Today’s blog is a question from a reader. She wants to know if her figure skating coaches behavior is normal.
“I’m really confused about what all the roles of a coach are. I’ve skated for a few years now and have had three different private coaches because my family moves around a lot.
I keep in touch with my first two coaches, they’re like family. They were always there for my competitions and tests and always encouraging me. But the coach I’ve been working with for the past few months is not.”
“I thought this new coach was just much more professional since he was a higher level skater than my other coaches and I was ok with that, I thought it was neat taking lessons from such a successful coach. But then I took my MIF test the other day. (I passed.) My coach couldn’t be there, so another coach put me on the ice. I understood. But when I saw my coach at the rink the next day he didn’t even ask me if I passed my test.”
“He’s old, so has he just had so many students test that it’s not a big deal for him or is he just a jerk? I don’t want to be coached by a jerk, even if my skating’s improving.”
A coaches job is to be a good role model, find your strengths as a skater and use those to make you the best possible skater you can be. Their job is to support you in whatever goals you may have as a skater. Some coaches are more professional or business like then others. There is nothing wrong with this, you just have to find a coach that works best with you, your personality and your goals.
I personally have a very good relationship with all my skaters. I am first and foremost their coach, but I genuinely care about them and I would do anything for them. Not only do I want to help them succeed in skating, but I want them to succeed in life. If they are having a bad day or are sad, I try harder to make them smile.
Congratulations on passing your test. I have never missed a test session for a skater. If one of my skaters is testing I make sure to take the day off of work if its during the week to be there. If I can’t be there I don’t want my skater testing that day. I know them better then anyone, I know how they work under pressure, and I know the little things they should be working on right before they get on the ice. I think many skaters feel more comfortable if I am there. Plus I want to be there and see them succeed. I understand that not all coaches will opperate the same way I do and I dont’ think there is anything wrong if a coach wants you to test and has someone else fill in for them once. If its a pattern, I would worry about it. As far as him not asking you if you passed, maybe it was an honest mistake. I would not consider myself old, but I have the worst possible memory ever. I don’t think I would forget something that important to me but I think you should give him a break. If you see that this is a pattern of him not being interested in your skating, or his coaching style isn’t working for you then talk to him about it and think about finding someone who is a better fit.
Readers: Have you had another coach fill in for you at a test session? How did it work? What would you do if you were in A’s position? Please help her with your opinions!