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07

January

New Year, New Me!

Posted by Greg Carter
Greg Carter

With the excitement of the holidays in the rearview mirror, it’s back to business as usual which, for those of us in a cold climate, means trying to survive the rest of a snowy, cold winter. But there’s plenty of awesome hockey to come in the next few months!

It was fun to be at the rink over the holidays and talk with so many parents and players at practices, games and tournaments. One of the things that struck me was the number of times conversations turned to summer hockey plans.

The trend over the past several years has been a growing urgency to make plans for the summer earlier and earlier, and trends of our summer hockey camp registrations support this.

While there seems to be a rush to make decisions about how and where to play and train during the summer months, there also is a very calculated approach.

As the game has become more sophisticated and players are bigger, faster and more fundamentally skilled than ever before, planning for player development and training has followed suit, with plenty of planning and research going into these important decisions.

If you are a player that in the past has typically taken more of a wait and see approach to summer hockey training, maybe this is the opportunity for a “New Year & New Me” when it comes to planning and preparation.

An old coach used to say that the best players are also the best prepared, and as the game continues to evolve, I think these words of wisdom ring truer than ever.  Sure, the best players have great talent, but that talent comes from hard work away from the spotlight of the in-season practices and games. Players who have great talent have a burning desire to continually improve and therefore are always prepping and planning for what’s next and taking their game to the next level. These players are oftentimes the first to register for our summer hockey camps and clinics.

With the New Year upon us, we invite you to contact us to help make your summer skill development plans. We are excited to once again offer summer hockey camps in a variety of states with many great options to improve your game. Make this the year you are proactive about your puck plans!

Thanks for reading and make this a New Year & A New Me!

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!

 

 

29

October

Winning Is A Habit

Posted by Greg Carter

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!

 

 

15

October

What’s The Story Behind The Stats?

Posted by Greg Carter
Hockey Puck NHL Player

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:

  • Player speed
  • Time in offensive vs. defensive zone
  • Distance between players
  • Total distance a player skates
  • Time of possession
  • Puck trail
  • Length of shift

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:

  • Did I have fun this season?
  • Did I improve my skills this season?
  • Did I show up with a good attitude and work hard at every practice?
  • Was I intent on learning from my coaches and teammates?
  • Was I a good teammate?
  • Am I going to play hockey again next season?

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!

 

 

09

July

An Inspiring Summer of Hockey

Posted by Greg Carter
Greg Carter Hockey Camp

The summer of 2019 is very special for Greg Carter Hockey Camp as we celebrate our 25th year of training hockey players. In the quarter century that we have been working on improving the skills of hockey players we have seen some very inspiring moments at our camps where as we like to say, players have that ‘lightbulb moment’, things click and they shift into the next gear.

Here are a few great quotes related to some player highlights that we have experienced during this inspiring summer of hockey:

“I’m [recruiting] gym rats who want to get better because so many kids are peaking and think they’ve already arrived.”

This quote from a coach perfectly articulates why we see so many motivated hockey players at our camp each summer. As players mature, they start to recognize which players are motivated and also those players who are not. We’ve written articles in the past about ‘going from the third line to the first line’ and when it comes to getting better and improving skills, sometimes it simply comes down to who wants it more! We are seeing a lot of players at our camp this summer who are really working hard and definitely ‘want it’!

“Good things take time, as they should. We shouldn’t expect good things to happen overnight.”

Player development is not a sprint, it is a marathon. Mastering the skills necessary to become a great hockey players takes dedication, which means time, commitment and self-discipline. Hockey players will not see results overnight, but instead over a period of time as success in practice translates to incremental improvements in performance.

“Little things make the big things happen.”

This is another player characteristic that we love to talk about at our summer hockey school and mastering fundamental hockey skills allows players to do the little things that make the big things happen! Watching the women’s soccer team advance through the preliminary rounds and ultimately win the World Cup was phenomenal and full of these little moments that led to the big moments. So many goals were scored because of a crafty little deke, a sprint beating the opponent to the ball or an incredible ball skill that allowed the player to control the ball and make a play. Like these awesome soccer players, great hockey players have mastered all of the ‘little’ skills.

We hope that you are enjoying your summer with family and friends and that you have been inspired to carve out some time to improve your game! Good luck with your training and we hope to see you at the rink soon!

Click here for a list of our July and August camps!

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