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Thread: Skaters option to change coaches

  1. #1
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    Skaters option to change coaches

    Why are so many fans so interested and get so upset when a skater changes coaches? I think that if a skater hires a coach to coach them and they are not pleased with that coach, it is their option to go to someone else. Coaches are not doing this for free or out of the goodness of their heart, they are being paid big$$$$$ for their service. If you weren't pleased with a service or their work, you would get rid of them also. Some skaters stay with their coaches forever ,because they are happy with them, other change because they are not happy. In my opinion, if a skater changes coaches, that's their decision and nobody elses. SKATERS ARE HUMAN TOO. Enjoy the skating and the skaters and not worry about the coaches.

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    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    Fans get upset when we perceive skaters' decisions as impulsive and not well thought out. In most cases, coach changes are justified - a skater has learned all he/she can from a teacher, and is ready to move on; personalities didn't jive; etc. Sometimes, though, coaching changes appear to be a result of the "now" mentality of today. A skater just thinks, "Heck, may be my failures are not my fault; may be all I've got to do is hire someone else, and then I'll be the best". This is what gets fans going. Of course, for every coach changing decision there will be those who will see it one was, and others who will see it another.

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Millie - I don't know if you were around in Golden Skate when Michelle left Frank to go it alone and then picked up Scott. There were so many anti Kwan posts about her, as Pitchka would say, 'impulsive' decision. And that's what it amounts to. The one thing I have to say about coaches is that none of them teach you to fall. Only a skater falls, and changing a coach is not going to help unless the skater is willing to follow the new coach's advice. Apparently MK is listening to RA. The speed, the correct take off, the height, are all in sync, so the landing works. In the case of Sasha, I think Nicks can give her the same corrective criticism and get the same results. Let's see.

    Joe

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    Changing coaches is news

    In the world of professional and marquis sports, amateur sport, college sport, etc., this type of reporting and subsequent discussion is part of the mainstay elements of sporting news. Coaching changes, manager changes, hirings, firings, contract negotiations, labor disputes, etc., are a routine part of the sporting news.

    Skaters and their coaches are teams preparing for big competitions. Changes are news. Avid interest and intense discussion afterwards are routine and the basis of the entertainment and news programs and media coverage for sport.

  5. #5
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    Good question. For the most part, I think people worry a coaching change may not bring the results the skater is hoping for and may even change their favorite skaters technique they have grown accustomed to. Just a theory. There is no harm in a skaters' choice to change coaches. After all, from the time a skater starts at the beginners level they may have two or three different coaches by the time they reach the Sr. level.

    Of course, there are many skaters who stick with the same coach their entire competitive career, because they are comfortable with the coach, have good communication and trust their coaches' teaching methods.

    With all the big changes in figure skating over the years, I have notice though that many skaters now prefer to change coaches every now and then and not only their coach, but where they train. Jeff Buttle, for example, is training down in California, I beleive. Our dance pair team of D&L are training in France. One could ask what is wrong with training here in Canada? I guess they feel a need to grow. So really there is no reason for fans to lament when a skater decides to change coaches; it's the results that count. Sometimes it gives a skater a new look at their skating as well. Different set of eyes to see what they are doing or not doing.

    Really, in the end, it's the skaters choice.

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    Some work, some don't

    Some coaching changes work, some don't. Sizuka Arakawa moved to TT and became World Champion. Fumie moved (who is her new coach?) but she still consults with Mr. Sato... sadly, she seems to be in a slump.

    Tim Goebel changed to Frank Carolle and did ok, but methinks he's better with Audrey. Mike Weiss left Audrey for Don Laws... but he was already on a downward spiral. Don couldn't help.

    Guess people get up in arms about coaching changes because it sometimes means that the coach who labored in the trenches, teaching a young skater the basics, working through hormones and growth spurts, parents, expectations, getting up early to grab ice time... that coach doesn't get the credit when the skater hits it big.

    Instead, the big names like Frank Carolle, Tatiana Tarosova, etc, get famous for grooming world and Olympic champions. The club of esteemed coaches is too exclusive.

    One other note to the poster who mentioned that "If you weren't pleased with a service or their work, you would get rid of them also"... a good coach-student relationship isn't like the relationship that you have with the housekeeper or the wait person or the mail carrier. Coaching goes far beyond merely providing a service. It literally helps to shape who the skater becomes as a person. If there's one profession that doesn't get enough credit in this society, it's the teaching profession. That goes for teachers in the traditional classroom as well as those who teach/coach sports. We ought to elevate these people to esteemed status, not simply expect them to provide a service.

    And probably, we ought to extent some respect to the housekeepers, wait people and mail carriers in the world, too.

    Linny

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    Custom Title brad640's Avatar
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    Sometimes fans get mad because they are fans of the coach as well as the skater. Many fans were hoping that in 2002 Frank would finally have his Olympic champion after coming close before (Trennary) and dealing with talented pupils who did not respect him (Bowman). Many were outraged at Kwan because they felt Frank deserved better after all he had done for her and for the sport.

    It was similar when Oksana went off the deep end after her gold medal. Many fans turned on her because of the way she treated Galina Zmievskaya, who was as beloved as Oksana and Viktor to many fans. When Oksana left Galina many fans felt she was ungrateful and brought on herself the downward spiral that followed.

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    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Trennary? how about Frattiane (sp) ??? Wasn't she more hyped than Jill ever was?

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    GOLDEN DREAMS RealtorGal's Avatar
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    Until I start signing the coach's paychecks and devoting 5-6 hours a day to my career as a competitive figure skater, I'll refrain from criticizing anyone's decision to change to a different coach.

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    Custom Title brad640's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle
    Trennary? how about Frattiane (sp) ??? Wasn't she more hyped than Jill ever was?
    Thanks for correcting! Trenary was coached by Carlo Fassi.

  11. #11
    Custom Title heyang's Avatar
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    To my recollection, Brian Boitano is the only skater that stayed with a single coach his entire career - start to present, he's been with Linda Leaver. I think he literally has not had any other official coach, whereas many started with a much lesser known coach before changing to an elite coach.

    I could be totally wrong. I do know that MK had someone before Frank and that Tara had someone before RC.

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    On Edge Piel's Avatar
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    IIRC Irina has had only one coach.

  13. #13
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    One of the most integral parts of figure skating is that you need to click with your coach. If they don't understand you or your goals, it's not going to be a succesful partnership. But, then again, it sometimes seems as if skaters don't give their coaches enough time to try and understand them...and that's where the criticism comes in.

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    The coach/skater relationship is an intricate one. Yes, you are hiring them---to be your authority figure, tell you what to do, be critical and push you past what you thought you could do. So it's weird.......not your normal employer/employee set up. You pay the bills, but they tell you what to do. If they're good at it, you're very happy to have it that way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by millie
    Why are so many fans so interested and get so upset when a skater changes coaches? I think that if a skater hires a coach to coach them and they are not pleased with that coach, it is their option to go to someone else. Coaches are not doing this for free or out of the goodness of their heart, they are being paid big$$$$$ for their service. If you weren't pleased with a service or their work, you would get rid of them also. Some skaters stay with their coaches forever ,because they are happy with them, other change because they are not happy. In my opinion, if a skater changes coaches, that's their decision and nobody elses. SKATERS ARE HUMAN TOO. Enjoy the skating and the skaters and not worry about the coaches.
    Yeah, I agree. It's the skater's perogative if they want to switch coaches or not. It's like a marriage. If a marriage isn't working, it's a disservice to both people if they stay and are unhappy.

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