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Attending March Break Hockey Camps?!

This season has been a bit tough for me, as family commitments continue to decrease the amount of time I have to be on the ice. March Break is no different but I wanted to give a few suggestions for those with players attending March Break Hockey Camps. 


I tell every player that I work with, the first few of my sessions will be boring. We work on, what they classify as “easy stuff”. My philosiphy has always been that if a drill is too easy, they are either not making it hard enough for yourself, or it should look perfect. No one is ever perfect and so, no one should ever feel like they are getting nothing from a drill. Bend lower, stand straighter, don’t pitchfork. Tell your son or daughter to make every drill their own. If they don’t feel challenged, challenge themselves! 


Shooting Camp, they are skating, Puck Control Camp, they are skating. Every single thing that we do in Hockey involves skating, so if the drill they are doing calls for skating, think about the techniques of good skating and incorporate them into every drill they do. Yes, they are there for a different purpose but there is no sense wasting time and money skating slowly, or being sloppy but having great puck skills!


No matter what the focus of the Camp that your players attend, whether it be Skating, Shooting, Puck control or dry land training, if they don’t understand the drill, don’t assume the person in front of them does either. They should never follow, just don’t do the drill! Tell them to step out of line, or move to the back and when the instructor has let everyone else go, ASK for clarification. Parents, your time is money. Explain to your players that they need to understand what they are working on, or they are just wasting their time and your money. Don’t be mad at them the whole way home because they weren’t doing a drill correctly, talk to them about the importance of understanding what is being asked. You wouldn’t just dive into something at work, without knowing what was expected of you, so don’t expect your son or daughter to either.


When your son or daughter was first learning, they fell a lot! That’s because we were asking them to do something that was new and foreign and we were asking them to push their physical limits. If they don’t fall much anymore, it’s because they aren’t pushing themselves outside their comfort zone. It’s not to say that they aren’t learning, it just means that they are finding a way to do the skill without stretching their abilities. On my sessions, I explain that I don’t give out medals for 1st, 2nd and 3rd and that I would rather see them going a bit slower but getting the drill right before I want to see them go 100 miles an hour and wipe out. Fall! Leaning too far forward skating backwards makes you fall. If you don’t skate backwards very well, you need to find that balance point or you aren’t skating backwards, you are just moving backwards trying to stay on your feet. Doing tight turns with your feet side by side makes you lean to far over and fall. Doing the same turn with your feet wide but too much weight and your front foot makes your backfoot slip out and you fall. But how do you know where your weight needs to be without testing the limits. Fall in practice where you can work out the kinks, so you don’t  fall during a crucial game situation. That’s what Camps are for.

Thanks for reading to th end. Hopefully we will see you in the late summer, early FALL. :)

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