player tips

12

June

Defining A Game 7 Superstar

Posted by Greg Carter
Greg Carter's European Hockey Camp

As a Massachusetts-based hockey school for 25 years, our rooting interest in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs was obvious, Bruins all the way! As we watched the intensity and excitement of the playoffs unfold, it is always so amazing how even the most talented players in the world are able to elevate their game to an even higher level, a ‘must watch TV’ level! And wow did Jordan Binnington do just that for the Blues!

While the path to the Stanley Cup Finals was different in many ways for the St. Louis Blues and the Boston Bruins, when it comes to the level of play and ability to get the job done, both teams and the players left us with many lessons.

Grit – When Zdeno Chara left Game 5 for the trainer’s room after a deflected puck bloodied his face, anyone that knew his strength of character wasn’t shocked when he returned to the bench later in the same game. Throughout the playoffs, time and time again there were examples like Chara, when players from many teams pushed through pain and adversity to help their team to the ultimate prize. Grit matters in hockey and Game 7 superstars have plenty of grit.

Skill – Jaw-dropping passes and highlight reel goals were plentiful this playoff season and when you consider the skill and talent that it takes to win, it’s inspiration and motivation for the next generation of players to emulate today’s Game 7 superstars. For all the goalies out there, look no further than Binnington! If you have the will, you can develop the skill.

Leadership – When it comes to the biggest games on the biggest stage, the greatest leaders get the job done by doing what they do best, leading! Perhaps there is no better example of this than the Game 6 guarantee by the captain of captains, Mark Messier, in the 1994 Conference Finals. Needing a win to stay alive, Messier guaranteed a win.  Down 2-0 late in the second period, Messier set up a goal and followed that with a pure hat trick in the third to win the game 4-2. Leaders lead.

This summer as you train to become a better hockey player and prepare for the upcoming season dare to dream bigger than everyone else and like Charlie Coyle, practice those Game 7 dekes and dangles. Take your game outside of your comfort zone. Work hard on skating, shooting, stickhandling and the skills that matter most.

We are excited to celebrate our 25th year of summer hockey school and invite you to train with us and pursue your own dream of one day being a Game 7 superstar! Thanks for reading and we look forward to seeing you at the rink this summer!

 

07

May

The Secret To Summer Hockey Success!

Posted by Greg Carter
Greg Carter's European Hockey Camp

Every hockey player strives to get better over the summer and the big question for each player is, how will you become a better player? While there is no simple, single answer to that question that would apply to every player, what we know is that a secret to success is SKILLS.

While this might seem super obvious, it is also something that can get lost in the many considerations players face each summer about how to become a better hockey player. Skill development should define your goals for your summer hockey training. Just as a professional in any trade or business needs to continually hone their specific skills in order to master their craft, hockey players need to continually work on very specific skill sets.

If you haven’t already done so, it’s a great idea to make a list of areas of your game that need improvement. Skating is something that every player should spend time working on. Shooting, passing and stickhandling are critical skills. Improving speed and quickness gets more important with each passing season.

Look no further than the players who advance on and play at the highest levels of the game from the junior, collegiate and professional levels. The separation between good and great players is often times the smallest of margins and skill is a huge factor in that equation.  In past blogs we have talked about the rule of 10,000 and other attributes that define high skill players, and it all starts with not just a general plan to play some hockey this summer, but instead a very specific plan to improve individual skills!

If you haven’t already made plans to attend one of our camps located in 11 states this summer please check out our dates and locations. We are excited to celebrate our 25th summer of hockey school and invite you to join us!

Thanks for reading and good luck with your summer hockey skill development!

Greg Carter's European Hockey Camp

The 2019 IIHF World Junior Championships just wrapped up in Vancouver, Canada. This tournament features the best hockey players under the age of 20. The action is intense, the speed is incredible, the passing is crisp and the overall talent out of this world!

So you might ask yourself, how do players take their game to the next level, and along with their team, rise to the occasion and take home a championship? How in ‘The Wolrd’s’ do they do it?

As witnessed at ‘The World’s’ in this tournament, here are the common characteristics of how players and teams win championships:

Bonding for a Common Goal: Teams are only as good as the players, and therefore the players need to all ‘buy-in’ to the process and systems to achieve the common goal of winning. Teams that are unable to bond and are instead comprised of a bunch of individuals skating for their own stats and recognition will most often not come out on top. To win, everyone needs to be a great teammate and always put the team first!

Selflessness: It’s always team first, ‘we’ over ‘me’. Individual stats and accomplishments come second. Fans saw this during the World Juniors when the Player of the Game was announced. It was evident in the humble reception of the individual award versus the overwhelming emotion to the team winning the game. Selfish players rarely win championships.

Talent & Teamwork: Talent wins hockey games, teamwork wins championships. This one is pretty obvious and can be seen at the local rink every week during every game. When a player has the opportunity to take a low percentage shot versus making a pass to a teammate for a better opportunity, what is the decision? As we have discussed in previous articles, it’s more important ‘that we do’ than ‘who’.

Winning Attitude: A great coach once said that ‘you have to believe you are a champion before you ever will be a champion’. While there is a ton of training, talent and hard work that factors into being a champion, a positive mindset and winning attitude definitely go a long way. Successful teams that I have played on have always believed that ‘we will win’ right up until the final buzzer. Do you believe?

From start to finish the World Junior hockey tournament was awesome. Although the U.S. Team came up a goal short and finished with the silver medal, it was must watch hockey TV. If you missed it, make sure to add it to your holiday calendar this year!

Thanks for reading and as always, we invite you to join us at one of our summer hockey camps in ten states this summer. 2019 is our 25th year of hockey camps and we are excited to celebrate it with you!

Click here for more information or to register!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greg Carter's European Hockey Camp

“Skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been.”

–Wayne Gretzky

For their gift this holiday season, kids aren’t going to the North Pole or flying a drone to intercept Santa’s Sleigh, instead they are headed to where the presents are going, under the tree! In the same way, players need to head to where the puck is going!

Watching kids play hockey, especially at the younger ages, it’s interesting and entertaining how they swarm around the puck and as a group, chase and follow it like it’s the town mayor handing out candy at the 4th of July parade. While coaches continually stress the importance of spreading out and playing position, it’s almost as if the puck is a magnetic force they are attracted to like, say, their cell phone or video game!

The ability to read the play in hockey is an extremely important skill as players progress through their development, and the best way to understand how to read and react is through experience. The time spent around the rink playing, practicing and even watching hockey on TV will help provide this experience.

The importance of understanding position play and the flow of the game looks natural to some players, but that intuition and ability to pick out tendencies is a learned behavior. I love driving by parks, ponds and driveways where kids are playing hockey in unstructured environments. Not only are they developing creativity and fundamental skills, but they are also mentally building an understanding of the natural flow of the game so that when it comes go game time, their instincts can take over.

Watching the best players at the top levels of the game, it’s not a coincidence that certain players always find themselves with time and space, and often, in breakaway situations. These players read, react, anticipate the play and as the Great One said, go not to where the puck is, but to where the puck is going.

We hope this holiday season that your player not only heads to where their gift is going, but learns over the course of the hockey season to go where the puck is going. Thanks for reading and we invite you to celebrate our 25th year of hockey camps in 2019! Dates, locations and registration information is now posted for our Greg Carter Hockey Schools located in 10 states across the U.S.!

 

 

 

 

27

November

3 Goal Scoring Gaffe’s To Avoid

Posted by Greg Carter
Greg Carter

Having coached and watched many games this season, I’ve been reminded of how important it is to know what to do with the puck in goal scoring situations and, just as importantly, what not to do! For a select few players scoring seemingly comes at ease as they light the lamp with the demeanor of a natural goal scorer. However for the great majority of players, it’s not quite as easy and mistakes are made, opportunities are lost and starts to slide.

The good news is that there are a few common mistakes to avoid and with some practice, ordinary goal scorers have the opportunity to become extraordinary goal scorers!

Here Are 3 Goal Scoring Gaffe’s To Avoid:

Down low, shoot high. When you have the puck on your stick down low around the goal, the opposing goaltender most likely is going to be ‘down’ as well, meaning your best chance to score will be up high. Players often make the mistake of just shooting the puck anywhere at the net, oftentimes right into the pads or jersey of the goalie. Instead, players should be recognizing that with the current trend in goaltender style of play, when the puck is down low, the goalie will most likely be down as well, so they instinctively know the best chance to score will high, up and over the goalie with a bottle-knocker!

In the slot, take the shot. It’s not often that a player finds themselves all alone in the slot with the puck on their stick, but when they do it’s never a bad idea to fire a great shot on net! For as many bad angle shots that are taken during a game, it’s always interesting to see how many times a wide open shot in the slot is not taken, instead trying to make one more perfect pass. While everyone enjoys an awesome tic-tac-toe goal and a selfless teammate, dangerous goal scorers know how to bury the puck when they are left alone in the slot.

Paralysis by analysis. The best goal scorers have excellent instincts and without hesitation know what to do with the puck. Don’t make the mistake of waiting for the perfect shot or perfect pass because good opponents will be there to pick your pocket and before you know it, the puck is on their stick heading in the opposite direction. Practice is the best way to gain the repetition needed to be comfortable and confident with the puck on your stick in a goal scoring situation. And most importantly, make a decision on how you are going to score, and then bury the biscuit!

Thank you for reading and from our hockey family to yours, Happy Holidays! 🎄  Our 2019 Summer Hockey School dates and locations are being updated so be sure to claim your spot early!

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