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Frequently Asked Questions

Am I registered for camp?

If you are unsure whether you have registered or cannot remember what week you have registered for, please go to the Registration Look-up to find the details.

Click here to go to the REGISTRATION LOOK-UP page

Will just one week at Top Dog Hockey Camp really benefit my player?

One week at any camp can have a significant impact on a player’s skill level but only if the week consists of both effective on-ice and off-ice programs that are taught correctly.  Top Dog instructors provide great training that that your players will use for years to come.  The sheer number of hours of intense on-ice/off-ice training time that we are able to provide in just one week of camp could take several weeks or more during regular season hockey to amass.  Top Dog provides 3-4 training sessions daily (including both on and office).  Improving skills, developing new muscle memory, and learning team concepts are easier to master and retain when the training sessions are one after another. Also important is our 6:1 student to instructor ratio which allows for ample individual player attention.

What if my player isn’t interested in hockey camp because he/she is “burnt out” on hockey?

Evaluate the reason.  If your player is burnt out from too much hockey, then take a break--play ball, play with friends, go boating, etc.  Coming back to hockey refreshed with a passion and desire to play is more important than a week of camp!  Although we pride ourselves in being able to help reignite the passion for many players that have lost it, we cannot overcome the burnout some players feel from playing in just too many programs.

What if my player had a bad experience this past season and doesn't want to go to camp?

If this is the case, then a FUN week with a change of scenery including new teammates, new coaches and new drills may be just what your player needs.   At Top Dog we focus on making sure the players have a FUN and SAFE week by continually creating on and off ice drills that encourage players to work hard while actually having a great time!  Furthering each players skill AND love for the game has been our goal for years!  In addition to their hockey instruction, players will partake in lots of other fun camp activities—mini-golf, go-karts, swimming, dodge ball, shinny hockey, swimming, movies, ping-pong and more!

What type of skill training does Top Dog emphasize during my players week at camp?

Top Dog coaches train players in the areas of skating, puck control, shooting, stick-handling, one-on-one battles, using the body and more.  At Top Dog, our instructors have been trained to make sure the players are doing the skill correctly.  We do not want them to just simply complete the drill.  Players can perform a skill hundreds of time, but if they aren’t doing it in correctly it is hard for players to truly improve.  Our instructors will continually correct players and train them on the proper way to perform skills while giving them positive, constructive feedback.  Our player training starts out slow and increases in speed as players start to improve their form. 

How does Top Dog Hockey Camp build on the training players received during the regular season?

Prior to attending  Top Dog Hockey Camp, some players may have only received training by volunteer-parent-coaches, and although some of these coaches may have played hockey, most have not had much ongoing (if any) formal training on how to best coach, train and develop players.  Training youth players is our core job.  Our instructors emphasize both mental and physical developmental goals.  Coaches help players accomplish these goals through a structured, challenging and positive reinforcement coaching style.  Coaches videotape instructional games so they can be analyzed by players and instructors to identify areas requiring improvement.   We train our instructors to utilize challenging over speed drills and to emphasize dexterity.

What type of team concept training does Top Dog emphasize during a week at camp?

During the morning on-ice sessions throughout the week, Top Dog coaches begin with the basics of offensive fore-checks, neutral zone play and defensive zone play.  These concepts are further enhanced in daily dry-land sessions and classroom sessions. We progress to more complex team concepts (based on playing level) as players master the basics. Each day, during afternoon on-ice sessions players will practice their newly learned techniques in both skills and team concepts while playing a controlled scrimmages.  The games are frequently stopped to correct and instruct players on proper team concepts.  This ongoing instruction ensures players continue to learn and improve.

Does Top Dog Hockey Camp offer enough team competition?

During the final play-off game, the competitiveness that we often see players demonstrate is astonishing considering they have only played together one week.  The games are intense and we’ve even seen a few tears shed.  This show of emotion evidences the powerful feelings players have developed towards their team in only one, yet concentrated week.

What is the advantage for my player to play with kids that he/she has never played with?

Hockey camp provides players the opportunity to play with a new mix of players and meet many new friends.  A great comment from a recent parent, “it was nice to watch Alex break out of the “pecking order” that he tends to fall into during our hockey season playing (playing with kids he has played with since he was 5).  We watched him demonstrate a level of confidence in his final game at Top Dog that we did not see at all during his most recent hockey season!”

Do you have "PRO" hockey players at Top Dog?

No, but we have well-trained and highly-skilled (typically college level or junior level) hockey players that are hired based on their ability to both demonstrate skills and effectively teach hockey.  Our camp’s training techniques have been refined for more than 25 years.  If you are looking for a brush with fame and autographs from pro hockey players, you will not find it here.  Pro-players have mastered their sport, but it does not mean that they have also mastered effective teaching skills to train young players.

Why are we electronic free at Top Dog Hockey Camp?

We are electronic free for many reasons:

  1. We want kids to engage with each other, make new friends and participate in all the activities we offer.
  2. Why can't they be without their screens for 5 days?  Kids today are literally addicted to a screen, and getting them to try new things becomes increasingly hard when kids feel compelled to look at a screen every few seconds.
  3. We want to make sure there is no inappropriate photos in dorm rooms or locker rooms. 
  4. We need the entire camp to be "G" rated.  Many games and apps aren't appropriate for all ages.
  5. We want kids to go to bed and not stay up until the wee hours trying to "get to the next level".
  6. We want a level playing field.  Not all kids have gadgets.  What a bummer to meet a new roommate only to have him buried in his screen the whole week.
  7. We wish we didn't have to worry about theft, but unfortunately it happens. 
  8. We offer many ways for your child to reach you or for you to reach your child.