Cynthia Newsome skates with the Missouri Mavericks

INDEPENDECE, Mo. - Ice hockey is one of those sports that involves speed, agility and confidence.  I've always wondered what it would be like to really play the game.  So, Missouri Mavericks Coach, Scott Hillman offered to give me a few lessons on the ice at the Independence Events Center in Independence, Mo.

I've been ice skating before, but I discovered skating in full hockey gear is a lot different.  I dressed in the helmet, shoulder pads, hip pads, shin guards and some type of glove device to protect my elbows and hands. When I stepped on the ice, I struggled to maintain my balance.

Coach Hillman was kind, offering me reassuring words as I tried to skate around the rink. As we skated, we talked about the Olympics in Sochi and what impact he believes the Olympics will have on youth involvement in winter sports here in the Kansas City metro area.

"Hopefully it introduces a lot of kids in this area to not just hockey, but ice sports in general and skating and figure skating," Hillman said. "It's fun to just get the awareness of all the winter sports into a non -traditional winter area like this.”

There are several youth hockey leagues in the Kansas City area.  Some teams practice and play at the Independence Events Center.  The events center also offers classes to every skill level in skating and hockey.  You can also come on your own and just enjoy ice skating.  For more information on classes and programs you can visit the Independence Events Center at,

My workout ended with three unsuccessful attempts to make a goal.  Finally on the fourth attempt...I scored!  I had a great time!  Thanks coach Hillman and go Mavericks!

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