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14U/16U: Inside the Speed of Kendall Coyne Schofield

10/22/2019, 9:45am MDT
By Michael Rand

Coyne Schofield shares some of her speedy secrets

Kendall Coyne Schofield has won two Olympic medals (one gold, one silver) and six World Championship gold medals for the U.S. Women’s National Team, but the number that might stand out the most in her illustrious hockey career is 14.326.

That was the speed, in seconds, in which Coyne Schofield completed the fastest skater skills challenge at the 2019 NHL All-Star Game. That placed her seventh among eight competitors, but it was more than enough to reinforce what is plain to see: She has elite speed – good enough to go blade-to-blade with the NHL’s best.

Coyne Schofield shared some of her speedy secrets.

Hockey Butt

Coyne Schofield says she generates a lot of her speed and power from her lower body and core.

“I do a lot of one-legged workouts and explosive workouts – Olympic lifts and things like that,” said Coyne Schofield, a native of Palos Heights, Illinois. “I would think a lot of my power comes from my trunk. They call it hockey butt for a reason. I’m not very big, but that part of me tends to be.”

Doing the work off the ice gives her the confidence and strength to stay strong on the puck.

“When I go on the ice, I’m always challenging myself to be a better skater,” she said. “It’s about not being afraid to fall. It’s all about edge control, getting uncomfortable and then more comfortable on edges.”

Shifting Gears

Raw speed is one thing, and it can be used to devastating effects as Coyne Schofield has shown repeatedly in her career. But an often overlooked part of skating and speed is the ability to switch gears.

“Speed is my asset, but what I take pride in is my adjustments in my career to use speed more effectively,” she said. “Anyone can skate fast north to south, but I need to be able to use speed effectively to get around a defender, to make a defender back off. In all aspects of my game I need it to be effective.”

Nothing for Granted

Coyne Schofield has never been tall (even now she’s listed at just 5-foot-2), but she’s always played with a sense of purpose. 

“When I was a kid playing with boys and having a ponytail coming out of my helmet, I knew I couldn’t be slow,” she said. “I dedicate a lot of my time to make up for my lack of size.”

It perhaps could have been easy to glide by on good genes. 

“My dad is very fast. He’s 64 now, so I finally stopped racing him. But speed is definitely something that’s genetic with me and my siblings,” Coyne Schofield said. “People when I was young would tell me how fast I was but that I couldn’t get any faster. I used that as a challenge to be a better skater and to work on every aspect of my game.”

What She Can Control

One of Coyne Schofield’s keys to success is to use setbacks and failures as motivation.

“I remember my first camp in 2007 with USA Hockey, and my first evaluation, everything was fine for me except one category said ‘fair,’ and it was strength,” she recalled. “I was 5-feet, 105 pounds. That checked box still resonates with me to that day. I want to be in the best shape I can be for my teammates and game.”

That motivates her in her workouts, where she pushes her entire body with a focus on her lower body and core – helping her avoid getting rubbed off the puck by bigger players.

Her strength comes from her attitude, and her attitude is a strength.

“I never want to hear that I’m not strong enough because that’s 100 percent in my control,” she said.

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