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What People are saying about Skating First Hockey

"Coach Kris creates a positive, hardworking atmosphere my son always looks forward to attending. She breaks down the skills and through repetition and attention to detail, really makes positive change that translates to hockey game time."

Parent of '12 Mentor Youth Hockey Assoication

"I met Kris and her daughter at an open skate one cold, snowy Sunday afternoon before COVID hit when my son was in his 1st year of ADM. While there might have only been a total of five people at open skate that day, Kris came over and started talking to us. After a couple minutes, you could see how warm and genuine she was and how her interaction with kids was extremely positive and effortless. At the end of the session, I asked for a business card since she mentioned doing skating lessons and summer workout programs with kids. I didn’t contact Kris until a couple years later, after my son had two years of ADM and was starting on a travel Mite 8U team at age 7. He loved the game of hockey and playing with his teammates, but some skills were falling behind; particularly edge work and the ability to stop properly. He just could not hockey stop nor snowplow… so really stopping in general which left him frustrated, embarrassed, and tentative at times. This was a real problem because he loved to skate fast in a race to the puck. In all the instruction thus far, he had been in programs with too many kids per coach and it had become clear that individual focus of his short coming was not going to get attention. When they taught stopping in learn-to-skate and ADM, he just didn’t get it and now on a travel Mite team, they expected him to know that skill at this point as they were teaching hockey and more advanced skating. I played hockey as a kid, but on feet… not skates. So, I checked YouTube on how to hockey stop, we watched instructional videos, tried to practice, and he still ended up with alternate methods that were ineffective and dangerous. I remembered Kris. This literally has changed everything for him. I cannot explain that any other way – 100% changed everything. My dad who watches my son’s practices and games via LiveBarn has told me repeatedly that the lessons with Kris have been the best hockey money I have ever spent. In the 1st lesson it was very apparent that I made the right decision. After evaluating his skating, she was down on the ice physically moving the position of his feet / skates to show him the proper technique time and time again as he tried to unlearn the dangerous habits that were now part of his normal process. We tried to get as much time with Kris as we could in between practice and games, and it still only amounted to about one (1) lesson per month. She was not only working on stopping with him as the primary focus of the lesson at first, but then as he improved she incorporated edge work, balance drills, proper posture, C-cuts, backwards skating, skating stride and long push technique for better speed and power, crossovers, quick starts, etc. I will say that my son has worked hard outside of her lessons to practice what she shows him. We take the drills that she shows us and do them during warmups before practice starts, occasional open skates, summer session ice time, etc. (i.e. doing our homework) so that he is ready to show her his progress and get to the next set of drills. Just over 1-year later and his progress has made him a very competitive skater amongst his peers. We still go to Kris, the learning is not done. My son truly enjoys his lessons with her and will 100% do more for her than when I ask. We call Kris his “Special Coach.” That is what she has been for us, someone very special who has taken time and genuine interest to help him. After a recent session when Kris commented on the progress my son has made in only one year, she asked him to pick words that would describe how he did that. He said courage and confidence. Kris added determination (which he had to ask what that meant… he is only 8). Those three words sum up a lot of this past year while taking a young kid who’s struggling to do an activity they love and making them believe that they can do it; both in terms of the mental and physical aspects. We honestly cannot thank her enough after each lesson. And I hope that my words connect somebody else with Kris that really needs her help. "

Parent of Mentor Youth Hockey AssociationPlayer

"My son has been working with Kris for the past 6 months. During that time he has done group sessions, private ice and treadmill instruction, and even yoga with her. From his first session he has loved being coached by Kris. She has taken him from an average skater to one of, if not the best skater on his team, only to be challenged by other kids that have spent similar amounts of time with Kris. Kris has always focused on proper technique before all else and by doing so has lengthened his stride, made him explosively fast, and all other movements surgically precise. None of this would be possible if it wasn’t for her fantastic approach. Kris holds her students to a very high standard and is constantly pushing them to be better, but does it in a way that is still fun and engaging for them. Every time my son comes off the ice he is drenched in sweat, smiling ear to ear, and telling us about what he and Kris were joking about. What more can you ask for?"

Parent of '12 Player Geauga Youth Hockey Association

"Kris has been working with my son for several years and I have seen significant improvement in his skating. I have been coaching hockey for more than 20 years and have played for 45 years and I have not seen someone who is as focused on the most important part of the game as Kris. Kids need to work on the fundamentals from a very young age and need to continually improve their skating technique as they grow. The smallest things can make the difference between someone being a good skater or a great skater…and they can make a significant difference in the amount of effort a skater needs to exert to skate during a game. In addition to being an outstanding instructor, Kris is great with kids and makes her sessions an enjoyable experience for kids."

Parent of '08 Player Mentor Youth Hockey Association

"Oliver's progress since Coach Kris started working with him about one year ago has been phenomenal. She breaks down each move and builds the right fundamentals for hockey skills. He is always happy to work with her and she brings his best out on the ice. All of his teammates who have worked with her have seen tremendous improvement."

Parent of '10 Player Geauga Youth Hockey Association

"My son skated with Kris for 10 years, from learn to skate through bantams, in individual, group, and team sessions. I also had the good fortune to work with her when I was coaching hockey at Cleveland Heights. I’ve rarely come across a more positive and energetic person than Kris, and that translates to players working on their skills. They’re excited to work with her, and her passion for coaching hockey players really comes out in all she does on the ice. I would highly recommend Kris for anybody looking for instruction for their players; from those just learning to skate, all the way up through those high level players who are looking for continuous improvement. She’s great with kids of all ages and really knows how to bring proper and powerful skating techniques to hockey."

Parent of former player in Cleveland Heights Youth Hockey

"Our son, who is currently a senior in high school, has taken lessons from Kris for about ten years. She has been a fabulous coach and mentor through the many levels of skating development and continues to observe and tweak his skating today; he would not be the skater he is today without her instruction. Many people have great skating technqiue but it is an art to be able to teach those skills to others and Kris is one of those people!"

Parents of '01 Cleveland Heights High Player

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