Every summer hockey players look for that edge to make them a better hockey player. There are so many options out there to choose from and you have to be smart when planning your program. Some players decide to play more games in summer leagues. To make things worse, most of these summer leagues offer four on four or three on three competition. Playing more games, especially games that do not provide realistic hockey situations are the worst things that you can do. The player will be making the same mistakes they made all year, but now they will have even more time to make those mistakes. When it comes to player development as a hockey player, you have to work on specific skills (on and off the ice) that correlate to your game. Try to pick a few skills that you need to improve most and incorporate these skills into your on ice and off ice training this summer.
On Ice Skills: Every player can always improve their skills no matter what level they are playing at. NHL players are constantly working on improving their skills. Try to get on the ice to improve your skills at clinics and schools this summer. Also, put the inline skates on and work on your puck skills and shooting in the driveway or on a basketball court.
Off-Ice Training: Make sure your off-ice training program is hockey specific. Improving your overall athleticism while improving your strength in the right areas will not only make you a more confident player, but it will help you win the one on one battles and make you a more dominate player. Make sure you also work on change of direction quickness, agility, and explosiveness.
Skating Techniques: Skating is one of the most important skills for a hockey player. Skating can make or break a hockey player. Make sure you choose a skating instructor or skating school that breaks down the techniques in small components and explains to you how the technique relates to different hockey game situations. Too many coaches just runs the students through drills without ever explaining the how the drill works in the game of hockey or corrects the students mistakes. They just blow their whistles and tells them to do it without ever explaining where your weight should be on your skate, what your upper body should be doing, and how this correlates to hockey situations. You can get anyone to put you through drills where you are basically just working on your bad habits. You need to choose a qualified instructor who is going to break down the skating technique and show you how to break those bad habits with proper technique. That is the only way you are going to improve!
“Remember, everyone goes to the games and everyone goes to the practices. But it is what you do on your own that will make you the better player”