The Value of Summer Camps for Young Hockey Players
During the Summer you child might decide they want to leave hockey behind and go have fun outside riding a bike, going to the beach, or playing football or touch with their friends. Then again, if they are focused on being a better hockey player, they might be fixated with continuing to play, or practice hockey.
There are a number of options for parents with regards to Summer Camps that are available for youth hockey players.
You don’t become a great athlete by just playing one sport… It’s about working on multiple athletic movements, such as balance, coordination, quickness and stamina. There’s a lot of different elements in hockey that you can better yourself in by playing different sports.” - Matt Herr AMD Regional Manager 2015
The ice time and technical assistance will increase two-fold.
Asking Hockey Moms what they see is the biggest benefit of Summer Camps and all of them said additional ice time.
A participant in 2 weeks of a well-run professional hockey camp can arguably make as many technical gains as a rep player over the course of the entire season.
As Nathan Leslie explains, your hockey player has limited ice time during their normal season:
- 16: Number of practices for an average recreational player spread out weekly at best (often 6 days between practices)
- 37: Number of practices for an average rep player nearly 2x per week over 20 weeks
With a lot of the camps offering full days where your child spends half of the day on the ice and half of the day in developmental coaching that means in one week alone, they gain nearly as much ice time as a recreational player does during their normal season.
That’s a lot of additional on-ice time.
What support does your child need?
Any feedback from a coach, whether that is during the regular season or at a hockey summer camp needs to be constructive. It is not good the coach saying to a player “You need to improve your turns” without helping them understand HOW to do that.
Youth players are learning. Everything they do is new for them most of the time, until they have spent that nearly 10,000 hours perfecting it. And that of course isn’t something that happens overnight. It takes years and years of practice to attain that level, so any productive help a coach can provide is valuable.
Understand if the coach is able to be your child. You understand what I mean by that right? Can the coach relate to your child as a child? Talk to them in language that your child understands. That’s important, as it will mean your child comes away from camp feeling more confident than when they started the camp. Which is ultimately what you are looking for.
The key is to find great coaches who not only have the skills and ability themselves, but also the ability to engage with youth hockey players to improve their confidence. As we’ve discussed already confidence is everything.
What to look for in a summer hockey camp
The key to finding a great camp is to ask yourself these questions when you are looking for camps:
Does it match my child’s age and skill level?
What type of skills will be taught and by who?
Does the camp allow my child to meet others in their age/skill group?
What is the player to coaching ration?
Do the coaches have experience working with youth hockey players?
The Infamous Hockey Skills Camps provide full and half day programs where your child has the opportunity to strengthen specific skills with experienced coaching staff. More camps will be scheduled so get yourself on the list or bookmark the site to be on top of new camps.