” While that is a relatively simple statement, it’s extremely meaningful in that players who enter games and practices with a positive mindset are well positioned to achieve the success they anticipate.

So as you start to enter the final stretch of your season, bring a great ‘can-do’ attitude with an excellent work ethic and you will help your team skate home with the hardware!

09

August

IMG_6806 - Version 2Training hockey players and helping in their development is very rewarding. We’d like to introduce some of the best players we met and had the privilege of working with this summer.

In a recent blog post we introduced you to five people you will meet at summer hockey school. As we enter our final month of hockey school we would like to introduce you to a few of our best players from our travels across the country this summer training hockey players and promoting skill development.

The Character Kid. Everyone knows character counts, and this summer we met plenty of exceptional players and parents who had great character on and off of the ice. When it comes to skill development and becoming a great hockey player, who you are as a person, how you carry yourself and treat teammates is all part of the ingredients for success.

The ‘Centered’ Center. Balance is important not only in skating and performance with stride and hockey skills, but balance is also important when it comes to hockey and a daily routine. Our staff met many hockey players this summer, and those who came to the rink with the most enthusiasm, excitement and willingness to learn were often those who had good balance in their life. Many were multiple sport athletes. Some were taking summer school. Others came from water skiing at the lake to the rink. Remain ‘centered’ with good balance when it comes to your hockey schedule and you will find success.

The Skinny Skillmaster. Most of the players we train at our hockey camps are between the ages of 8 and 16. What this means  for example, is that some Peewees weigh 70 pounds and others might weigh 150. One player thought he needed to really bulk up and gain weight, but what he really needed was patience for his body to grow into his frame. A good diet during this age of development is important. We saw many kids eating junk food, drinking highly caffeinated energy drinks and other foods and beverages that you would never find in a college or professional locker room. Food is fuel for your body, but not all food (and beverages) are good fuel.

We hope you had a great summer of hockey and improved your skills. Make sure to keep these hockey development tips in mind as you work your way through August and onto your team for the upcoming season!

19

May

Youth hockey players always start the summer with great intentions on training. Developing a better shot, a better stride and a better all-around game might be on your list. So how can you make sure that when the sun sets on Labor Day you will have better skills than the first of June or 4th of July? Here are some tips, and it all starts with a plan.

Make a plan. And make a list. Think back to last season and the areas of your game that you needed to improve on. Prioritize the skills that you are going to focus on and then commit to a regular schedule. Post your plan and your list in an area that you will see it every day, and let it be a motivator to get started, and keep going.

Fun Factor. Summer should be about having fun, and there is no reason that your training can’t be fun, along with some sweat and hard work. Turn on some music, dump out a bucket of pucks and start stick handling and shooting. Before you know it, 10 songs will have gone by and your shot will be better for it.

Try Something Different. At our hockey camp we like to talk about training the CARTER Method: C=Control, A=Agility, R=Reflex, T=Technique, E=Edge, R=Retention. Including a new routine or training method into your schedule will help keep things fresh and motivating.

Everyone loves winter hockey, but here at Greg Carter Hockey Schools we especially love summer hockey and all of the training and growth opportunities that come with it. We have watched so many young athletes blossom over the summer months as they push and challenge themselves to get out of their comfort zone and take their game to the next level.

We invite you to take advantage of the outstanding high performance training opportunities we have available this summer. Our hockey school will be in ten states including Alaska, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Virginia.

For more than two decades our experienced team of coaches has been focused on player development and summer hockey training. We hope to see you at one of our camps this summer and look forward to helping you reach your goals!

13

April

One of the many great things about hockey camp is the people you meet. Players, coaches, trainers and families from all over the country come together for this special week and it’s nothing short of an awesome experience to skate, talk and learn from others. So who will you meet at hockey camp this summer? Here are 5 people you are sure to have fun with and create lasting memories.

The Coach. We all have a coach who makes an impression on us, and some of the best coaches are those who teach you new things, in a way you have never been instructed. Each summer at camp our students create a bond with a coach that extends long after the week of camp is over. Many keep in touch throughout the season, and we are very proud of our knowledgeable and personable coaching staff.

The New Buddy. Going to a hockey camp can be intimidating, especially when doing it for the first time or going alone. Over the years we have watched kids show up the first day and hardly say a word to anyone, and end up being the kid we can’t keep quiet by the end of the week. Everyone finds a buddy at hockey camp and like the coach, those relationships often last beyond the last day of camp.

The Skillmaster. This one is kind of difficult to explain, but think the top scorer, mixed with a gift of gab and a healthy dose of confidence. Every camp has the player that has worked their tail off and has become just a step faster and a goal better than everyone else. We like these kids at camp because they motivate and inspire – one way or another- for the rest of the players to be just as good as they are.

The Most Improved. The first day at camp is always exciting for everyone, including the staff. We really enjoy getting to know the kids, assessing their talents and identifying their areas for improvements. What we really look forward to on the last day of camp is deciding which player has worked the hardest and developed the most during camp. We have a motto at camp: “get better every day”.  And we push players to do just that.

The Class Clown. This kid is part Drake, part Josh; innocent, but always guilty. He’s the kid everyone at camp instantly connects with, keeps the group bonding and always has something funny to say. Oftentimes the class clown is also the hardest worker and most respectful. But one thing is for certain, he/she is always funny.

There are no shortages of stories, lessons and learning that takes place at hockey camp, and we hope you choose to improve your game and make your memories at our hockey camps this summer. Remember to have fun playing this great game, and to get better every day!

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