INTERVIEW: Kristen Kjellman

Once named as the “most successful player” in women’s lacrosse history, Kristen Kjellman is an iconic sportswoman, racking up an endless list of sporting achievements – not least playing a vital role in the USA’s stunning victory at the 2009 World Cup in Prague.

At age 26, Kristen has achieved more than many lacrosse players can ever dream of. Recruited to the Northwestern Wildcats in 2003 by head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller, the Boston native quickly proved her laxing prowess, starting all 18 games for the Wildcats in her first year and becoming the first lacrosse player (man or women) to be named as the Tewaarton Trophy winner for two consecutive years.

Despite her endless list of achievements however, Kristen remains incredibly humble, attributing much of her past success to the hard work of her teammates and coaches.

“I truly don’t believe I would have had the same success if it weren’t for Coach Amonte-Hiller,” she says.

“She completely boosted my confidence and made me want to be a better player. I always wanted to try and play like her.

“If it weren’t for my high school coach, Leslie Frank, Kelly, and my incredible teammates, there is no way that I would have been able to reach the levels I have.”

Beginning her lacrosse career in the 8th grade (year 9 for the Brits), Kristen quickly developed a passion for the fast-paced game, earning herself a coveted spot on the varsity team in her Freshman year.

Following her second year on the team, the midfielder was selected to attend one of Coach Amonte Hiller’s summer camps where her talent was soon spotted.

Having watched and learned from Kelly’s career, Kristen explains that she jumped at the chance to work with the coaching legend: “After working with [Coach Amonte Hiller] at camp and watching her interact with her current players, I knew it would be a good fit for me.

“So when I got the opportunity to commit, I jumped on it!”

From her first game as a Northwestern Wildcat, Kristen proved her remarkable abilities, impressing both players and coaches alike with her natural talent and impressive stick skills.

Both Kristen and the team went from strength to strength and, when she graduated from the college in 2007, the team had claimed three consecutive National Championships, not to mention Kristen was ranked as the team’s all-time highest goal scorer and had been named as Inside Lacrosse’s Rookie of the Year, three-time American Lacrosse Conference Player of the Year and three-time National midfielder of the year, to name a few!

“I never knew my lacrosse career would have hit such highs,” she explains.

“I tried to always stay confident in myself and my game, but never would have imagined I could have come so far personally in the sport.”

Kristen now works for Nike Lacrosse and remains highly involved with the sport on a number of levels, helping to motivate and guide new generations of players with advice, tips and tricks sure to help any budding (or experienced) laxers.

Now, ArchLevel Lacrosse are offering you a chance to train alongside the legend herself when she travels over to the UK for the ALLPro Tours in August.

“I’m extremely excited for the trip,” Kristen says. “’I’m a little uncertain of what lacrosse is currently like over in the UK. I went on a trip over there in High School to play several schools in England and Wales… but that was almost 10 years ago… so I’m sure it’s come a long way.”

Kristen’s will be in the UK from August 23 – 28 with the ALLPro Tours. To book your spot at one of her clinics head over to www.archlevellacrosse.com.

3 Comments

  1. I’m not even a lacrosse player but this woman is amazing! If only lacrosse was an olympic sport, she could be a real star

  2. well done to Arch Level in bringing Kjellman to the UK

    I like the fact that she credits her Coach Kelly Amonte-Hiller

    KAH is an inspirational coach and Northwestern have been a revelation under her

    I would recommend anyone to watch a game involving Northwestern, they have changed the way the women’s game is played on offense and defense.

    They are fun to watch Christy Finch, Hannah Neilsen (Aus), Danielle Spenser & Katrina Dowd are others who have starred under her tutelage.

  3. We’re so excited for Kristen to come over and share some of the lacrosse-ing wisdom that she learnt under Kelly AH, who has certainly done amazing things for Northwestern during her time as coach. Everyone over here in the UK is really excited to hear what Kristen has to say and just to see her in action on the pitch! Watching on ESPN just isn’t the same…!

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