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22

January

Greg Carter Hockey Camp

In recent articles we have talked about the importance of being well prepared with development plans and that youth hockey skill development is much more of a marathon rather than a sprint. FOMA should not be a driving force in determining how, where or with whom you train this summer and when it comes to making your final decision, one size definitely does not fit all.

A great way to start this process is setting goals for what you hope to accomplish with your summer hockey training. Once your winter season is over, write down areas of your game that need improvement and that you would like to focus on over the summer. Whether it is very specific positional play or fundamental skill development with skating, stickhandling, passing or shooting, it’s important to identify areas of growth opportunity.

Next, research opportunities that can provide the specific training that you need and match those opportunities against your goals and objectives. This is an important step as there is so much variety available to youth hockey players that one can easily get lost in the confusion. One tried and true recommendation that we offer at Greg Carter Hockey Schools is that development won’t occur by simply playing games all summer long. Find a place to train and then dedicate yourself to that training, which brings us to ‘training versus straining.’

When we talk about training versus straining it’s important to recognize that no player is going to magically take their skills to an extreme level overnight, or over a summer. Improvement can definitely be made, and sometimes significant improvement can be made. But running from camp to camp, game to game, skill session to skill session and lesson to lesson all summer will in all likelihood create a single outcome; burnout.

After a successful summer, players should have a burning appetite to hit the ice in the fall refreshed with new skills and excited for the season, versus burned out from a strained non-stop summer hockey regiment.

Bottom line, take the time to set goals, research and align opportunities with your needs. Of course we invite you to train with us at any of our 2020 Summer Hockey Schools taking place across 11 states this summer!

Good luck with the rest of your season as you head into playoffs and please email us with any development questions that you may have!

 

 

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!

 

 

13

August

New Skills Lead To New Heights

Posted by Greg Carter

We had another incredible summer of hockey camps and would like to thank everyone who attended and trained with us!  This was our 25th summer of hockey camp using the CARTER Method and wow did we see success! Skaters really dedicated themselves to build on each days’ skills and met the challenge to reach their full potential as the hockey camp progressed.

The skill level that we saw at the camps this year was super impressive! Stickhandling, shooting, powerskating and of course the CARTER Method that includes: Control, Agility, Reflex, Technique, Edge and Retention.

As you wind down the summer and get ready for the 2019-20 hockey season we encourage you to focus on continuing to work hard on the fundamental skills that are going to elevate your game this season. We worked with many players this summer that came into camp wanting to improve in a specific area and left at the end of the week feeling much more confident about their game!

The work however is just starting as players need to continue to improve everyday at practice. Remember the skills and tactics that you learned at hockey camp and continue to work on them each and every time that you hit the ice. If you dedicate yourself to becoming just a little bit better at every practice then you are well on your way to becoming the absolute best hockey player that you can be!

And when that happens, the sky is the limit!

Good luck to you as you start your season and on behalf of the entire staff at Greg Carter Hockey School, thank you for an awesome summer! It’s a privilege to train so many fun and talented hockey players!

 

 

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