The Larkin family's bond over the game of hockey is one that has an impact not only in the community where they learned the game, but also amongst themselves. Dylan, Colin, Adam, and Ryan Larkin grew up on the ponds of Michigan and learned to play hockey at Lakeland Ice Arena. Going their separate ways on their hockey paths, all became NCAA hockey scholarship athletes. Together again, giving back to the rink they grew up on, they established the Larkin Hockey School in the summer of 2016 with Lakeland Ice Arena President, Brad Martin.
Campers will have two on-ice sessions per day. These sessions will be used to develop skating, puck-handling and position specific skills (including goalies) appropriate for each age group and skill level. Campers will learn from our qualified staff of elite level hockey players and goalies that will be able to pinpoint areas for every individual to focus on improving throughout the camp and upcoming season.
There will be two off-ice sessions per day. The first will be used to take campers through a workout, appropriate for all ages and skill levels. The second will be used to introduce strategies for off-ice development. We want to expose our campers to the importance of physical fitness, team camaraderie and off-ice skills training in becoming, not only a better individual player, but also a better teammate.
1. How will this year's camp differ from last year's camp?
The biggest change in this year’s camp is the format of the camp. We have gone from 4 days/week over the course of 3-4 weeks to 3 days/block over a week and half period. This change has allowed for some important improvements.
First is that this has allowed Dylan Larkin to commit to being present for all on-ice sessions. This means that players will have 6 sessions on the ice with Dylan as opposed to only 2-3 (as was the case in previous years).
Next is that we feel that we will be able to make more productive and efficient use of on- and off-ice sessions. With Dylan on the ice for all sessions, Colin Larkin and Adam Larkin will be able to lead off-ice sessions that will provide more hockey specific off-ice development strategies for improving your game.
2. What is the difference between the Elite and the standard camp?/Why would I sign up for the Elite camp?
The Elite camp is intended for travel and AAA players. We feel that putting players of similar skill levels on the ice together will allow for us to cater our practice plans to be more suitable for both groups. The Elite camp is meant to be more challenging, more advanced and higher paced. The standard camp is great for players looking to improve on their basic individual skills.
3. What is the player-to-instructor ratio?
During every on-ice session, players will be accompanied by 6-7 coaches, meaning that for a group 40 players (maximum), the ratio will be ~6 players for every coach. We take pride in making sure that teaching is available to players at all times and in really getting to know each individual in the camp. It is up to the players to ask as many questions as they may have and our experienced staff will be more than happy to answer. During off-ice sessions, 3-4 coaches will accompany players at a time.
4. Do goalies also get any kind of personalized training?
Yes. Just as with the players, goalies will have the opportunity to work one-on-one with part of the Larkin Hockey School staff. The goalies will be exposed to training that our staff has learned playing that position growing up and continue to work on today. Many of the goalie drills that staff members continue to work on are those that have been learned at a young age, and it is our hope that we can pass these drills and lessons onto the goalies in this camp.
5. What sort of things can I expect that my son/daughter will learn during the camp?
All players can expect to learn and practice techniques to improve their skating, shooting, passing and puckhandling. Additionally, it is our hope that we can help players practice some of the intangibles for becoming a better hockey player including what it means to be a good teammate, what it means to be coachable, having a good attitude and having a great work ethic.
6. What does the staff expect of the players in the camp?
The coaches always want players and students who are well behaved and hard working. But most importantly, the coaches love to have players that are coachable and eager to listen and learn. We want players to feel comfortable to ask questions at anytime so that we can tailor our answers to fit their personal needs on the ice and not simply fit the generic mold of a player in a specific position. Because every player is different, they may need to address some element of their game more than others. When individuals ask questions, they can walk away happy knowing that they have received personal feedback directly relevant to their game and us coaches can feel that we have done our job to help develop the skills of each and every player.