player tips

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!

 

 

11

September

Summer Youth Hockey Camp

Greg Carter Hockey School just wrapped up our 25th year of hockey schools and what a fun and exciting summer we had training great hockey players from across the United States. Throughout our more than two decades of running hockey camps we have always maintained that what you learn at camp is important, but how you retain and continue to work on the skills you learn is even more beneficial to your long term skill development.

September is a busy month with the transition from summer to fall, the start of school, the first kickoff for your favorite football team and ultimately, the start of the hockey season! It is also the transition month when players are either going to continue working on the skills they developed during the season and retain that knowledge, or lose focus and let some of it slip away.

“Skills in September” is an easy reminder that development is a marathon, not a race and that to master any skill it requires repetition and practicing ‘the right way’. For example, if you were struggling to take a slap shot and learned the proper technique this summer and finally developed that “A Team” power and accuracy, it’s important that you continue shooting pucks in September, and not just shooting pucks, but shooting them with the proper mechanics that you learned at summer hockey school.

The staff at Greg Carter Hockey Camps was super impressed this summer with the level of talent hockey players have and especially how young players start to acquire awesome skills at such a young age. The youth hockey game is more competitive than ever and to get to the next level, players need to have all of the tools in their toolbox.

Hopefully you went to hockey camp this summer with skill development goals in mind and you are entering the season with more confidence in your game, more desire to get better and a positive work ethic. September is the month to continue bringing that energy and excitement to your training so that you can continue the momentum and hit the ice when the season starts turning heads and impressing coaches.

Thanks again to everyone who attended our camps this summer and to all of the hockey players out there, good luck with the start of your season and remember, your success this season starts NOW, in September!

12

June

Defining A Game 7 Superstar

Posted by Greg Carter
Summer Youth 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
Summer Youth 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!