You hear it all of the time.
“They must have had a great summer.”
Is the summer a magical time of year for development or is the perfect time for young aspiring players to figure out what they want out of the game?
You hear the phrase all the time around the hockey world, but what the hell does it really mean?
You also hear, “if they have a good summer, or if they figure it out this summer they will have a great season.”
You see a lot can happen in the summer the months when it comes to the hockey world, but there’s no magical formula, the only common dominator during the summer months is hard work and let me tell you, you can’t fake that shit.
Sure there’s camps and skill development and workout regimes to be followed, but there’s no alternative to all of that without hard work.
You can always tell, what players put in the work in the summer because they are the players that everyone talks about it saying “wow, they must have had a great summer.”
No shit, of course they did, because they worked hard.
Hard work is the great equalizer. Hard work is contagious, it spreads like wild fire especially when you have players with a shared vision and outcome. That’s when true development happens.
Players and skill or development coaches feed off passion, they feed off each other. Real development happens when everyone involved pushes.
I don’t mean the coaches being over the top or getting pushy, I mean everyone pushing in the right direction together.
For real growth and development to happen, players have to accept their weaknesses and shortcomings. They have to be prepared to hear things that may not have heard all season long. The harsh reality of constructive criticism can haunt young players if they aren’t ready to hear it, especially when their tires were pumped all season long.
You see all of the best summer programs target individual skill development and collective common areas of improvement. That’s what makes the best summer programs a step above. That’s what makes them so efficient, effective and popular. Nevertheless, none of it can happen without hard work.
You want to know what, “they had a great summer means”?
It means you’re looking at or discussing a player that worked their f@&ing arse off for two or three months straight, that’s what that means.
You can have all the skill development and growth you want, it all comes down to hard work, which in many ways is the greatest skill that any young player can possess.
What players do you know that are having a great summer?
I guess we will all have to wait and see!
See you at the rink,