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Thread: Coaches Who Treat Skaters as People First?

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    still fangirling for Toller... el henry's Avatar
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    Coaches Who Treat Skaters as People First?

    Just saw this very impressive article about Jason Brown's coach, Kori Ade, (and his impressive mother too)

    http://espn.go.com/espnw/athletes-li...er-jason-brown

    I cannot tell you how impressed I am by a coach who says, "I'd rather be called a second mom than the greatest jump technician in the figure skating world". Applause, Kori. And applause to the Browns for keeping Jason at home.

    So it made me wonder (particulalry since I took a 15 to 20 year break from watching skating and it took a Jason Brown to make me want to watch again): are there any other coaches out there like this? Who else should I applaud?

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    Custom Title Franklin99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by el henry View Post
    Just saw this very impressive article about Jason Brown's coach, Kori Ade, (and his impressive mother too)

    http://espn.go.com/espnw/athletes-li...er-jason-brown

    I cannot tell you how impressed I am by a coach who says, "I'd rather be called a second mom than the greatest jump technician in the figure skating world". Applause, Kori. And applause to the Browns for keeping Jason at home.

    So it made me wonder (particulalry since I took a 15 to 20 year break from watching skating and it took a Jason Brown to make me want to watch again): are there any other coaches out there like this? Who else should I applaud?
    I think Coach Sato falls in the "best coach" category. He seems to treat all of his skaters with respect and compassion.

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    Yulia and Ruslena team forever! Alba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by el henry View Post
    Just saw this very impressive article about Jason Brown's coach, Kori Ade, (and his impressive mother too)

    http://espn.go.com/espnw/athletes-li...er-jason-brown

    I cannot tell you how impressed I am by a coach who says, "I'd rather be called a second mom than the greatest jump technician in the figure skating world". Applause, Kori. And applause to the Browns for keeping Jason at home.

    So it made me wonder (particulalry since I took a 15 to 20 year break from watching skating and it took a Jason Brown to make me want to watch again): are there any other coaches out there like this? Who else should I applaud?
    I think it depends from a lot of things. Not everyone wants that or need that. It's not like other coaches treat their students as animals. Important thing is that you treat them with respect and with care, especialy when they are children.
    You don't have to be a "mom" as a coach. I'm not a FS but I studied violin and I started when I was 6 yrs old.
    I had to do that far away from home, 8 hrs drive, so I was sleeping in a dormitory with other 400 students like me (not all children).
    We went home twice per year only on vacation. I know what it means to sacrifice things since you are a child, and I know how important is the teacher's figure for you.

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    I always thought Annie Barabe treated her students really well, and was kind of like a mother figure for some of them. There was a fluff piece on her teaching Cynthia Phaneuf how to drive when she was in her teens. She also seemed quite close to Sawyer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alba View Post
    I think it depends from a lot of things. Not everyone wants that or need that. It's not like other coaches treat their students as animals. Important thing is that you treat them with respect and with care, especialy when they are children.
    You don't have to be a "mom" as a coach. I'm not a FS but I studied violin and I started when I was 6 yrs old.
    I had to do that far away from home, 8 hrs drive, so I was sleeping in a dormitory with other 400 students like me (not all children).
    We went home twice per year only on vacation. I know what it means to sacrifice things since you are a child, and I know how important is the teacher's figure for you.
    Wow, you did sacrifice a lot for your art. That's not an easy way of life, and I can see that the coach or teacher becomes even more important in such a situation.

    I have to supply one anecdote that shows a coach with a different approach. Frank Carroll once said that he was careful NOT to be like a parent to his students because they already had parents. I concluded that he didn't want to make for awkward situations where the skater would have to choose between paying attention to the coach and paying attention to the parent(s), so he established clear boundaries. But later on, as I thought about it and learned more, I wondered whether he had pulled back from closer relationships after Christopher Bowman left. I think he was really devoted to Bowman, whom he had coached since childhood, and he was deeply burned by Bowman's failure to stay on the straight and narrow.

    Another great relationship between coach and student: Linda Leaver and Brian Boitano. I think she's been his only coach throughout most of his skating life. Of course, we also have to mention Mishin and Plushenko. Mishin coached almost all of the great Russian male skaters of the past twenty years, but he clearly has a special relationship with Plushy, which appears to be close to father-son.

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    Yulia and Ruslena team forever! Alba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    I have to supply one anecdote that shows a coach with a different approach. Frank Carroll once said that he was careful NOT to be like a parent to his students because they already had parents. I concluded that he didn't want to make for awkward situations where the skater would have to choose between paying attention to the coach and paying attention to the parent(s), so he established clear boundaries. But later on, as I thought about it and learned more, I wondered whether he had pulled back from closer relationships after Christopher Bowman left. I think he was really devoted to Bowman, whom he had coached since childhood, and he was deeply burned by Bowman's failure to stay on the straight and narrow.
    It might be very well because of Bowman. I mean it's natural, so I wouldn't be surprised there. In anycase, there are coaches like this, who doesn't want to be a parent for different reasons. It might be for the motive you thought at the beginning, or might be that they simply do not belive in that approach.

    Another great relationship between coach and student: Linda Leaver and Brian Boitano. I think she's been his only coach throughout most of his skating life. Of course, we also have to mention Mishin and Plushenko. Mishin coached almost all of the great Russian male skaters of the past twenty years, but he clearly has a special relationship with Plushy, which appears to be close to father-son
    Mishin is a good example. He does seam to have that relationship with Plushy, although he gives the impression of a Nazi. , but I think it's because Plushy always trusted in him and Mishin approach suited him. On the other hand Yagudin for example needed something else, like big mom TAT.

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    I think Bryan Orser. He really seem to be close to Javier and Yuzuru.

    And also Hiroshi Nagakubo, Akiko Suzuki, who stopped her when she was sick with Anorexia and helped her get better again.

    After 3.11 earthquake in Japan. Nanami Abe (Hanyu´s former coach) drive herself her students to places where they could practice

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    Custom Title BlackPack's Avatar
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    There must have been some wonderful coaches over whom we probably don't hear about, because they're not big names.

    I always thought it was sad that as soon as a skater becomes a bigger name, he or she will have to leave the coach who taught him or her everything and go to a "real" coach. It's sad but in the quest for better political connections and techniques to reach the top, sometimes skaters have to leave these very pivotal players in their lives behind.

    When the USSR dismantled, the sports machine crumbled and many of the former Soviet coaches stepped up to the plate to help out struggling students. I don't know if Baiul and Zmievskaya ever mended their ties, but Baiul lived with her and her daughter for a time, as we all know, Baiul was an orphan with nowhere to go to. Sasha Abt's coach Volkov died of cancer and had to go to Sweden for work for a time, but he made sure Abt went to the very capable Rafael Arytunian who did a lot to help him grow. Sadly, Abt thought Rafael wasn't helping much towards the end of his career and went to his pal Zhulin. I think Mishin is really only the kindest to Plush - he brought Plush from a small Russian town and even provided him with boarding. Plush even said that Mishin taught him how to use forks and knives properly.

    Frank Carroll must have gone through so much heartbreak over his students - Michelle and Bowman especially. He even said that when skating families invite him to dinner, he declines. He doesn't want to cross boundaries.

    Moskvina helped Berezhnaya learn how to skate and train again. A lesser woman wouldn't be able to help a near-invalid regain not only her motor and verbal skills but to become an elite skater again. Of course, Anton did a lot to help Elena as well.

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    Yulia and Ruslena team forever! Alba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackPack View Post
    Moskvina helped Berezhnaya learn how to skate and train again. A lesser woman wouldn't be able to help a near-invalid regain not only her motor and verbal skills but to become an elite skater again. Of course, Anton did a lot to help Elena as well.
    I remember Moskvina helped M&D as well with food and their costumes.

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    Rinkside
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackPack View Post
    Frank Carroll must have gone through so much heartbreak over his students - Michelle and Bowman especially. He even said that when skating families invite him to dinner, he declines. He doesn't want to cross boundaries.
    I think Frank was also very close to Linda Fratianne and her family. But I think his passion for skating is obvious, and that it's going to happen with him...

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    Osborne Colson who was Patrick Chan's coach seemed like a really amazing person, apparently he was like a grandfather to him and Chan was even by his side when he passed away. My friend who's a figure skating coach for Skate Canada said everybody loved Osborne and he was someone everybody got along with, he seems like someone who treats his skaters really well

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    Tripping on the Podium
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    I read something about Mishin. He has helped Tuktamysheva and her mom to find an appartment when they moved to St.Petersburg and also helped Liza's mom to find a job in a new place.

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    Custom Title plushyfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alba View Post
    Mishin is a good example. He does seam to have that relationship with Plushy, although he gives the impression of a Nazi. , but I think it's because Plushy always trusted in him and Mishin approach suited him. On the other hand Yagudin for example needed something else, like big mom TAT.
    OMG! Why do you think so that?? Mishin has an interseting personality. He has a great sense of humour. He helped many poor skaters to live and learn to skate in St. Petersburg. Plushy was helped by him too. He organizes "Mishin training camp", where the little skaters are paying for the lessons, but the poor skaters train there for free.
    I show you a story from Tom Zakrajsek about Mishin
    https://www.facebook.com/permalink.p...24453407653386

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    I do think Alba is on to something: That different coaches suit different skaters, and there's no one "perfect" coach. Instead, it's about finding the right relationship, the right fit. It's probably best not to talk about which coaches are best, but which ones are best for specific skaters. Mishin, for instance, was a good fit for Plush but not for Yags. The impression I got is that Mishin is rather strict (that's not necessarily bad, of course), especially when you're still a developing skater. Some people thrive under those circumstances; others rebel. And then there's the fact that having two elite skaters in one rink is always trouble, no matter how fair or capable the coach is. No fault of anyone in particular--just the situation and the clash of personalities.

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    In search of a summer sport to love <3 desertskates's Avatar
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    I remember that Angela Nikodinov had a very close relationship with her coach, Elena Tcherkasskaia. I had to google the spelling of her name and came up with this article:
    http://articles.latimes.com/2002/jan.../sp-plaschke08
    I'm not sure who else she coached, but it seems she would have treated everyone well. I felt so horrible for Angela when she dies, and then her mother died a few years later.

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