player tips

13

November

Hockey Camp

Is there any question that one of the most – if not the most – exciting moments of a game is a breakaway, or in the case of a tied game, a shootout. Throw in a penalty shot and you have a hat trick of thrilling plays! However when the moment pops up, and you find yourself picking up a loose puck and racing in alone, full speed towards the opposing goalie and a split second decision needs to be made, do you know whether you are going to shoot or deke?

Here Are 5 Keys To Scoring On A Breakaway, Shootout & Penalty Shot!

Keep The Goalie Guessing. Goalies try to ‘read’ players because if they know what a player is going to do, it’s much easier to stop the puck. So as a player, part of the strategy must include keeping the goalie guessing. This can be done by stickhandling the puck side to side, keeping your feet moving (more on this in a minute) changing speeds and other movements that will get the goalie moving laterally. Goalies love players who basically skate a straight line towards them and then stop moving their feet at the face-off dots, which usually means a shot is coming straight at them from an easy angle.

Keep Your Feet Moving. Whether you are going to deke or shoot, it’s important that players keep their feet moving to keep the goalie guessing. With your feet moving you can more easily change direction and speed which will get the goaltender moving laterally, which is always a good thing to free up more net. As soon as you stop moving your feet all of your momentum is slowed and options become limited. Keep your feet, and your options moving!

Keep Your Head Up. Players need to read what the goalie is doing and the only way to do so is with your head up. If a goalie comes out beyond the crease to challenge, it’s probably a better option to try and deke. If however, the goalie remains deeper in the crease, there likely will be plenty of net to shoot at. Keep your head up, pick a spot, make a decision and score the goal!

Change Your Release. Great goal scorers know that a big secret to scoring is changing the direction and timing of your release. Sometimes goalies can be surprised by a quick release that catches them off guard thinking a player is going to deke during a stickhandling move, but instead of sliding the puck forehand to backhand rips off a quick snap shot. Also, changing the direction of release can keep the goalie guessing, which is a key part of scoring success!

Practice Your Dekes & Dangles! When you see the best players score on incredible moves or super shots, they have all been practiced countless times. If you want to be a serious scorer, a great time to practice shootouts and breakaways is before or right at the end of practices. One great shootout player used to buy the goalie a Gatorade after every practice in return for getting on the ice early or staying a little late to help the player work on his breakaways. Turns out this player scored nearly every time!

Like anything in hockey and life, if you want to be good at it you need to practice, if you want to be great at it you need to practice even more! We hope you are having a great season and wish you and your family a great Thanksgiving holiday! We will be releasing our Summer Hockey School schedule in the coming weeks and we look forward to seeing you at the rink soon!

Greg Carter's Hockey School

The top players in hockey are the best for many reasons, including possessing above average skill, but in addition to the talent, the best of the best also are the most driven to learn, develop and succeed. As you work hard to improve your game over the next few months, keep in mind the following list of intangibles that will help you make successful strides this summer!

Desire
We love players with desire! Desire to learn, desire to work hard, desire to go the extra mile, desire to be a leader, desire to be a great teammate. Players with desire are a coach’s favorite and the ones they rely on in key situations.

Creativity
Players can’t be afraid to make mistakes, especially at summer hockey school. This is the time to work on areas of your game that you have been compensating for during the season. Try that new move around the defense, take a snap shot rather than a wrist shot, try a deke on the goalie rather than firing the puck right away. Summer is the best time to not only work on new moves, but to incorporate them into your game so that when the season hits, you are ready to win!

Skill
When we talk about the CARTER method of training we incorporate six key areas that build a solid foundation for players: Control, Agility, Reflex, Technique, Edge, Retention. Players of all ages and talent levels need to increase their skill, and hard work is the best way to accomplish this.

Discipline
Good players show up to the rink. Great players arrive early, ready to warm up and are focused on accomplishing something, each and every time they hit the ice. Good players might do this 50 percent of the time, but great players have the discipline to set aside everything else (school, friends, phones, etc.) and focus 100% on hockey during the time they are training. “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.”

Dedication
Similar to discipline, dedication is the commitment to the game of hockey, and not just during the fun times (games!) but more importantly, during practices and training, both on and off the ice. If you are both disciplined in your approach to the game, and dedicated to your goals, the sky is the limit!

We look forward to seeing you at the rink this summer. We have camps in ten states over the next few months and it’s not too late to register! Click here for last minute registration opportunities.

Greg Carter Hockey Camp

The final rounds of the NHL Playoffs have featured some incredible hockey, and a great reminder that who scores is not as important as that you do score.

We see many skilled and talented players at our hockey camps each summer. We love to work on fundamental skills including skating, shooting and stickhandling, as well as agility, edge work, control and technique, which are all part of “The Carter Method” of reaching your full potential as a hockey player.

As we train and help develop the skill of hockey players we like to see the results in scrimmages and games during camp. And what we often see is that some players have very good skill sets, but they lack hockey sense and “hockey IQ” and don’t always make the best hockey decisions.

Common teaching moments include things like forcing a pass rather than taking advantage of open ice and skating with the puck. In the offensive zone players often take bad angle or low percentage shots trying to score, rather than passing the puck to a wide open wing for what could be an easy tap in goal, and an assist.

While we have covered the benefits of watching NHL games to help improve your own game, as well as talking about “me versus we players“, the importance is accentuated when you get down to the final eight or four teams competing for the Stanley Cup.

At this level and at this time of year, it’s clear that individual accomplishments are secondary to the team goal. The team comes first and players are always going to use the best option to make the best hockey play. When the game is on the line, and it’s win or go home, what matters most is that you do score, not who scores.

As you train and develop your hockey skills this summer, continue to improve your hockey IQ and think about always making the best hockey decision, regardless of whether or not your stats will benefit. A group of great teammates will always go further than a group of individuals!

Have a great summer and we look forward to seeing you at hockey camp!

11

April

This spring we’ve seen the first pitch of America’s summer pastime lead to games being postponed because of snow; and wow, have we seen snow! So what has the weather and baseball taught us about hockey? Well, just as we saw at the NCAA Frozen Four, to be prepared for anything.

As the commentators described how the Bulldogs were lucky to even get into the NCAA tournament with the last at-large bid – ironically via an overtime win by Notre Dame who they eventually beat for the National Championship – I was reminded of many times in sports when an unexpected opportunity presented itself, and the outcome being squarely rooted in being prepared.

Just like the UMD team was prepared to make the most of the opportunity to play in the NCAA’s, players themselves need to be ready for the unexpected. When the chance presents itself to fill in on the power play, will you be ready? When your linemate gives you the perfect no-look pass on the tape, will you bury it? When the coach calls your number in the shootout with the game on the line, do you have a ‘go-to’ move or a sure-fire shot?

Even though I wasn’t ready for all of the snow this winter, or what I thought would be a nice little late-season snowfall that lead to a dreadful blast in mid-March, and ended with what we can only hope is a final kick in the teeth last week, I am ready now, with a snowplow large enough to blow out three lanes of interstate highway in a single pass. 

Like our unexpected battles with Mother Nature this winter, UMD’s unexpected birth in the NCAA’s and the boy’s of summer having snow delays, hockey players need to always be ready for what the game presents.

We hope you take advantage of the opportunity to train with us this summer. Our hockey camps have locations in 10 states and specialize in key areas of skill development that we call the CARTER METHOD. This includes the fundamentals of skating, stick handling, and shooting, and we teach in a way that builds confidence and leads to continuous improvement. Control, Agility, Reflex, Technique, Edge and Retention.

Our talented and knowledgeable staff is eager to answer your questions and help you prepare for next season, as well as the next time the unexpected opportunity presents itself. Because when it’s your turn to shine, great teams and great players are prepared, confident and ready to perform!  

 

02

January

Hockey Camp

Building skills is what we do best at our hockey schools each summer. With the fresh ice of the New Year, what skills will you focus on in 2018? Here is a list of some of the most important skill sets that you need, and definitely those that should be a part of your New Year’s hockey resolutions!

Patience. Players need patience, especially as they get older, and opportunities to make plays become increasingly more difficult. Sometimes the perfect pass isn’t made handling the puck like a hot potato, but instead waiting for the opponent to react to your line mate, to your head fake or simply panicking and committing before they need to. Good hockey players keep their head up, have great awareness and know that patience is a virtue!

Create odd-man situations. This is one of our favorites, and it’s really pretty simple. How many times have you seen a winger in the offensive zone work hard to win a battle in the corner and pass the puck back to the point, only to have the defense shoot the puck right into the opponents shin pad? If that defenseman had their head up, and rather than shooting the puck, simply made a move to get around that forward (who most likely is over-committed in attempting to block the shot) the defenseman would have all kinds of time and space to make a great pass or shot. Why? because they made a move around a player and created an odd-man situation. The same holds true for break-outs, if the defense is able to beat one player before making a pass, there is an immediate odd-man rush heading out of the zone!

Skating. The best players can flat out skate, and there is no substitution for quickness and speed, as we’ve discussed in previous articles. Make 2018 the year that you reinvest time and energy into power skating, as this might be the best single skill that you can work on to improve your game!

Agility. Body control is important in the ladder of skill development, and is a key component of the Carter Method of teaching. There are a sequence of drills that players can use to help them understand and enhance body movements to improve their overall balance and body posture.

As you hit the ice to start 2018, take the time to evaluate your progress this season, and if you are on track to accomplishing your goals. Making some New Year’s resolutions to improve your hockey skills is a great way to identify and refocus, and will make you a better hockey player! From our hockey family to yours, Happy New Year and we look forward to seeing you at one of our camps in ten states in 2018!

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