Over the past 20 years, the overall skill level that players possess has seen a steady increase. Coaches are more knowledgeable on how to teach skating, stick handling, passing, and shooting.
Another major factor in skill improvement is how many independent skills instructors are available today. From power skating experts to stick handling and shooting specialists, it’s difficult to determine which one is right for you.
Below are five suggestions for getting the most out of a hockey camp or hockey clinic:
Identify Hockey Deficiencies - Every player has their strengths, but also have areas that need improvement. Identify one area you want to focus on improving and then look for a hockey clinic that specializes in that skill.
Ask Around - If an instructor has been around for a while, there’s a good chance you can get feedback from other players in your community about a certain hockey camp/clinic. Or, contact the instructor directly and ask for a referral list of past students. If he’s good, he’ll have plenty of endorsements for his hockey training.
Coach to Player Ratio - A lot of hockey camps or clinics are just money grabs. It’s easy to determine these clinics, as most have a high player to coach ratio (I’ve seen some that only had one coach managing 30 or more players). There’s not much individual attention in that type of environment. Look for a hockey camp that has one coach for every 4-8 players. It may be more expensive, but it will be worth the investment.
Set Up Your Own Hockey Clinic – If you’ve identified a reputable hockey skills instructor in your area, call him or her directly. See if there’s time during the year that he/she could or would be interested in running the hockey clinic for you. Most will give you an hourly rate and you’d be surprised at how competitive the pricing can be. You may have to manage the process, but it is worth it.
Break the Year up into Segments – To acquire elite-level skills in hockey, you need to work regularly on all facets of the game. Break the year into segments of 8-10 week blocks, focusing on one thing at a time, like power skating. Then the next block could be stickhandling or shooting, and so on. Taking this type of approach will reduce the risk of flat lining or getting bored.
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Remember to work hard and Dream BIGGER than everyone else.
Best of luck and remember to always Work Hard and Dream Bigger than Everyone Else!!