Ekaterina Bobrova: "Eteri Tutberidze can say humiliating things during training"

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Scott512

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Bobrova says now that she did not give negative assessment to Eteri's coaching method. She just wanted to say that it is tougher than that of other schools.

She understands now that she looks stupid not getting support even from usual suspects....outside this board.
I saw that and agree with you word for word.

I truly don't believe this woman tried to start some rage and hate on EG but with the way the Russian media is the word humiliation got turned into abuse.

Yes Besty for once helps EG.
 

MiraiFan

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I don't think Katia meant it as a compliment unfortunately. In the context of the rest of what she said it sounded more like "The skaters in the US aren't tough enough, that's why they don't have as many champions as us. Because they're weak." :(

It's rather depressing really.
US skaters don't have the resources or government funded training centers provided for them so they can skate as a full time job. Nothing to do with toughness--everything to do with resources.
 

hannahbanana

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Except...she also said it didn't matter because in the end Eteri has champions, she even excused the physical abuse she got herself for the same reason.

So she's going to get it from both sides, from those who think she's lying about Eteri and also from those who might believe it, but see her excusing it and think that's almost as bad as doing it yourself
Yup, that’s what’s currently happening, she’s getting roasted by medvedeva fans calling her an abuse apologist and a fake friend, on top of the hate she’s getting from eteri supporters
 

Scott512

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I take your point, and very much agree with the last paragraph, but I will say as well that a lot of it also has to do with the delivery. As a child who participated in a number of sports, quite often being told the equivalent of "Move your lazy butt" was far less serious than "If you're not going to take this seriously, leave the class because you're disrupting those who want to work". Usually, we kids were giggling at the first one and its equivalents, because it tended to be delivered in good humour, but if the instructor/teacher/trainer used the second, it wasn't funny any longer, and it was often delivered in tones intended to crush. And those were the rebukes that stuck and stung and made us feel worthless, especially when coupled with the cold shoulder after that. I had riding instructors who were really good at that, and I have less than happy memories of their lessons.

It may also have been something to do with the teaching culture from the time and place I grew up. It wasn't limited to riding. Like, we had a ballet teacher who was horribly emotionally abusive, but she never swore at us or raised her voice, just shredded us one by one by one. She played favourites, but the moment anyone failed to perform up to her personal standards, she would drop them like a hot potato, and write them off, ignoring them in class unless she had something critical to say. She wrecked our entire class's confidence and our love of dancing, because of her insidiously abusive approach over the years. But there was a male teacher who shouted a lot, called students rude things, threw things, and was generally loved, because somehow he didn't destroy your self-esteem when doing that. It was a reflection on your performance in the moment, rather than a judgement of your entire worth as a dancer. Though, that said, he could be terrifying at times, and I do recall one rehearsal where he picked up a chair and hurled it at the studio floor so hard the chair broke, and we all sat in petrified silence. So, yeah, that was the downside to his temper.

So I think it's more complicated than the vocabulary used - it's also the context, the tone, the manner in which it is used, and the behaviour of the instructor that accompanies it. I have not a clue how Eteri teaches, but maybe she's one of those trainers who will yell at you without making it personal, or maybe she isn't. And also, as someone who is now a teacher, what works for one student may be intimidating and unkind for another. Some of the students I've taught like to be teased, some hate it; some of them will respond well to a sharply barked instruction, others will crumble; some flourish when praised and encouraged, some find that phony; some like a lot of support, others prefer to be challenged. Every one of them is an individual, and a good teacher will find a way to motivate and encourage each one according to what works for them - though in group settings, this is not always possible.

Anyway, instruction/teaching/training is more complex, more individual, than is often realised, but it should be about building the student, not breaking them down.
Super informative and interesting post VV.
Especially about your ballet teacher who ruined your love for ballet and was abusive in her way for years. Comparing her to the male coach Who had who shouted and swore but somehow you kept your love of what you were doing.
 

anonymoose_au

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Yags has been watching TT practices for years. He says he has never seen this coach humiliate any skater. Are we not to believe him because he is known to be a pain in the you-know-what?
I'd be less inclined to believe him because he himself often says nasty things and when called out on them brushes them off as "just a little joke," and "people are so sensitive" I wouldn't trust him at all to be able to tell what's humiliating or not to be honest.
 

Scott512

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I'd be less inclined to believe him because he himself often says nasty things and when called out on them brushes them off as "just a little joke," and "people are so sensitive" I wouldn't trust him at all to be able to tell what's humiliating or not to be honest.
We can only take his word on what he sees at practice. Outside of that he of course has said many distasteful things over the years.
Alexei has maintained his position for years now as a top media star for Russian figure skating. But many other countries including mine he would have been long gone from that position..

Yags I believe has two teenage daughters and they should remind him to do his best and not embarrass them internationally with some of his uncalled for statements.

But as far as him saying he has never seen EG humiliate any skater he's probably see many many practices and that's his observation. It doesn't mean it's not an accurate comment from him because he has said hurtful things in the past.
 

silveruskate

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Can you share the links?
No. Everyone knows about the pulling Evgenia across the ice story. I think what @Vemvane said was the best comment on this thread. We don't know the real relationships between the skaters and their coaches. Some things we think are unacceptable might be acceptable to them. It isn't just what you say or do but the way you do it.

Regardless, I watch figure skating for the skaters not their coaches. No one has a gun to their head and is forced to train with Eteri. Russia has a lot of great coaches.
 

Decoder

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No. Everyone knows about the pulling Evgenia across the ice story. I think what @Vemvane said was the best comment on this thread. We don't know the real relationships between the skaters and their coaches. Some things we think are unacceptable might be acceptable to them. It isn't just what you say or do but the way you do it.

Regardless, I watch figure skating for the skaters not their coaches. No one has a gun to their head and is forced to train with Eteri. Russia has a lot of great coaches.
Mostly I agree. Training kids and teens is a very difficult job and complicated process. Something humiliating to one is not necessarily so to others. As to the story you mentioned, I'd say she's not doing it in a bad way, and she's careful no to really hurt the student - this is my impression, based on how the student herself was telling the story.
 

Scott512

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TAT has come out against Bobrovas conments. Called her a gossip girl.

Trankov has made comments about Katya
Not attending practices at TT so she would not know what goes on.
 

silveruskate

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Mostly I agree. Training kids and teens is a very difficult job and complicated process. Something humiliating to one is not necessarily so to others. As to the story you mentioned, I'd say she's not doing it in a bad way, and she's careful no to really hurt the student - this is my impression, based on how the student herself was telling the story.
I don't know how I feel about it either way. It's much easier to teach a kid/young teen in that way since they haven't developed a sense of self yet and a lot of the times don't take it to heart. In my opinion this is the best interview to look at Eteri's psyche:


You can see the way she was praising Zhenya. I'm sure she never thought this exact same thing that happened with other students leaving and not saying Hi to her would happen with her closest one.

There always comes a time when someone grows up and develops a sense of self and self-esteem, and then things that were acceptable before are suddenly unacceptable. Especially in the years 16-18 before you cool down. Maybe even look back at things that happened in the past and suddenly find them unacceptable too.

In the past Eteri has said she is always the same no matter which age she's dealing with. But I suspect she's changed how she approaches things too. Eteri said how she didn't want to force Alina in the 2019-20 season when Alina felt like she was being forced and she needed to establish herself. But it also seems to me like Eteri still struggles with this idea.

 

Bluediamonds09

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Oh, eteri could beat a child with a stick and the eteri fans would say the footage was doctored. Or the child asked for it.
 

silveruskate

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Didn't Eteri once say that she calls male skaters by girls' names if they can't land quads to humiliate them? I can't find the interview now. What Bobrova said about Eteri isn't even that harsh. She didn't need "insider info"
It's in the interview I linked. Yes it humiliates them, but she doesn't do it *to humiliate* them, that isn't the end goal. For better or worse she's trying to light a fire under her skaters.
 

mrrice

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It's in the interview I linked. Yes it humiliates them, but she doesn't do it *to humiliate* them, that isn't the end goal. For better or worse she's trying to light a fire under her skaters.
This is an interesting topic for me. I have said some things to my students that some would call, insensitive. However, I know from experience how cruel an audience and some judges will react to a dancer that tries a triple and falls out of it on the first turn. There is no point in having split falling leafs, or Split Leaps in routines if the dancers lack flexibility. I have said this on my judging tapes in hopes that teachers will take the time to stretch their students before they add moves that they are not capable of exectuing correctly.

I don't believe in humliating students. IMO, It scares them into quitting and saps the joy out of the activity.
 
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Blades of Passion

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BTW, speaking about coaching, I truly suggest everyone who wants to talk about "russian coaches" should see the TSL vid with Elena Betchke first:


Elena Betchke comes from a place of privilege. The system happened to get her an Olympic medal and she was able to turn professional at the absolute height of figure skating popularity. Without these things she would be an abused person that nobody knows about, like so many others out there. Since there are inherently limited podium places available, and limited chances to even compete (while avoiding injury), it doesn't matter how hard some people work, they will not get the support of the federation and will be thrown in the trash.

Elena doesn't seem interested in changing the culture for the better. She goes along with the wrongdoing she sees. She admits the judging is bad and they grade based on reputation, but instead of doing something to actually change it, she is just complicit.
 

zounger

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Jan 18, 2017
Eteri said how she didn't want to force Alina in the 2019-20 season when Alina felt like she was being forced and she needed to establish herself.

Very convenient for Eteri that season. Alina was forced practically even in 2018 Worlds or Russian nationals prior to 2019 Worlds skating injured and dragged there by train overnight. I'm not saying she was forcing her because I don't know but she didn't prevent the forcing so easily as she did in 2019-20 season.
 
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RatedPG

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Eteri is fine! I get tired of all this talk about abuse and so forth. If it was so bad, you wouldn’t have athletes coming back to her like Evgenia, Alena and Elizabet. She is a tough coach which leads to results that separate her athletes from the rest of the pack and her athletes and their parents are aware of this.
 

mrrice

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Eteri is fine! I get tired of all this talk about abuse and so forth. If it was so bad, you wouldn’t have athletes coming back to her like Evgenia, Alena and Elizabet. She is a tough coach which leads to results that separate her athletes from the rest of the pack and her athletes and their parents are aware of this.
I agree. I also believe that as the skaters get older, they realize that she was trying to help them become stronger as individuals. That's why I think skaters return. Skaters don't become champions without being driven to levels that will stand up to skaters from all around the world. It was no "Fluke" that Russian Ladies swept the podium at Worlds.
 
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