Queensland Schoolboys representative Hayden Michel has capped a terrific year with a successful tour of New Zealand.
Queensland Schoolboys representative Hayden Michel has capped a terrific year with a successful tour of New Zealand. David Nielsen

Valuable help keeps Ipswich teenager improving

ASKED how he copes with so many hockey responsibilities each weekend during the season, Hayden Michel smiles before answering: "Dedicated parents''.

His father Rod has a long-standing background in speed, endurance, strength and conditioning programs, setting up a family gym that helps Hayden.

"That, and motivation, and the fact that it is just available to you,'' Hayden said of Rod's valuable guidance.

"I don't have to sign up to a gym or anything like that. I can just do it in my backyard.''

Rod also helps Hayden's Brisbane Division 1 team Valleys improve their fitness levels.

Mum Kerri (nee Kinnane) is a former Australian athletics champion who also plays hockey.

"She's definitely been a big help . . . feedback after games and stuff like that,'' he said.

And popular community figures Rod and Kerri are Hayden's taxi drivers as he finishes school.

Hayden also appreciates the extra help he receives from Olympic silver medal-winning Valleys mentor Lee Bodimeade and other coaches he's involved with in Brisbane and Ipswich.

With his umpire development, Michel is grateful for assistance from people like Bernadette Gotting, Leonie Young, Robert McLeod, Steve Rogers, Pauline Alchin and Adam Barry.

Hayden is a fourth generation member of the well-known Kinnane family.

"I aspire to continue that (strong family traditions) but I'm my own person,'' he said.

"We'll see what next year brings. I'm obviously going to try hard and work on myself and try and improve.''