Jr. Sun Devils bring aboard power skating expert Keil
Expect to see an improvement this season in DYHA Jr. Sun Devils players’ skating.
And be sure to thank Kristina Keil for that.
As the organization’s new director of power skating, Keil is working specifically with the Mites and Lil’ Devils, in addition to those that partake in the Monday night skills sessions. She also offers private lessons.
“The DYHA hockey director, Brad McCaughey, is a big proponent of power skating and the positive effects it has on a player’s overall development and game,” said Keil. “We were introduced through a mutual acquaintance and then we started to discuss the opportunities available in the DYHA for a power skating coach. Having been a successful power skating coach for eight years with a prominent company in Michigan (Keil Power Skating), I was excited for the opportunity to branch out and to help build stronger skaters in a new community.”
Keil added that she was attracted to DYHA “by the desire from coaches and players to build a program centered around skating improvement.”
“The organization puts a heavy emphasis on skills development and I’m looking forward to being a part of a team of coaches that values the potential for development of the players in the association,” Keil said. “I am hopeful that power skating will become an integral part of every hockey player’s development. My long-term goals include introducing a skating treadmill in the Phoenix area and building off of all of the current work I do on ice. I am eager to see what the future holds.”
An Ann Arbor, Mich., native, Keil began coaching power skating in 2012 with Keil Power Skating located in her hometown, providing teams, camps, and individuals in the Metro Detroit area with basic and advanced power, speed, agility, and technique on-ice training. Upon becoming a senior instructor within the company, she also began training players on the All-N-Stride skating treadmill in 2016. The skating treadmill helps players work on stride mechanics and efficiency and also breaks down the stride itself, building it back up, and then addressing speed, power and explosiveness.
Growing up, Keil also lived on the East Coast while attending a college preparatory school in Connecticut. She graduated from Michigan State University in 2016 with a degree in Business Hospitality and made the move from Michigan to Arizona this past August.
“All of my family resides back in Michigan, but I do have a loving two-year-old yellow lab named Jax,” said Keil. “He is not a fan of my hockey sticks but will swim and play fetch until he drops.”
This season, Keil plans to focus on helping the players improve and enhance their skating techniques.
“From proper knee bend to edgework as well as overall balance and agility, my goal is to empower the skaters to become more proficient in their game play,” Keil said. “And I am looking forward to connecting with the players. While drills, practice and repetition are definitely important, I am very passionate about what I do, and I believe that creating a connection and bond with each of my students is essential. Athletes are more willing to learn and work hard when a trusting environment has been established.
“Nothing is better than connecting with and watching kids grow to become amazing athletes as well as young adults.”
Keil noted that she was introduced to power skating at a young age and grew up believing that it was important for the success of her career.
“I spent roughly 10 years being a student and working on perfecting my own techniques, which is where I soon discovered that I loved helping others learn,” said Keil. “So as the saying goes, ‘the student became the teacher.’ I’ve spent the past eight years assisting hockey players become the best versions of themselves and I can honestly say that I love my job.”
— Matt Mackinder
(Oct. 8, 2019)