2017 Best Ice Hockey Camps In United States
Players like Sidney Crosby, the great Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux made the sport of ice hockey a famous one. However, the origins of the sport go back many centuries. Though the sport is still older than that, some form of ice hockey was played in Canada even in the 1800s.
The first official game of ice hockey was recorded in the 1870s when the students of McGill University in Montreal created the very first set of rules to govern the game. The National Hockey League (NHL) was founded in November of 1917 and there has been no looking back since then. The sport is now one of the most popular sports in the United States and Canada.
Ice Hockey Camps
Trying out for the school or college ice hockey team can be a daunting challenge. The truth of the matter is that the months that lead to the tryouts are actually more important than the actual day of the tryouts. The reason for this is that the offseason is the time to make the most of your skills by practicing and getting familiar with the intricacies of the game.
Skaters use this time to work on their weaknesses in power skating, shooting, passing and overall puck-handling. Goalies work on their balance, quick reflexes as well as their angles. The best way to practice during off-season is to attend ice hockey camps in the US which will offer you directed help in all the areas of the game that you are weak in.
Ice hockey camps are popular amongst sports enthusiasts because there are a variety of benefits that you stand to gain by attending camp.
- The best way to get better at ice hockey is by spending as much time as possible at the rink. Ice hockey camps offer you plenty of on-ice time to help you improve your skills. The coaches are generally college ice hockey coaches and players. You stand to learn much from their experience in the game.
- For high school ice hockey players, college camps offer an insight into the college sports program and campus. You will be staying in the dorms, using their athletic facilities and enjoying camp. This will help you choose the right college when the time comes.
- Skating against other ice hockey players will give you the opportunity to compare your skills with theirs. This way you will get a better idea of where you are falling short, and camp is the best place to work on your shortcomings.
Choosing an Ice Hockey Camp
With so many camp options in the country, it is understandable that you are in a dilemma when it comes to choosing just one or two ice hockey camps. The first step is to understand exactly what you are hoping to gain from camp. Players who want exposure would do better to go to a college camp that is intent on recruiting them. On the other hand, if you want to learn better techniques and improve your overall skills, a skills camp or a private, reputed instructional camp might be a better bet for you.
Types of Ice Hockey Camps
Ice hockey camps across the country offer options like day, extended day and overnight camps. Beginners would do better to choose a day camp so that they can get a taste of camp but not get overwhelmed by it. Overnight camps are perfect for athletes who want to eat, breathe and live ice hockey. These camps also promote bonding between players which is always a good idea in team sports.
Most ice hockey camps will separate players into groups based on their age and skill levels. Camps accept players in the age range of 7 to 18 years, though some camps are open to much younger players too.
Private Camps: These camps offer high quality of services, and some of the best coaches in the country are a part of private/third-party camps. Camps offer at least 3 hours of on-ice time each day and the instructor to student ratio is generally kept low. Some private camps offer video evaluations and feedback sessions, along with off-ice conditioning, training and nutrition-related help. Popular options include Heartland Hockey Camp, PDS Sports Academy and Camps, and Pro Ambitions Hockey Camps, which are held at various locations across the nation.
College Camps: College camps are run by college coaches and offer great skills instruction. Campers get a chance to enjoy on-campus life at a school that they are hoping to attend.
Elite Camps: Some camps like USA Hockey Player Development Camps can be attended only on an invite-only and nomination basis. The skill level required at these camps is exceptionally high and very few players get invited.
Ice hockey is not a very economical sport. Along with camp fees which start at $150 and more per week, you will also have to think about cost of equipment and other additional fees. However, when it is time for tryouts at high school or college, you will be glad that you chose to attend ice hockey camps to perfect your skills.