About the Author

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Jamie McKinven, author of “So You Want Your Kid to Play Pro Hockey?” and “Tales from the Bus Leagues,” is a former professional hockey player who played in the NCAA, ECHL, CHL and Europe. After hanging up the blades, McKinven spent parts of four years coaching at the Tier II Jr. A level in Ontario and is currently running clinics in skill development and power skating.

Over the course of his career, McKinven scratched and clawed, sacrificed and laid it all on the line only to fall short of playing in the NHL, experiencing his ultimate dream. Along the way, while riding the buses, living paycheque to paycheque and spending the summers living in his grandmother’s basement, he discovered a great deal about life, love and the value of following through on a dream.  Jamie McKinven was a star as well as a healthy scratch. He won a championship and finished dead last. Scored an overtime winner and cost his team a game, and through it all, experienced a lifetime of memories that spanned two continents, seven countries and eight leagues.


Contact Jamie:                                                        Follow him on Twitter:

jamiemckinven@gmail.com                                   @McKinvenJ44




30 Comments on “About the Author”

  1. Hi Jamie – what are your thoughts on the new rules on no body-contact at the Pee Wee level? Thanks!

  2. Hi Jamie, I was reading your book earlier and saw the poster that the Lynx had created where you were nicknamed “The Torpedo.” How did you get that nickname?

  3. Hi Jamie,
    I hear you are a pretty awesome road hockey goalie, where did you get your skills from?

    1. I learned everything I know from Chris Neilsen. He taught me how to snap the glove out there.

      You should see me with a bowstaff though. I have serious skills…

  4. Haha….Nielsen is a bum.
    Good to hear from you, been a long time friend.
    Enjoy the articles bud, keep em coming.

  5. Jamie,

    I have come across your glass and out articles and just wanted to say thanks and keep up the good work. It’s a daily education process on what’s important for the kids and the game we all love.

    I believe we would have played against each other when you were at Clarkson and I was at Brown !

    Keep up the great work.

    Paul Esdale

    1. Thanks Paul! I definitely remember you. I think I also played against you in the CHL. Thanks for the encouragement and I hope you’re doing well!


  6. Jaime,

    you got a fan in me. Best wishes and keep the stuff coming. Thanks to Coach Chic for letting me know you are out there.


  7. Keep Up the great job bud these articles are great for the players on my U18 team. Hope all is well.

  8. Jamie,
    I really like your site and your story. I am working on some really cool developments in Detroit that you might be interested in hearing about (athletic apparel line). Drop me a line if you have interest. I’d like to hear more about your triumphs and trials and I can tell you about some of mine.
    Craig Chappell, Center – Over 40, Farmington Hills Hockey Association
    Detroit, Mich.

  9. Hey Jamie, I just read your article on Tips for survival for minor hockey parents. Our team has had a rough week..These boys are playing Select 7 and for most, this is their first year of rep hockey. Needless to say, the parents are starting to have high expectations, and forgetting this is still a year for development, and fun. My husband is coaching. He has had a tough week dealing with some parents. The thing is, this article is everything he is. He is such an amazing guy, amazing coach but all the whispers and politics this past week you can tell is catching up with him, and the kids..but for the coach, I hate seeing him feel conflicted when he is the one person who is all about the kids. I wish you had time to come to a practice, talk to the kids and reassure my husband inside that what he is really doing, how he really is coaching, is pretty amazing. Thanks for the great article, I think I may just pass it along to the team parents.

    1. Hi Chrissy. Thanks for commenting! The best thing great coaches like your husband can do is try to ignore the politics and keep preaching and practicing great values. He needs to know deep down that he’s doing it the right way and the kids will greatly benefit from it. It’s tough because coaches rarely get the pats in the back they deserve but are always scolded when people don’t agree with their methods. Just keep supporting and reassuring him. At the end of the day, it’s family and friends whose opinions matter most. The hyenas will always be there. They aren’t worth the stress and effort because in order to change, they need to realize the error in their perception.

  10. Two Great articles. “Don’t be that Guy” and “10 Reasons”. I am currently minor hockey coach and a minor hockey parent. You are so bang on about both posts. I’m a bit embarrassed by the coach article, good reminder of what not to do so thank you. You are also so right about the parents out there. It is truly fascinating to me the behavior. Keep writing, I for one appreciate the insight and help.

  11. Hi Jamie
    I just read 2 of your articles ( cold dry hands and when in doubt). I must say you described my situation spot on. From the beginning when the coach had someone else come to our house to tell us our kid would be on the bench at the beginning of the season to traveling to tournaments and watching my kid sit on the bench for an entire period with his head down ( spending hundreds of dollars to watch other kids play ). I’m am so sad for my son who is 11 and now doesn’t believe in himself. The worst is he sees what’s going on. I now have put him in a bad situation for if he stays down , plays on a different team next year he will never hear the end of it from the cocky players on his team at school and believe they let you know. Or if he stays he will always be the expendable crew member. I believe now this is why they put him on team because my family does not complain. I’m truly so sad I wake up at night and think about it. We will get through it but it makes me so made the coaches are ALLOWED to break an 11 year old. Thanks for seeing my perspective

  12. Brilliant advice and tips Jamie. I have learned a great deal from your pieces. I am a football (soccer) coach with AIK football club in Stockholm, Sweden and your advice and tips apply across all sports. Like your advice that parents should take a step back and think about how they behave and act when it comes to children in sport. Being a football coach and father of a U8 footballer kid I have had to take a step back and allow how him to have his own expectations and ambitions – and not impress my own on him. ALL parent should do this.

    I’ve sent you a link to a list of advice and tips I wrote for parents of young footballers. It was adapted by US Hockey for hockey parents and players and they put it up on their site. I don’t know – some people might find it useful.

    Keep up the good work.


    1. Hi David,

      Thanks for checking in. That’s a great piece you’ve put together with a lot of crucially important tips. Would you mind if I posted it on my blog with reference to you and USA Hockey? Do you have a website or Twitter account a can direct readers to?


  13. Cheers Jamie

    Yes, please use it – I’d be honoured. I’m on twitter @lynchdavid841. I have a blog coming soon, but it’s all about football (soccer where you are). However, on reading your material I think there are many parallels to be drawn. You wouldn’t (I didn’t) believe the response I received from writing that list – my 8 year-old football playing son and I were on national television, on the front page of Sweden’s biggest daily and on national radio. I think perhaps that common sense is lacking in this country.

    I’ll recommend my hockey parents to visit your site.

    Great site, great writing – well done you 🙂

  14. What are your thoughts on a minor hockey coach insisting on head coaching two teams (novice and peewee) during the same season?

    1. I think that it’s incredibly hard to dedicate a full concentrated, high quality effort into coaching two competitive teams, concurrently in the same season. Unless there was a shortage of people volunteering to coach and they needed to take on two teams, I would say it isn’t in anyone’s best interest.

  15. Hey Jamie, Thanks for your time and insight, hockey daddy at the bantam level, you could probably have saved some hair on my head if I would have found this 8 years ago. Our assoc. has banned all knowledge from the bench, the coach is an 18 year old, great kid, he’s been thrown on the sacrificial alter by the board as a puppet for the fanatical few that think there kids have been born into royalty. Thanks for your posts, it’s all fact and tragic. All about the kids don’t apply unfortunately.

  16. Hi Jamie, I so appreciate this article, my son is now being coached by an “old fashion coach” that’s what I nicknamed this coach, the most scary part out of this is that we are not allowed to say anything as this coach seems to be so well protected by members of our association as well as a few parents, the first time I saw him scream and throw his helmet on the ice out of anger our son was 7. This year when I found out he was coaching our son’s provincial team, I was so discouraged and tried to convince our son to play rec hockey with no luck… I appreciate your article and now know this is unacceptable behaviour, you are describing our current coach to a T, I hope you keep on doing what you are doing… your voice of reasoning for our children and their love of hockey should be heard by everyone 😉 I will be sharing this with my son…

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