RED DEER - Hockey Alberta’s Coach of the Month for December is Kelsey Leifson, head coach of the Calgary Bantam Elite Fire Red. Kelsey had an overwhelming amount of support for this award.
Kelsey comes from a small town in Saskatchewan and recalls her favorite memories coming from the rink after school. Playing hockey from the age of six all the way until her last year of University, Kelsey’s passion for the game has since shifted into the coaching side of the sport. When Kelsey moved to Calgary, she started working with the MRU Cougars hockey team from 2014-2016, and this year took over the head coaching role for the AFHL’s Calgary Bantam Elite Fire Red team.
Kelsey’s coaching philosophy comes from her experience with hockey. “The life experiences and friendships I have gained through the game are impossible to replace and I believe in providing the players I coach with the same opportunities," she said. "I want my players to understand the importance of respect, accountability, and individuality as ultimately it is each individuals strength who bring success to the team together.”
Many of Kelsey’s players and parents from the team had wonderful things to say about their coach.
“I think my coach deserves this award because she stepped up for our team when we were in need. She’s not only there to make us better hockey players, but also better people,” said a player of Kelsey’s.
“Kelsey is an excellent role model for Female hockey players because she gets what it mean to be a female hockey player and she takes interest in every individual player," said another player of Kelsey’s. "Coach Kelsey encourages us to be confident in ourselves so we can work together on the ice.”
“She (Kelsey) has brought a positive infectious attitude to the team that the players are feeding off of every day. She has shown a passion for developing the total athlete both on and off the ice and has created an environment where every athlete is free to be the best they can be,” said a team parent.
“I truly admire her (Kelsey) and hope to grow to be like her one day she is, confident, strong, athletic, beautiful, and so smart. I’ve very glad that my coach has recreated an environment that I am proud to be a part of, and I’m so happy to have her as a coach,” said a third player, who also nominated Kelsey for the award.
December’s Coach of the Month winner was selected from a pool of female coach nominations, in anticipation of Alberta Hockey Day on January 21. To learn more about Alberta Hockey Day, click here.
For more details on Hockey Alberta’s Coach of the Month, click here.