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News

G.O.A.L. (Get Out And Learn) PROGRAM - SEPT. 2017

SPACE IS LIMITED! PLEASE REGISTER TO ENSURE YOUR SPOT!

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD PDF (and contact office TODAY to pay!)

This program is designed for FIRST TIME HOCKEY PLAYERS. NOT intended for those having previously completed a season of our Beginning Hockey program, or those currently playing hockey.

Learn To Skate participants are welcome to register.

CLICK HERE TO SECURE YOUR SPOT ONLINE TODAY!
(And then fill out this form and MAKE SURE payment is received in KOHA office by end of day on 9/6,
or your spot will be given to someone on the wait list)

PROGRAM COST: $25

MAKE SURE YOU BRING A HOCKEY HELMET WITH CAGE!
September 10, 17 & 24 – NOON-1pm @ WINGS WEST

REGISTRATION REQUIRED - WE ANTICIPATE THIS PROGRAM FILLING QUICKLY!  

This program is designed for kids ages 5-9 looking to get into hockey - or to see if they like it! It's a three-week, low-cost program led by KOHA coaches and volunteers. KOHA has some equipment bags that can be used for the duration of this program, and Wings West is offering skate rental at no charge for each of the three dates.

By signing up here, you agree to pay in full by September 6th to ensure a spot for your child. Any signup spots unpaid after September 6th will be given away. If you have any questions, please contact Stephanie at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


 

KOHA PARTNERS WITH ATHLETIC MENTORS FOR WORLD-CLASS OFF-ICE TRAINING & PLAYER DEVELOPMENT

Greenleaf Hospitality Group recently announced its partnership with Athletic Mentors for new training facility at Wings West

KALAMAZOO,MI - The Kalamazoo Optimist Hockey Association (KOHA) is pleased to announce that it has entered into a five-year partnership agreement with Athletic Mentors, the area's premier athletic training organization for ice sports.

 
Beginning in September, KOHA's athletes will be able to "get the edge" with world-class off-ice training programs, and thanks to a new partnership between Wings West of Greenleaf Hospitality Group (GHG) and Athletic Mentors, they'll be training in a state-of-the-art facility.
 
"We are elated to be able to provide our young athletes the type of quality off-ice training - in a first-class space - that is necessary to meet our goal of being a regional destination for hockey players," said KOHA's Interim Executive Director, Frank Noonan. He goes on to say, "We are so thankful to GHG, and Bill Johnston specifically, for recognizing the need for such a space - and making the investment - to effectively train our athletes and provide the best possible environment for player development."
 
Athletic Mentors will be working with the coaches to identify the overall goals of the teams and then design programs based on strengths and weaknesses.
 
"Every athlete is unique and requires a customized strength training and skill development program that helps them achieve peak performance both individually and within the team dynamic," said Mark Olson, head coach and co-founder of Athletic Mentors (AM).
 
The AM Hockey Coaches are no strangers to training on-ice athletes. They work with the Kalamazoo Wings in-season to stay game-ready, and Head Coach, Nick Bootland, attributes his players' consistency and overall conditioning level to Olson and his staff's "ability to innovate and stay ahead of the game with NHL-quality hockey-specific training gives our team an advantage over the competition through the grueling stretch of an ECHL season."
 
KOHA's Interim Hockey Director, Matt Kakabeeke, believes AM will give KOHA members a competitive edge this season and beyond.
"To see the new space coming together is exciting. From a player development standpoint, KOHA's Travel & House B players and coaches will have access to some truly elite training - on and off the ice this season. Each year we evaluate areas on which we can improve for our members, and I think entering the 17/18 season, we have hit it out of the park," adds Kakabeeke.
 
Two of KOHA's newest Skills Team members (who both happen to be current Kalamazoo Wings) - Justin Taylor and Kyle Bushee - speak highly of Athletic Mentors:
 
"Mark came to us full time last season and his presence was noticed right from his opening address to our team. From first years to veterans, players were able to learn and improve on specific aspects of their game. Mark's workouts have helped aid me to be a more consistent player throughout the season," says Taylor.
 
Bushee, a Kalamazoo-area native and KOHA alum, adds, "Mark and his team at Athletic Mentors have been so beneficial to me the past two summers. I've gotten leaner, stronger and faster. I am excited for the opportunity Mark and his team will provide to KOHA's young athletes. They will see immediate benefits on the ice, attributed to the work they'll be putting in off the ice."
 
The new training facility is set to open in September for the youth user groups at Wings West. Plans to expand programming to the community are currently slated for after the first of the year 2018.
 

HOUSE B BRONCOS EVALUATION SKATE DATES & INFO

KOHA House B Broncos  2017 Evaluation Skates & Skills Skate Dates
 
We highly recommend that your player try to attend both evaluation skates in order to help us fairly evaluate him or her prior to the draft.
 
Wednesday, August 30th - First Evaluation Skates 
*10U B  5:30 to 6:30pm  Wings West - N Avenue off of 9th Street 
*12U B  6:45 to 7:45pm  Wings West - N Avenue off of 9th Street 
*14U B  8:00 to 9:00pm  Wings West - N Avenue off of 9th Street 
*Parent meetings for each age group at the beginning of each evaluation skate
 
Wednesday, September 6th - Second and Final Evaluation Skate 
10U B  5:30 to 6:30pm  Wings West - N Avenue off of 9th Street 
12U B  6:45 to 7:45pm  Wings West - N Avenue off of 9th Street 
14U B  8:00 to 9:00pm  Wings West - N Avenue off of 9th Street
 
Monday, September 11th – First skate with KOHA Skills Team & Off Ice Training with Athletic Mentors

On Ice                                      Off Ice Training
10U B  5:40 to 6:20pm                 6:30 to 7:10pm Wings West
 12U B  6:30 to 7:10pm                7:20 to 8:00pm Wings West
 14U B  8:10 to 8:50pm                9:10 to 9:50pm Wings West
 
*Coaches will be drafting the teams during the Skills Skates
 
Wednesday, September 13th  
Regular Season team practices begin

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD PDF OF SCHEDULE LISTED ABOVE 

   

TB LIGHTNING 4TH ROUND DRAFT PICK TO JOIN KOHA SKILLS TEAM

KALAMAZOO, MI – The Kalamazoo Optimist Hockey Association (KOHA) is serious about player development, and, you need to look no further than the Skills Team being assembled heading into the 2017-18 season by Interim Hockey Director, Matt Kakabeeke. Joining an already impressive lineup, KOHA is excited to announce that current KWing, and Tampa Bay Lightning fourth round draft pick (’10), Jimmy Mullin will be part of the Skills Team.

“I love helping the younger kids develop. Growing up in the Cincinnati area, I would be helped by the Cincinnati Cyclones, and it meant a lot to me. I want to teach kids, help them get better, and have fun along the way,” said Mullin. “My favorite part of the summer is going back to Shattuck St. Mary’s - where I played high school hockey - and where I train and coach hockey camps; I love working with young players.”

Mullin spent three years at Miami (Ohio) University (’11-’14) playing in the CCHA and NCHC then transferred to Minnesota State for his final year of eligibility.  He joined the KWings in August 2016, but spent the 16-17 season sidelined with a knee injury.

Mullin began skating and playing hockey at a young age, but credits much of his success on the ice to playing multiple sports, “Baseball, basketball, hockey, tennis, lacrosse, soccer, and golf. I don’t believe in kids just playing one sport growing up.” When asked how important getting away from the rink is summers was, Mullin said, “It was very important to me. My escape was playing other sports and being outside. Being a multi-sport athlete has lifelong benefits: coordination, flexibility, endurance, teamwork, time management, etc.”

“We are so excited to have Jimmy joining our players and coaches on the ice this coming season. He brings youthful energy, excitement, skill and the ability to connect with both coaches and players in an impactful way on the ice,” said Kakabeeke.

 

 

COACHES COLLEGE: AUG 28 & 29 WITH USA HOCKEY @ WINGS WEST

KALAMAZOO, MI - The Kalamazoo Optimist Hockey Association (KOHA) is once again holding its Annual Coaches College with USA Hockey on August 28th & 29th at Wings West Ice Arena. KOHA's Travel and House B coaches (head coaches and assistants) MUST attend one of the nights, and KOHA House C (including 6U/8U) coaches and helpers are highly encouraged to attend.

The agenda/content will be forthcoming, but will align with the 2017/18 initiatives including long term athlete development, skating, body contact/checking and goaltending which will give this year's Coaches College a fresh look with new content.

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ATTENTION COACHES! USA HOCKEY COACHING EDUCATION PROGRAM (CEP) CLINICS AT THE RADISSON HOTEL, KALAMAZOO, MI!

    Level 4 - September 15 & 16
    Level 1, 2 & 3 - September 16

      Presenters will include college, professional and international coaches

       

         

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