U.S. Coaches- what do you think?
Who are your favorites, and why?
Who are your least favorites, and why?
If you were a competitive figure skater, who would you want to be coached by?
Thought this would be a fun thread to start, enjoy.
Kori Ade and Damon Allen are my favourites - they both seem to be able to develop a special bond with their students (to the point that Lukas Kaugars was Damon's best man at his wedding!).
I don't much like Frank Carroll - I feel like he's a stodgy old man, stuck in his ways. But all my hatred is particularly reserved for Tom Zakrasjek, or as I often refer to him as, "EVIL Z". He breaks skaters. He ruins them. He deprives them of artistic development. I hate him so very, very much.
I hope one day when I travel to the US to take from Ilia Kulik, but if we are talking about other American coaches, I would love to take from Damon or from Christy Krall.
Oh dear. I'm traveling to CO later this summer and am taking from Zakrasjek... I'm scared now lol
Originally Posted by karne
I'll also be taking from Christy Krall; she's awesome.
Oh, oops! I didn't mean to frighten you. It's just that I'm an ardent Joshua Farris fan, and remembering THAT Nationals always makes me want to break things. Mostly Z.
Originally Posted by lutzlover
This has been discussed here many times over, but I'll reiterate it anyway: not every person needs a coach or mentor who has the kind of bond with them that Kori and Damon have developed with their skaters. Not every family needs that. I taught high school for 16 years and in that time, I coached competitive speech. Speech involves one on one coaching and subjective judging. It has a bit in common with skating in those two things. And I learned that different kids needed different things from a coach to thrive. My students could not run across town to a different coach, so I had to be what they needed.
Originally Posted by karne
As for Frank, say what you want about his coaching style. But insulting him based on his age seems extremely unnecessary. And no one can deny his results over the course of a very distinguished career. The man has probably forgotten more about coaching and skating than his younger counterparts yet know. And I highly suspect that the coaches you revere do respect him greatly.
I happen to think Frank Carroll is a genius and if I had a son or daughter who was an elite figure skater he would be my first choice for coach. He has results. He's demanding but that's why he's so good. All the criticism that was heaped on Gracie this year was pretty much unfair as he "inherited" her VERY late in the skating season. Let's see what he does with her this year.
I agree that not all skaters need a bond with their coach such as Jason's and Kori's. Just like in anything, every person has different needs to develop in their own way.
I think Mark Mitchell does a very good job. I thought Priscilla Hill did an amazing job with Johnny Weir and I always wished he had stayed with her. She kept him calm and focussed without all the Russian drama and angst that Tarasova and the Petrenkos brought to him.
Frank Carroll is an icon who has coached iconic skaters in his distinguished career. You can't argue with success. I wonder what Richard Callahan is doing these days. I also like John Nix and it seems Yuka Sato is starting to find her stride as a coach.
Frank got 2 more National titles for his skaters this year so say what you want but Gracie's transformation from the end of the GP season to Nationals was astonishing to say the least. She looked like a total skater not just a jumper. No one else could have done something like that in that short amount of time.
I'm trying to give Frank Carroll some slack this season, I wasn't happy when Grace went to him last year. However he seemed to keep "his" drama in check and I was pleased with her overall results. I still tend to cringe when I see his face though.
Christy Ness for what she did with Yamaguchi, even if she couldn't keep Bobek in line.
Carroll is great. Crotchety and angry. I love it.
Least favorite: Artunian. He seems like a really fun guy but I don't know if his coaching is all there. Maybe he takes on students with too many deficits and he can't smooth them out.
Were I a skater my dream coach would be Mao Asada and Suzuki would do all my choreography.
At the rink. Again.
Say what you want, but I've witnessed Frank Caroll coaching with my own two eyes, and I really appreciate his teaching style. One of my coaches took from him for awhile and has incorporated many similar approaches (the technique that FrankC employs, check the emotion at the door, let's do our job, and so on) but the one thing I asked him to consider incorporating is HOW Frank communicates correction. Many coaches (and people in general) use phrases like "That was better, but..." or "That was really good, but..." which can be demoralizing after a while to a skater because here you go out and finally do something in front of your coach for the first time and they're like "better, but..." and you feel like nothing is good enough - ever - to meet their exacting standards, even though they are already heading toward the NEXT thing and are happy that you are able to do it.
I heard Frank ask a skater to do something, he watched with a critical coach's eye. He gave a correction. On the next attempt, the skater made the correction he had given, but something else happened and the skater is still not technically correct (ie didn't land it clean). The conversation goes something to the effect of "the pick in was much better. That was exactly the change I wanted you to make. Good. ((PAUSE)) This next time, in addition to the pick in, I need you focus on making the transition to the landing side in the air a little quicker". In his communication style for the coaching correction, FrankC acknowledged that the skater had corrected the initial issue he had asked of them (pick in was better) and THEN addressed a second correction (transition to the landing side). The skater walks away from this exchange feeling better about the first correction instead of thinking "gosh, I just can't do ANYTHING to his liking!" I REALLY LIKED THIS!
I say all of this with experience:
Angelika Krylova is fab as is Tamara Moskvina. Yuka Sato and Jason D, are also great coaches.
OTOH, keep Tom Z and Marina Z away from me.
Frank Carroll or Tatiana Tarasova are the ones I'll take.
LOL I just realized this says US coaches. OOPS! Oh well. I'm keeping my post as is!
Last edited by IcyEdges; 07-09-2014 at 02:05 PM.
Reason: grammatical error
I took lessons from Carroll and found him to be very helpful and nurturing. Regardless of his "drama" or people's dislike for the grouchy old man persona many seem to think he displays, I think he's a great coach.
Originally Posted by mskater93
Arutunian, oh my god. You either love him or hate him. Very blunt and commanding. Well, at least for me. I was 14 when I took from him and he told me to lose weight if I was to land my double axel...If he had a bad lesson with Nathan (Chen), he'd be screaming at skaters the rest of the afternoon. However, he's a very good jumping coach.
I'd choose Frank Carroll over any other US coach.
Tom Z is not my cup of tea.
Is Artunian really a good jumping coach? Some of his students haven't really corrected or improved their jump quality under him. Just a thought.