Category Archives: HOCKEY

The quality house hockey programs at KC Ice Center change travel teams

The numbers were down this fall for the first time in many years for players trying out for the Kansas City Youth Hockey Association travel teams.

While that may sound bad, it’s not. The decrease reflects the success of the house program at the Kansas City Ice Center that has been so dramatic.

“Our house numbers are way up, because so many kids stayed with the house program,” said Dean Nelson, general manager of the KCIC. “Our hockey numbers are up, and that is reflected in the number of kids in the house leagues.

KC Jets will form a third hockey team, creating a new option for U16 players

Youth hockey is in full swing at the Kansas City Ice Center. The KC Stars, KC Jets and travel teams are all forming for the upcoming season.

If you’re hoping to hang out with him this month with Dean Nelson, you will have to get to the Kansas City Ice Center. Nelson, the general manager at the KCIC, will be spending most of his time there.

Hockey Update – KC Youth Hockey Association to add girls leagues in the fall

girls youth hockey

The future of girls youth hockey has arrived in Kansas City. For years in this area, when youth hockey was the subject, the gender generally was male. But with nearly 100 of the roughly 1,000 kids involved in the Kansas City Youth Hockey Association being female, the association likely will be adding girls-only leagues in the fall.

KC Ice Center introduces Xtreme Hockey program to develop skills in young players

xtreme hockey at KCIC

APRIL 2017 – Xtreme Hockey is practice gone wild.

There is a theory that 75 percent of hockey comes down to one-on-one battles. The other hockey elements — skating, stick-handling, passing and shooting—are important, but none of those matter if you do not win the individual battle for the puck.

That’s the premise that has spawned a new Spring program at the Kansas City Ice Center called “Spring Xtreme Hockey.” It is an 11-week program that will work on the individual skills of players from the U-8 through the U-14 levels.

KC Ice Center offers many ways for players to grow hockey skills

KC Ice Center Camps

APRIL 2016 – Five years ago, Dean Nelson took a couple of KC Ice Center teams to the International Cup in Blaine, Minnesota, a Minneapolis suburb. The International Cup is a group of age-specific tournaments played at an eight-rink facility, with some top teams from all around the Midwest.

Nelson’s teams got smoked.

Last year, Nelson again took two teams to the International Cup. One team reached their age-group final. The other one went 1-1-2. That just shows how far hockey has come in Kansas City in the past five years, mostly under Nelson’s leadership.

March Skating Madness at the KC Ice Center

KC Ice Center Spring

MARCH 2016 – For those who don’t want to spend hours on end watching college basketball in March, the KC Ice Center has some good options for getting away from the television and getting the rush of cool air in your face.

“When March comes around, the team events and the other things that are part of the structure of the KC Ice Center slows down,” says Dean Nelson, general manager of the KCIC. “What we like to do in March is throw in extra stick times for kids, and extra public skates, for freestyle or open ice.

Kansas City Ice Center prepares traveling teams

hockey-travel

SEPTEMBER 2015 – Just because you are not good enough today, cut from your team, does not mean you won’t make it tomorrow. Michael Jordan played on his high school junior varsity basketball team as a sophomore.

That’s what Dean Nelson and his colleagues with the Kansas City Youth Hockey Association (KCYHA) remind youngsters who tried out—unsuccessfully—for traveling teams for this fall and winter. With the merger of the youth hockey organizations from around the metro area, the traveling teams have all been combined and there are fewer spots to fill.

Merger of youth hockey programs in KC showing benefits

Youth-Hockey-Merger

AUGUST 2015 – Nearly six months after the merger between the two largest youth hockey programs on opposite sides of the state line was announced, things are progressing nicely. The biggest effect so far happens early this month as the Kansas City Youth Hockey Association (KCYHA) will hold its first combined tryout for the traveling teams.

The KCYHA—the new name for the combined effort—will hold tryouts August 13-16 at the Kansas City Ice Center. The KCIC is the home of the Kansas City Stars youth program in Shawnee. The next week, the Independence Events Center, the home of the Missouri Mavericks ECHL team and the Junior Mavs youth program, will host the second round of tryouts.

Coaching or managing a team isn’t for everyone

Coaching

AUGUST 2015 – From age seven to 37, I played baseball under the guidance of dozens of coaches and managers.  From age 7 to 22, I played as an amateur, and then, after I signed my first pro contract with the Washington Senators in 1971, I played 16 years as a professional, including under Royals Hall of Fame manager Dick Howser. I would like to offer some personal views on the subject of coaching and/or managing.

The dangers for one sport athletes

one-sport-athletes

JULY 2015 – In today’s world of ultra-competitive children’s athletics, there is more and more pressure on parents and kids to begin specializing in one sport at a very young age.  While it may seem like choosing one sport and sticking with it will give an athlete an advantage, we are finding out more and more specialization does not necessarily lead to better performance.

In addition, it also puts these young athletes at much higher risk of injury.