#Becoming 68: 7 Insider Tips to Take Your Game to the Next Level

Every year, STX and 200x85 select the top 68 U14 players from around the United States to come to Chicago for an elite training camp. It’s an opportunity for young players to experience healthy competition and train under some of the top instructors in the NHL. 

At the most recent 68s camp, NHL stars and hockey experts shared personal experiences and pro tips for taking your game to the next level:

1. Give it 110% - 110% of the time.

"You can't take a shift off. You have to play huge. Not when you want to, but all the time." -Brian Mueller, Former VP of Hockey Operations, 200x85

2. Raise your bar. And when you reach it, raise it again.

“There’s going to be people behind you that are trying to get your spot, and people ahead of you that you’re trying to get theirs. So I think never be content.” -Brandon Pirri, Center, New York Rangers

3. Be intentional in the way you practice and play, always. It will determine your autopilot.

"When you're tired, all the crap that guys have learned to do, good or bad, kicks in. So that's why you want to make sure you do the right stuff all the time." -Adrian Aucoin, Former NHL Defenseman

4. BE RESILIENT. Your journey won’t be easy.

"The true colors of one young hockey player are not when things are great, but when things are tough." -Eddie Olczyk, NBC Hockey Analyst 

5. Surround yourself with “fish” who challenge your game.

“They [the 68 U14] have, for the most part, been big fish in small ponds. And now they’re equal fish in a big pond.” -Ed Saunders, Director of Marketing, STX

6. Train your mind. Keep your focus. 

"Everyone gets to the same size, everyone becomes faster and stronger. It's the grind. It's being mentally focused." -Brian Mueller, Former VP of Hockey Operations, 200x85 

7. Stick to the basics, and make them better.

"Nothing changes in hockey. All the principals, all the fundamentals, they're all the same. It just becomes more pace, more pace, stronger guys, faster guys, faster thinking guys, but it's all the same stuff." -Steve Smith, Assistant Coach, Carolina Hurricanes

Want to learn more about the elite U14 and what it takes to make it? Check out episode 1 of Becoming 68.

For pro gear picks to help you elevate your game, click here.