Spring is here, and the playing season has come to an end for the National Women’s Hockey League and NCAA women’s hockey. Of course, the Metropolitan Riveters were victorious in the first league, and the Clarkson Golden Knights prevailed in the second.

Now it’s time for many girls and women to start thinking about which hockey program they’ll attend this summer. It is an important choice to make, and it can be a tricky one as well.

What Hockey Camps Should Offer

Obviously, athletes and the parents of young athletes have to look for camps they can afford. The distance they’re willing to travel must factor into the decision as well.

The finest summer programs have outstanding reputations among alumni, and their staffs consist of successful former players and current coaches. These pros give every attendee plenty of attention and personalized instruction.

First-rate camps review a variety of skills, including speed skating and balancing on the ice. Yet athletes can only learn so much in a week or a few weeks. Thus, such a program should state upfront which specific areas of the game it focuses on.

Regional Examples

Plenty of online resources can help people find North America’s worthiest hockey camps.

One terrific program is RB Hockey School, which runs overnight camps and day camps in Massachusetts and New Jersey. The company concentrates on boosting players’ strength, quickness, agility and flexibility through engaging drills. It also hosts weekly pool parties so campers can bond and have fun together.

Likewise, Legacy Global Sports, a youth athletics brand, manages a few summer camps for girls in late June; these camps take place in Rochester, N.Y. (One is exclusively for goalies.) Over the course of five days, elite hockey players motivate and teach the campers, improving their skills while stoking their competitive fires.

It’s hardly a secret in the hockey community that, when it comes to beneficial and well-organized camps, Canada leads the way. The Hockey Canada Skills Development Camps, which are held in Calgary in late August, epitomize this tradition. They home in on the sport’s fundamentals, and they stress teamwork and character. Plus, each day’s itinerary includes two off-ice activities.

In the end, a great hockey camp is one where a participant improves her game, meets new friends and makes happy memories. That’s certainly a hat trick.

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