Let's Play Hockey 2023 Summer Hockey Guide

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Propel Hockey Camps/Red and Black League .. 2 The Goalie Club................................................... 3 Carroll Goalie School 5 Hockey and Daughters 6 Prime Hockey 8 Wes Walz Hockey School/Next Level Hockey 9 Minnesota Made 12-13 Impact Hockey ................................................... 15 Breakaway Hockey ............................................ 17 Minnesota Hockey/Girl Power Hockey Camps...18 Pavel Barber Camp............................................19 Blaze Cup...........................................................21 LPH Cup/Buck Opener.......................................22 Grunnah Power Skating.....................................23 Kern Hockey.......................................................24 Check out these advertisers! LET’S PLAY HOCKEY SPECIAL SECTION Hockey •Summer Hockey Leagues •Clinics •Camps Inside Training Tips: What should dryland training accomplish?.........................Page 4 How to build athletes..........................................................Page 5 Six keys to improve skating speed and efficiency......Pages 10-11 8 tips for scoring more goals............................................Page 14 Hockey endurance on the slide board..............................Page 16 It’s time to train for the offseason......................................Page 19 Improving shot speed.......................................................Page 20 Summer 2023
All Day Summer Camps for Active Hockey Kids • 125 MINNESOTA SCHOOLS REPRESENTED • Proven development model with 300+ Alumni in Junior and Collegiate Hockey • Games played at multiple arenas around the entire Metro Area & Wisconsin • 18 Game seasons plus playoffs and all-star game • Open to High School eligible players, plus separate Bantam and Peewee Leagues • Individual registrations, team requests, and carpool arrangements considered For more info, please visit our website www.redblackhockey.com Minnesota’s Premier Skill Development League since 2014! 10+ Years Creating Summer Fun! ACTIVITIES • Full Day Camp • 2 Ice Sessions Daily • Off Ice Training (Kayaking, Fishing & Golf) • Academic Time • Minimum Age 7 • Dodgeball • Soccer • Kickball High School Spring League • Tryouts for new players in March • Season runs April thru May (Fri-Sun games) High School Fall League • Tryouts for new players in August • Season runs Sept. thru Oct. (NO Friday games) Fall Bantam & Peewee League • Tryouts in July • Season runs August to September Increased Puck Time = More Skill = Better Results For program details and registration visit propelhockeycamps.com or call 952.297.5920

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What should dryland training accomplish?

focus on speed of hands, speed of feet and speed of mind

For 150 years, North American hockey coaches have NOT met to outline the purpose of dryland training. Instead, it was left to strength coaches, scientists and fitness instructors to tell hockey what to do.

On the other hand, in 1947, the Soviet Union assigned Anatoli Tarasov to develop players at the start of their program. He came to North America to study our game (and also studied NBA basketball, by the way). He concluded that dryland and on-ice workouts should focus on “speed of hands, speed of feet, speed of mind.” In other words, dryland training was designed to improve hockey abilities.

Imagine that. North American coaches could have said dryland training should improve hockey abilities. Give strength coaches some direction as to what matters in a game. But strength experts decided on their own that hockey should train for strength in the same way football was training nose tackles.

Furthermore, lab scientists thought hockey players should train for endurance like marathoners or bicyclists – long, slow distances. “Cardio” it was called. No doubt, cardiovascular fitness is very important, and fitness centers were having their adult couch-potato athletes do long, slow aerobic training, because anything explosive might have caused a heart attack. But they (unwisely) told young hockey players that “cardio” should be long and slow. What is needed in a game, of course, is speed – not slow repetitions permanently imprinted into the Central Nervous System (CNS).

Along the way, “core training” became the rage, because couch potatoes wanted six-pack abs to look great at the beach. Side note – Having watched this fad evolve over the decades, I have to tell you: Looking great without a shirt on was a real challenge for some couch potatoes.

So we isolated core muscles lying on mats to challenge six-pack abs that were hidden under a layer of fat. But research shows that isolating muscles (rectus abdominis or ANY muscle) has little to do with increasing dynamic athleticism, the kind we see in the NBA, NFL or NHL

(Google: Stuart McGill’s research). Athleticism requires that all core muscles work together with muscles that move limbs. Read that sentence again before you send a young athlete to do “core training.”

How can core workouts help young players develop athleticism, and improve skating power and efficiency? By putting it all together in dynamic wholebody movements where the core muscles work in concert with others. Bobby Hull and Gordie Howe had it right 70 years ago. As kids, they chopped wood, baled hay and lifted heavy logs with their whole body. They ran hills and played other sports. That way, the CNS was learning how to create synergy between core muscles and all others in the body.

Had hockey coaches been asked, they

would have said – as Tarasov did – “An ideal dryland program should help young athletes build speed, quickness, agility and explosive strength, along with skating efficiency, power and endurance.” The word “slow” would not have come up. Then strength coaches and scientists would have used their expertise to train young kids differently than adults – even differently than elite older hockey players.

The CNS is involved at all times – except perhaps in Washington D.C. It observes and memorizes every repetition as we train, not just the reps we’d like to remember. We become what we repeat most often. Given that, why would we ever practice slowness or isolate core muscles if we had 150 years to think about it?

Workouts should
“Bobby Hull and Gordie Howe had it right 70 years ago. As kids, they chopped wood, baled hay and lifted heavy logs with their whole body. They ran hills and played other sports.”
– Jack Blatherwick
4 Summer Hockey Guide 2023 Let’s Play Hockey www.stateofhockey.com

Carroll

Since 1995, the Minneapolis based Carroll Goalie School has been helping boys and girls build their individual skills and boost their confidence in a safe, challenging, and upbeat learning environment.

“I’m extremely proud of the reputation we’ve earned for developing quality, fundamentally-sound goaltenders,” said director Steve Carroll, a Minnesota goalie development leader who was a Hall of Fame goalie at Edina High School and Minnesota State Mankato. “Goalies who train with us work hard, improve their skills and have fun!”

The CGS instructors use their extensive playing and coaching experience to teach the goalies what it takes to be successful. They are experts who also share their wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm for the goaltending position with the kids.

“Our coaches are passionate about goaltending and do an excellent job of explaining, demonstrating, and reinforcing the essential techniques used in today’s game,” Carroll said. “We help goalies at our school feel good about their game and feel good about themselves.”

CGS offers four programs including – Intermediate Skills, Advanced Skills, Tryout Tune-up and Intro to Goaltending, Clinics are conveniently scheduled on select weekends and evenings during June-September. Ice times are at six Minnesota arenas including Braemar Arena (Edina), Eagan Civic Arena, Richfield Arena, Super Rink (Blaine), St. Michael-Albertville and the TRIA Rink in St. Paul, which is the practice facility of the Minnesota Wild.

In July, CGS is offering two weekend clinics (Intermediate Skills and Advanced Skills) at the RecPlex in West Des Moines, Iowa.

Goalie parents like the variety of programs CGS offers because they realize that having their kids train under the watchful eye of Coach Carroll and his staff can make a significant impact on their development.

“Our son has been attending the Carroll Goalie School for three years,” said goalie parent Paul Zachery from Apple Valley, Minn. “The clinics are well designed and keep the players moving. The content is focused, and the coaches aren’t afraid to provide the appropriate instruction. We love these clinics and they have become the standard we hold other programs to.”

Goalie parent Bud Samms, from Cambridge, Iowa said, “The coaches that CGS has are the best in the business – they interact so well with the goalies, the students don’t even realize how hard they are working. My son gains more in three, two-hour sessions then in any of the week-long camps he has attended.”

Goalie parent Lorin Hatch from Golden Valley, Minn. added “Our daughter really enjoyed the school and wants to come back again next year.”

Goalie parent Tina DeLeeuw from Cambridge, Minn., said “Carroll Goalie School does an amazing job at their clinics helping goalies develop their skills and have fun doing it. Every clin-

ic has an amazing group of coaches to help all the goalies learn and develop their skills. Every year my goalie attends I can see his skills improving. He loves attending Carroll Goalie School clinics.”

For more information, visit www.carrollgs.com.

the pipes Weekend and evening clinics set for Minnesota and Iowa 2023 CARROLL GOALIE SCHOOL @carrrollgoalieschool facebook.com/carrollgs @carrollgs Book early for best selection! www.carrollgs.com • Weekend and evening ice hours • Upbeat learning environment • Improves individual skills • Expert coaches • Four programs - Advanced Skills, Intermediate Skills,
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How to Build Athletes

In many of my parent talks, I emphasize how genetics plays a significant role in determining where an athlete will ultimately compete – the higher you go, the more genetics becomes a factor. If you lack significant fast twitch muscle fibers, you can’t be an Olympic sprinter. If your wingspan is less than your height (or even equal to it), you are incredibly unlikely to play professional basketball.

As sports have gone global and become increasingly competitive, athlete bodies have skewed toward the shape and size that is able to take advantage of the sport. With this in mind, our goal as parents should be to develop athletes. Children that are active do better in school, have better mental health, and are more likely to be physically fit later in life. Plus, as I half-jokingly like to say, it’s a national security risk to ignore long term athletic development. What efforts can a parent undertake then to help their child reach their genetic potential in the athletic arena? Besides picking an athletic partner, the following are some ideas.

Outdoor Play Challenge

Children need tons of hours outside, climbing trees, playing on playgrounds, jumping into leaf piles, etc. In a given year, I recommend a minimum of 500 hours outside. This comes out to just under 90 minutes outside per day on average. According to the National Recreation and Parks Association, children only spend 4-7 minutes per day in outdoor unstructured play. Out-

door play in an unstructured setting helps children become confident as they learn to maneuver through, over, and around nature and playground settings. Putting kids into structured activities might be easier, but ultimately, they need tons of outdoor free play, especially prior to age 10, to build an athletic base and learn a variety of physical literacy skills.

Balance Bikes

Every parent should buy their child a balance bike. The bike develops posterior chain strength in an impressive manner. Kids learn to bike without the peddles with the balance bike and then transition to a real bike without deliberate instruction or training. They learn implicitly. The joy kids get from playing on the bikes is amazing! They don’t need training wheels! Learning to bike doesn’t need to be a stressful process for parents and kids.

Screen Time Limits

Prior to age two, children should have zero hours of screen time. After two, less than an hour per day on average outside of educational screen time requirements. Screen time hinders athletic development. You can’t stare at a screen for 8 hours, then play an hour of sport, and then return to screens for another 2-3 hours and expect long term athletic development to work well. As kids get older, screen time with video games and social media is probably a significant detriment, causing mental fatigue and poorer decision making .

Be an Active Parent

It’s much easier for your child to be active, to go hiking, skating, sledding, and to play a variety of games and sports if the

parents are also active. Being active in cold and crummy weather isn’t easy, but there are many options. Get the right cold weather gear and nearly any temperature is tolerable. There are also plenty of indoor playground options too. Kids that have parents that bike with them, toss frisbees with them, and go explore nature together are more active.

Play a Variety of Sports and Games

Play as many sports and games as you possibly can in an unstructured free play format. This goes beyond playing pick up soccer, basketball, hockey, etc. Young kids love to play catch, tag, and a host of games that aren’t really sports. They’ll use whatever they can get their hands on so make sure your house is well stocked with balls, frisbees, baskets, and sticks of as many different varieties as possible. We want to have an environment at home that nurtures athletic exploration.

Nutrition

We are still learning so much with nutrition and the impact nutrition has on gene expression and long-term health. I find it highly likely that nutrition prior to conception, prenatal nutrition, and the quality of food a young child eats impacts athletic abilities and adaptability later in life. This is hard. Eating lots of quality whole foods and shunning easy processed and sugar packed snacks is hard. It’s a daily grind to fight back but doing so probably is more important than the hockey or soccer camp you choose to do in the summer when your athlete is 12 years old.

Josh Levine is a speaker, author of Save Our Game, and owner of The Fortis Academy. He also runs Fortis Leaders, a youth sports leadership and character development program. Learn more at fortisleaders.com

www.stateofhockey.com Let’s Play Hockey Summer Hockey Guide 2023 7
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

Refining technique after the season

At the end of a long season, you may notice that most players’ skating technique begins to suffer. Minor things like a skater’s stride getting choppy or a skater not bending his/her knees are most evident. While most teams work on power play, penalty kill, breakouts and forechecks during the season, there leaves little room for skating and skill development.

As spring and summer are upon us, it is time once again to take a step back and revisit technique. Form skating and refining technique are essential. Being able to focus on a stride slowly, as well as concentrating on a deep knee bend, are crucial in continuing to progress as a skater. You will notice in the photos, a few pros working on mechanics and a deep knee bend during their session. Again, these are spring and summer sessions, the perfect time to sharpen technique.

Last year, I had a number of pros come back after their season (later if they made the playoffs). Some were out with concussions for most of the year, so they really wanted to focus on just skating and skill work. There is no rush, training camp does not begin again until late August, so taking things slow and making sure to do them right is key.

Starting from edges, balance and turns is always a good place to start. This will usually be the focus for a couple of weeks. From there, stride and crossover technique will then become our main

areas for improvement. At this point, a skater should feel very comfortable with their knee bend and good command of their edges. Eventually, we will move into more difficult maneuvers such as transitions, mohawks and escapes. Not until we have a solid foundation will we move on to full-speed skating. As the summer progresses, we can then move into quick starts and overspeed. The key is to get these skaters feeling confident in everything we do before we increase the speed.

The key to all of this is starting with a solid foundation. We always use the analogy of building a house. The first and most important step is building a solid foundation. Once a house has a solid foundation, you can begin to build on top of it. The ironic part is that no one wants to go see a concrete slab into the ground. They want to see fancy lighting and upgraded appliances. Much like skating, we get kids that want to learn how to do a spin-o-rama before they can hold an outside edge. The only way we can work

on advanced skills with a skater if there is something there to work with. Once we have a skater with a strong base, solid knee bend and strong edges, everything becomes much easier. Until then, we would basically be spinning our tires in the sand.

Spend some time building that foundation. When you look at any sport, it always comes down to executing the fundamentals. Hockey is no different. These skills will take some time to develop. Don’t rush through them, practice them regularly, especially when you get some time in the off-season. Good luck.

Andy Ness is the head skating and skill coach for the Minnesota Wild. He has also been an assistant skating instructor for the New Jersey Devils, the University of Minnesota men’s and women’s hockey teams and the U.S. Women’s Olympic Hockey Team.

8 Summer Hockey Guide 2023 Let’s Play Hockey www.stateofhockey.com
At the end of a long season, most players’ skating technique begins to suffer
www.stateofhockey.com Let’s Play Hockey Summer Hockey Guide 2023 9

Six keys to improve skating speed and efficiency

Every year, some players dominate in the regular season, but not in the playoffs when the pace is faster. The difference is efficient high-end speed, and it’s highly trainable.

1. Longer skating strides = wider strides. At high speeds, you cannot lengthen your stride straight backward because your feet would have to be impossibly quick. Instead, push hard to the side (hip abduction). This is the major source of skating power and efficiency at high speed, yet it is ignored in most weight rooms. Because your skate blade is not perpendicular to the angle of force,

this propels you forward, in the same way a sailboat tacks crosswind much faster than the wind. At the end of each stride, you are pushing backward (hip extension) because you’re moving past the ice. You also rotate your hips to prepare for the next stride. Off-ice exercises for hip abduction-rotation-extension include side-to-side jumps, Russian Box jumps, resisted lunge walks and slide board.

2. For acceleration, nothing compares to short off-ice sprints. Explode as fast as you can for 5-30 meters then walk back to the starting line for recovery. Lean forward to 45 degrees like Usain Bolt. Extend your body in a straight line (SLX) so your leg force passes through your center of mass efficiently. On the other hand, bending forward (pike position) is an inefficient use of force, whether sprinting or skating. Efficiency must

Six Keys Continued on next page

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3. Less equipment means faster skating practice. Today’s shoulder pads are so heavy they look like they’re designed for football. Hockey pants (breezers) have too much padding and restrict the width and length of the stride. Speedskating coaches would never burden skaters with restrictive pants. Keep in mind that all repetitions result in permanent changes to the brain and spinal cord(the CNS), so don’t practice slow, restricted strides every day at a young age when learning is greatest.

Get a pair of scissors to remove unnecessary padding. Slit the inseam to allow greater range of motion. Keep in mind that manufacturers are protecting their company from lawsuits, not just protecting your body. Include some “skating improvement days,”without breezers and shoulder pads. Your feet will move faster,

and stride width-length will increase.

4. Strength workouts must incorporate explosive movement of your body, not just slow strength alone.Sprints plus weighted and unweighted jumps (oneand two-legged) should be inserted into each workout. Traditional weight training is part of the process at older ages, but if you don’t add explosive movement to train the Central Nervous System (CNS) for speed, weight training is too limited by itself. Why? 1) The heavier the lift, the slower your body moves. 2) Every lift includes deceleration in the last part of the movement, at precisely the point where the skating stride requires maximum acceleration. 3) Traditional weight training ignores the key to skating power: hip abduction-rotation-extension. 4) The range of motion in all barbell lifts is restricted to one plane; yet no sport – certainly not skating – is restricted to one plane.

5. Practice skating on your own. Whether you take lessons or not, you must get thousands of repetitions on your own, just as golfers practice by the hour after each lesson. Add dryland skating workouts when you come off the ice. There is no speedskating coach in the world who would teach skating without dryland training.

6. On the ice, every repetition must be done with 100 percent quality, so rest intervals are critical. Even endurance training must be fast, with perfect execution to build speed and efficient mechanics. Never skate with poor mechanics and slow feet, which is inevitable if you do endurance skating drills past the point of lactic acid buildup and temporary fatigue (about 6-10 seconds depending on the intensity).

www.stateofhockey.com Let’s Play Hockey Summer Hockey Guide 2023 11
Six Keys continued from previous page_______________________________________________________

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8 tips for scoring more goals

Goal scoring is something that is lacking across all levels of girls’ hockey. Quite often, girls are more concerned with making one more pass or picking the perfect spot to shoot instead of just getting the puck to the net. Here are some basic tips for goal scoring that I share with my rep teams and hopefully help you and your players to put more pucks in the net this season.

1. Finish Every Puck – in practice, finish all your rebounds in the back of the net or at least get a follow-up shot. It might make the goalies a little mad, but it will definitely help you score more goals in games.

2. Be Willing To Pay The Price – Games are won and lost in the battles in front of the net. Drive the net and create traffic. I often tell my players to “snow” the goalie’s pads every time they drive the net. Make sure not to do this after the whistle though. I also teach them to be a “leaky” goalie which means that when they are trying to screen the goalie and tip pucks, they need to square up to the shot as if they are playing goalie, and then let the puck go through. Going to the net hard means that you’ll be on the receiving end of a few more slashes and hooks, but the extra goals will make it all worth it.

3. Shoot Like You Mean It – Stop trying to feather the puck into a small little corner of the net. Pound it in like you’re trying to shoot it through the back of the net.

4. Show Your Blade – Whenever you are in the scoring area, move yourself into a position where the passer can see your forehand. You want your blade to be perpendicular to the direction the puck is traveling so that it’s easier to see and easier to get a quick shot off.

5. Be Patient – Let’s be clear...you want to shoot when you are in the scoring area. But remember that goalies can usually

make the first save if there isn’t traffic. So if you’re driving wide and no one is coming with you on the rush, don’t just wire the puck on net. Be patient – delay, carry it behind the net – and make sure that your shot has a net drive going after the rebound. In this case, you want to be shooting for the far pad or 5 hole.

6. Have A Sense of Urgency – I know...I just told you to be patient. But when you’re in tight and you get the puck in the slot, you don’t have time. You need to get your body and stick in a position where you can fire the puck quickly. Make sure you are over top of the puck and shoot it as hard as you can.

7. Get Your Head Up – it helps to know where you are shooting. Once you are a good enough shooter to pick your spots with your eyes on the target, you need to focus on being more deceptive. Look at the spot you want to shoot at, and pass it to the

back door instead. Look at the person you want to pass to, and snipe it off the far post instead. Girls hockey players need to be a lot more deceptive, which means that every player on the ice needs to be ready to receive the puck at ALL times.

8. Believe It – Everyone is a goal scorer. Scoring goals is a mindset. They don’t need to be pretty, they just have to go in. When you start to think you are a goal scorer, you act like one and then all of a sudden, you are one.

To learn more about getting to the next level, visit www.totalfemalehockey.com. Kim McCullough, M.Sc., YCS is a highly sought-after expert in the development of aspiring hockey players and has played and coached at the highest level of women’s hockey in the world for the last decade. She is a former NCAA Division 1 captain, strength and conditioning All-American and played in the NWHL/CWHL for seven years. She is the Director and Founder of Total Female Hockey and is currently coaching the Toronto-Leaside Jr Wildcats of the Provincial Women’s Hockey League (PWHL).

14 Summer Hockey Guide 2023 Let’s Play Hockey www.stateofhockey.com
www.stateofhockey.com Let’s Play Hockey Summer Hockey Guide 2023 15

Hockey Endurance on the Slide Board

Hockey leaders never bothered to convene a panel of coaches to define “hockey endurance.” If they had, coaches would have said, “It is the ability to maintain (for an entire game) the qualities needed to win: skating speed, agility, efficiency, explosive strength, stick skills, and most importantly, grittiness and decision-making.” There’s nothing slow in that description.

But nobody met. Coaches were not asked, and traditional slow endurance training without a strategic (hockey) purpose has dominated the training manuals of players forever.

Scientists defined “hockey endurance” for us. Textbook definitions of endurance in other sports were super-imposed, even though the demands of a hockey game are unique. Laboratory tests measured cardiovascular fitness – mostly on bicycles, not on the ice, even though research by Daub and co-workers (1983) had shown that lab physiological test results were not related to those on the ice*. Daub’s research protocol called for half a team to train on bikes all winter – three times per week after practice. Pre- and post-season endurance tests measuring oxygen consumption and expired gases showed no on-ice advantage for the

bikers compared to players who left practice without the extra bicycle training.

For the record, aerobic-cardiovascular fitness is very important, but two questions should have been discussed by the non-existent panel before athletes were assigned to long distance aerobic training (slow cardio): 1) Of what value are well-trained hearts and lungs if players lack muscular endurance to maintain knee bend for an entire shift and game? 2) Can we train to develop skating speed and efficiency, while increasing the endurance capacity of skating muscles, and at the same time improve aerobic-cardiovascular fitness?

The short answer is, “YES.” There are many workouts that contribute to skating endurance, but any solution – whether on the ice or off – must incorporate High Intensity Interval Training, not long, slow distances. Remember, it is SPEED we’d like to maintain for the whole game. The slide board is one solution. Eric Heiden and his coach, Diane Holum, wore out their slide board in preparation for the 1980 Olympics, where he eventually won ALL FIVE speedskating events.

It would be impossible in track to win all the sprints and distance races, but Heiden did it because of the skating-specific efficiency and endurance he developed from legendary workouts: low skate-walks around a golf course with a sand-bag on his

shoulders, weighted skate jumps, sprints, hills and strength training. He “rested” in an isometric squat position for a half hour, rehydrated and continued training.

Slide board workouts should feel just like skating. Swing your arms and shoulders freely, so your torso actually rotates slightly as you push to the side from your hips (abduction first, then hip rotation and extension). This is the movement pattern in every skating stride.

Bend your knees – from the first rep to the last. This requires discipline, because it can get painful. Use video, and have a training partner watch for good squat posture with your weight more toward the heels than the toes.

Use a 1-to-2 work-to-rest ratio. In other words, pretend there are three of you training on the same slide board – one works while two rest and recover. As muscular endurance improves, add more sets and reps, but start with five sets (perhaps 10, 12, 14, 12, 10 reps per set).

I encourage everyone to visit a speedskating competition or practice and observe the athletes. Then ask, what if hockey trained legs as hard and intelligently as they do? How fast could our sport be?

* Daub WB, 1983. Specificity of physiologic responses from ice hockey training. MED SCIENCE SPORTS and EXERCISE, Vol 15(4): 290-294.

16 Summer Hockey Guide 2023 Let’s Play Hockey www.stateofhockey.com

SPRING OFFERINGS

APRIL 3RD – MAY 15TH During the spring, Breakaway Hockey offers 6 week camp sessions for various age groups. These camps are skills focused and coach driven fundamentals that every level of player needs to repeat in order to better their game.

Jr. Breakaway (K through 3rd Grade)

Squirt Skills

PeeWee Skills

Bantam Skills

AAA Programs

SUMMER OFFERINGS

JULY 10TH – AUGUST 18TH

Summer camps are designed for the player looking to make significant improvements in their individual hockey skills. Our summer camps are designed for both girls and boys. Intense on-ice and off-ice sessions will elevate each player’s skill level. Summer camps include both on and off ice training.

Jr. Breakaway (K through 3rd Grade)

Squirt Skills

PeeWee Skills

Bantam Skills

www.stateofhockey.com Let’s Play Hockey Summer Hockey Guide 2023 17
AAA Programs
Week long camp filled with both hockey and golf skills, competition, and fun! •Week of June 12th (2nd
Grade) •Week of
Grade) MORE INFO AT breakawayhockey.net
HOCKEY/GOLF CAMP
– 4th
June 19th (5th – 8th
18 Summer Hockey Guide 2023 Let’s Play Hockey www.stateofhockey.com Register NOW for 2023 Summer Boys Camps www.MNHockeyCamps.com FEEL THE POWER! 2 weeks of fun and hockey for girls June 11-16 July 9-14 Register NOW for 2023 www.girlpowerhockey.com Directed by Barb Yackel & Corey McGinn TWO GREAT CAMPS ONE GREAT LOCATION Breezy Point, MN Creating a Legacy of Athletes New Elite Development Camps High School/JR Bantam/14U• PeeWee / 12U Squirt/10U

As the offseason approaches, it’s time to get ready to train

When we look at skating there are many different avenues we can look at. For this article, I would like to share with you what direction I like to go when skating and training during the summer and why. With so many options, it is important to understand and establish what is most important and disregard all the rest.

First, when I say there are many avenues to go down I would like to explain what I mean. When you are training in the summer, you can scrimmage, do small area games, do game drills or just do more games. Is this helping your individual development?

Remember, drills and skills are different. Just doing a drill for the sake of doing a drill serves no purpose. When we look at skating specifically, we can look at over-speed, technique skating, or conditioning. In the “video post” world we live in, skating has somehow turned into a lot of shock and awe drills. I have seen kids jump over tires, spin around in the air, do forward to backward flips on one foot, all really for the sake of a “wow” factor. Is this the best use of our ice time?

Here is the problem. With the limited amount of time that we get to spend with skaters in the summer, we want to make sure their skating skills are “functional.” What I mean by that is the skating skills they are actually going to use in a game. Get back to the nuts and bolts. When skating with

pros (and even youth skaters), time is precious and important. Some kids I will only see five or six times in the summer. When I have to cover edges, balance, power turns, crossovers, backwards, transitions, starts and stride, this doesn’t leave any room for “filler” drills. There are fundamental skating skills that need to be worked on. The only way to get improvement is through quality repetition through actual focused practice habits.

Some of the jumps and things aren’t bad, they just aren’t something in which an entire lesson should be focused around. Establish

what is important and disregard everything else. Off-season training is really quite simple. If you need work on your skating, skate. If you need work on your shooting, shoot. If you need to get stronger, get in the weight room. When we try to do a million other things, we end up spinning our tires in the sand and nothing gets better. Ice time is too valuable, make the most of it.

Andy Ness is the head skating and skill coach for the Minnesota Wild. He has also been an assistant skating instructor for the New Jersey Devils, the University of Minnesota men’s and women’s hockey teams and the U.S. Women’s Olympic Hockey Team.

www.stateofhockey.com Let’s Play Hockey Summer Hockey Guide 2023 19

Improving shot speed through athleticism training

As a hockey community, we have done a great job promoting the idea of shooting pucks. We have put together challenges and rewards for our athletes – shoot more and you’ll get better. While that is in one sense true, the “shoot more pucks” advice certainly has limits. We need to now take a more nuanced approach to the idea. For instance, does the age of the athlete have any impact on the training return? To make the point clear, would a five-year-old benefit much from shooting 10,000 pucks? Or is the opportunity cost of doing so just too high?

What we have missed is that proper sport-specific repetitions require certain athletic attributes. Repetitions are only as good as the athletic foundation they are executed upon. An athlete without any wrist or forearm strength will have a tough time snapping the puck. Similarly, an athlete that is unable to properly rotate the core and hips in a coordinated action will have a tough time maximizing shot power. We should consider these two athletic attributes (grip and forearm strength as well as rotational core control and power) when assessing what an athlete should do.

Wrist and forearm strength

The correlation between grip strength and shot speed is probably very strong. I’ve tested a small group of female athletes and discovered this to be the case – the faster shooters had better grip strength than the weaker shooters. How can we work on training this attribute? The classic method is an easy-to-make wrist roller – skate laces,

two feet of an old stick, and a weight. Attach the laces to the stick and the weight, then holding onto the stick, only roll the weight up and down. There are a variety of wrist curl exercises that anyone can find online. Another easy solution is to have younger athletes simply grab their stick at the top with one hand and perform wrist rolls (as if they were stickhandling) for short intervals (less than 30 seconds).

Rotational core strength

Athletes at every age can improve their rotational core abilities and increase shot speed. Grip strength probably becomes less of a differentiator in shot speed as shooting ability increases. In other words, there is a minimally required amount of grip strength to shoot properly, but after surpassing that level, further increases in grip strength probably do far less in improving shot speed.

Athletes that can rotate their hips and core properly will be able to fully utilize their body’s power. A lot of athletes shoot

primarily through arm strength. They do not rotate with their hips or core very well. Either they rotate too slowly or the motion is not very familiar, so they have a hard time engaging the right muscles at the right time and in the right order.

We also need to keep in mind that everything we do has an opportunity cost. Shooting 10,000 pucks at age eight has a longterm cost that cannot often be regained. Instead of expanding the athletic base through a physical literacy program, enjoying time at local parks or playing a variety of different sports, hockey players are stuck in a garage, often shooting improperly.

Remember, practice makes permanent. Also, take a look at your player’s athleticism. Are they ready for high repetition shooting practice or would it be far better for them to focus on something else?

Josh Levine is a speaker, author of Save Our Game, and owner of The Fortis Academy. He also runs Fortis Leaders, a youth sports leadership and character development program. Learn more at fortisleaders.com

20 Summer Hockey Guide 2023 Let’s Play Hockey www.stateofhockey.com
Is your young player ready for high repetition shooting practice?

Girls: U-8, U-10, U-12, U-14

Boys: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

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