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Lightning Summer Camps Give Kids a Chance to Beat the Heat

by Brian Breseman / Tampa Bay Lightning
As the school year comes to a close and the local youth look for a way to spend their summer, they should not look any further than the Lightning Summer Camps which begin on July 6 at the Brandon Ice Sports Forum, July 13 at the Ellenton Ice and Sports Complex and July 20 at the Tampa Bay Skating Academy. With three different sessions at three different rinks around the Tampa Bay area young hockey players can attend all the camps or the one closest to them to beat the summer heat.

Former Lightning forward and current Director of Youth Hockey Brian Bradley will be one of the alumni running the camp. Bradley was a two-time NHL All-Star and played six seasons with Tampa Bay. He still ranks fifth all-time on the Lightning points list with 300 and sixth in goals with 111. But kids don’t need those skills to participate in the camps.

“The Camp is for all ages,” Bradley said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a recreational player, single-A or double-A. This is just a high-tempo camp for boys and girls to develop their skills in terms of skating, shooting and all other areas. We’re really looking forward to it this year.”

Joining Bradley to work with camp participants will be former Lightning captain and Stanley Cup Champion Dave Andreychuk, Video Coach Nigel Kirwan and Strength and Conditioning Coach Chuck Lobe. This group brings a wealth of experience to the camps both on and off the ice.

On the ice the Lightning Summer Camps will focus on providing a strong base for children as they begin to hone their game.

“It’s about learning how to properly skate and hold your stick, while also getting the right stick length and equipment,” Bradley said. “As they progress into the pee-wee and bantam age groups they are going to learn how to pivot, turn, power skate and stick handle. It is the fundamentals of the game that kids need to work on to get better as a hockey player. We will teach each individual the fundamentals and basic things about the game to develop skills at a high tempo and a high pace.”

The tempo of the camp will not decrease once the participants step off the ice. Each session will teach each player what it takes to prepare like a professional. All off-ice instruction will be just like NHL players receive.

Camp participants will also receive their share of free stuff, including a camp t-shirt and jersey, a ticket to a Lightning game, a gift bag and lunch on top of free lunch each day.

With professional instruction both on and off the ice, along with jerseys and perks, the Lightning Summer Camps are as close as you can get to playing in the NHL.
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