What separates an Elite player from a very good player? How are these characteristics developed? These characteristics are what scouts try to identify when evaluating players and the same characteristics open roster spots on the best teams. Many players may have a few of these characteristics but an elite player demonstrates all. John Russo at usahockey.com gives us insight on some of the characteristics elite hockey players display:
1) Skating and Puck Skills – It is impossible to be too good a skater or have hands that are too good. One can always get better. The muscles that build skating speed are developed during the formative years of 9 through 14. Athletes rise to the speed of the game. Hand eye coordination and puck handling skills require constant practice and determination. Elite players stand out with these skills.
2) Effort – You may have all the tangibles but if you don’t have the effort intangible you can forget about it. The effort day in and day out will help an elite player improve faster and maintain the elite status. This includes forecheck, backcheck, defensive support and offensive and defensive work with and without the puck. Effort will be recognized quickly and all elite players will have it. Al MacInnis said it well : “Well, I think the first thing is you want to lead by example. If your teammates see the work ethic that you put in, the consistency that you put in, not only games but in practices, I think your teammates will follow. You don’t always have to be a yeller or a screamer. I think it’s important that if you lead by example, the rest will follow.”
3) Anticipation – Elite players are a step ahead of the game. To paraphrase Gretzky “go where the puck is going.” Elite players will have the hockey sense that improves team performance. They make the key passes, they read the game and play it moves ahead and strategically. .
My edge hockey is for the elite hockey player. It is only for a few exceptional players that want to maximize their hockey development while taking advantage of small group training, smaller teams to maximize ice touches and playing time, not for profit business model, and competitive training against the best players in your age group. We will be running training programs and will be forming teams for spring/summer tournament competition for Spring/Summer 2014. Please fill out player application for consideration. We will have teams in birth years 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007. Please click birth year link for more information on tournaments for your birth year.