What do your skating sessions look like? Do you focus on edge work and agility?

As a short-track speed skater, most of my methods come from years of training and coaching speed skating on Olympic and NHL sized rinks, combined with my former work with college and pro hockey players. No other time in the NHL and upper levels of hockey has speed and acceleration been more important. Being able to utilize an entire rink using top speed requires exceptional lateral mobility, crossover acceleration and power, so much of what my skaters work on is technique and overspeed (using long, powerful strides). Full-ice drills are interspersed with game situation agility work, transitional skating, acceleration and lateral mobility (e.g. crossover) work.


How soon will I see results? How many times a week is the best for your type of training?

As in most training environments, consistency is the key to improvement. While a minimum of one time a week is really needed to achieve results, two is probably the ideal during the season. Spring and Summer camps have proven that monumental gains can be made in a relatively short period of time with regular work.

For example, this past summer at Popovic Hockey Academy, where I served as our primary skating coach, our skaters saw an average of a 6% increase in speed after just 9 weeks of skating 2-4 times a week. To put that in perspective, those who attended regularly improved their one lap skating times by over a second in many cases, even our junior and college level players. More skating means more reps, which doesn’t just translate to perfected technique, but also strength gains, both which are needed for increased power and speed.

Do you offer private lessons?

With few exceptions, I do not offer private lessons. My methods are best suited for small-group, full-ice work where I can get the most appropriate work-rest ratio built into a session. Passing and shooting are built into most drills, and the energy needed to keep the sessions fast paced requires a group of motivated players.

Exceptions are made for current clients who may need an individual session to break down, study and/or enhance or correct specific technique issues. Out-of-town, high-level players who may want detailed work and video analysis on technique can also be accommodated.

Can I skate with other coaches if I commit to your program?

Absolutely! My coaching is very specific and focuses on primarily skating speed and power, with agility and mobility in mind — all at game tempo. You may find yourself wanting to take a step back and work on basic edges, or specific moves in an isolated environment, in which case a traditional power skating coach with a figure skating background may be more appropriate. Other coaches can provide complimentary coaching to my program with more skills-specific instruction. I do have an extensive network of coaches and can refer clients to who are looking for other skill development such as shooting, stick handling, and other game-appropriate skills.

I also have a network of strength and conditioning coaches, mental coaches, dieticians, physical therapists and other medical professionals if needed.

I see you have a waiting list. How do you select who will fill open spots?

Because my program is an elite program with high-level, highly motivated players, I take players based on if they will be a good “fit.” My requirements are very simple: Each client must be extremely self-motivated, focused and compete at a high level. Session pace is largely determined by the most mature and best players, so both parity and attitude are critical. Personal familiarity with the client is helpful, and I may ask for recommendations from coaches.

I have a very highly motivated, skilled 10-year-old that works very hard. Can you make an exception?

Currently, I do not work with ages below Midget (15u +) for many of the reasons previously mentioned. Exceptions are occasionally made for extremely advanced Bantam, as well as girls who tend to be further along in their physical and “training age.” Please contact me for discussion and assessment.

“Both of our sons started with Shannon over one year ago. During that time, both boys have taken tremendous literal “strides” in their skating. Her knowledge and dedication to their development is unparalleled. Because she keeps her groups very small, she is able to tailor her instruction and focus on their personal development. The game of hockey is changing and being a top notch skater is paramount, Shannon understands that and will take your son or daughter to the next level.”

 – Michael C.