Ignored by coach in club time | Golden Skate

Ignored by coach in club time

christy

On the Ice
Joined
Jun 17, 2014
We have an adult skating session with 2 coaches each supposedly dividing their time across all of the skaters. One of the coaches, who I have had private lessons with for a number of years, bought Christmas presents and other gifts for, etc. has suddenly decided they don't want to coach me, to the point they will work their way around the rink seeing people then when they see they are approaching me they veer off and return to another adult they already saw. This means that I don't get any coaching at all, yet I'm paying the same as everyone else.

I know most people say they haven't done anything so don't understand why in these situations. Well, I think I do know, and it's because I have developed a disability, which is something I can't change. Obviously I may be wrong, but this is the only reason I can think of, and the timing supports the assumption.

The way this coach has avoided me over the last few sessions is extremely obvious, and extremely upsetting. There are no other options for coaching at that rink and I've paid for the entire winter season. I'm trying to change my mindset to not expecting coaching, and just consider it as expensive ice time with no coaching available but it's making me think about quitting too.

We don't have a skate director, but I've messaged the club president to ask if they can ensure coaching time is allocated fairly across all participants, and I'm waiting for a response, but I don't want to get lessons from someone who has made it so blatantly obvious they don't want to coach me.

I just wondered if anyone had any similar experiences, and how they handled it.
 

Ic3Rabbit

Patineuse élite et professionnelle
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Canada
We have an adult skating session with 2 coaches each supposedly dividing their time across all of the skaters. One of the coaches, who I have had private lessons with for a number of years, bought Christmas presents and other gifts for, etc. has suddenly decided they don't want to coach me, to the point they will work their way around the rink seeing people then when they see they are approaching me they veer off and return to another adult they already saw. This means that I don't get any coaching at all, yet I'm paying the same as everyone else.

I know most people say they haven't done anything so don't understand why in these situations. Well, I think I do know, and it's because I have developed a disability, which is something I can't change. Obviously I may be wrong, but this is the only reason I can think of, and the timing supports the assumption.

The way this coach has avoided me over the last few sessions is extremely obvious, and extremely upsetting. There are no other options for coaching at that rink and I've paid for the entire winter season. I'm trying to change my mindset to not expecting coaching, and just consider it as expensive ice time with no coaching available but it's making me think about quitting too.

We don't have a skate director, but I've messaged the club president to ask if they can ensure coaching time is allocated fairly across all participants, and I'm waiting for a response, but I don't want to get lessons from someone who has made it so blatantly obvious they don't want to coach me.

I just wondered if anyone had any similar experiences, and how they handled it.
If there is no skate director, do you have a head coach there who oversees all the other coaches? If so, address this with them as well as club president. Depending on your situation here, I would be looking for different rinks in the area with programs, and take my money to them.

I'm so sorry this is happening to you. Good luck!
 

christy

On the Ice
Joined
Jun 17, 2014
If there is no skate director, do you have a head coach there who oversees all the other coaches? If so, address this with them as well as club president. Depending on your situation here, I would be looking for different rinks in the area with programs, and take my money to them.

I'm so sorry this is happening to you. Good luck!
Thank you.

They are the head coach, so as you can imagine that makes things even more difficult 😥
 

tstop4me

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 2, 2015
Since this is a club-sponsored session, I would think that the club president has the ultimate responsibility here. You paid fees in return for services, including ice time and coaching. If they can't uphold their end of the deal, you should at the very least be given a prorated refund. Stand firm, but don't give up skating because of their bad behavior.
 

christy

On the Ice
Joined
Jun 17, 2014
Thank you. I'm guessing that the president will ask them to allocate coaching time to everyone on the session so they will, at least for a few weeks, but I'm worried about how they will treat me as they have made it very obvious that they don't want to coach me, and they will know that I complained.
Also, and this is because of how they have treated me and how it's upset me, I'm not sure that I actually want to get coaching from them. I suppose I have to give things a chance, but I'm dreading the next session.
I wondered if anyone else had to work with a coach who hasn't liked them, and if / how they made it work?
 

NanaPat

Record Breaker
Joined
Oct 25, 2014
Country
Canada
You say there are two coaches. Do they both do every session? Do you get attention from the other coach?
 

WednesdayMarch

Final Flight
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Country
United-Kingdom
People's reactions to disability differ, with some seeing it as a challenge and others being utterly terrified of catastrophe. The coach who is avoiding you may well fall into the latter category. I'd suggest asking them about it. Mention the disability and ask if it's bothering them. They may well be relieved you've mentioned it and you can then discuss how to move forward with the coaching side of things. Or they may well turn out to be somebody you really don't want to work with any more, in which case you should request a pro rata refund from the Club and take your money, courage and enthusiasm somewhere they are appreciated.
 

tstop4me

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 2, 2015
Thank you. I'm guessing that the president will ask them to allocate coaching time to everyone on the session so they will, at least for a few weeks, but I'm worried about how they will treat me as they have made it very obvious that they don't want to coach me, and they will know that I complained.
Also, and this is because of how they have treated me and how it's upset me, I'm not sure that I actually want to get coaching from them. I suppose I have to give things a chance, but I'm dreading the next session.
I wondered if anyone else had to work with a coach who hasn't liked them, and if / how they made it work?
* Remember: (a) Figure skating should be a source of joy, not mental anguish; and (b) You are the paying customer; the club and the coaches are your suppliers.

* One option is to explain your situation to the club president and ask for at least a prorated refund. Explain that, even if the club president does twist the coach's arm to give you the attention and respect due you, you would find it unacceptably stressful taking lessons under such a forced arrangement (and the coach would likely do a crappy job, anyway). Cut your losses; minimize your anguish; take your business elsewhere.

* Another option, after an initial talk with the club president, is to have a meeting with you, the club president, and the coach. Explain calmly, but forcefully and candidly, your situation. Then see how they react. If they do not offer a satisfactory resolution, ask for at least a prorated refund. But, even if they do offer to give you the attention and respect due you, insist on a trial period (say 3 sessions) for you to determine whether the arrangements are acceptable to you. If the trial period works out, great; but, even then, make it clear that you will not tolerate relapses into bad behavior. If the trial period does not work out, they agree to give you at least a prorated refund (which should cover at least the unsuccessful trial period, the sessions in which the coach ignored you, and the remainder of the season). You decide whether the positive benefits of staying with your present club is worth prolonging your ordeal and the risk of a negative outcome.
 
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christy

On the Ice
Joined
Jun 17, 2014
NanaPat there are two coaches, but as I was the one whose now avoiding me's student the other coach left all of my coaching to them. Hopefully they will be told to start looking after me, as I'd be perfectly happy with them, and that would be the best outcome.

Wednesday March I'd have to get them to talk to me first! But seriously I know what you mean. I'd like to think that I've never treated people differently or avoided them for any reason, and hope I never would, but others have not been so kind 😢 This coach is not the only one whose treating me differently, but with most others their avoidance doesn't have such a direct impact on me.

tstop4me, to point (b), oh if only. Not sure if it's just my experience but there seem to be some high maintenance folks out there 😉
 

gliese

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 31, 2020
Country
United-States
Wednesday March I'd have to get them to talk to me first!
Be assertive. They'd look really silly if you chased after them calling their name and they ignored it. If you make it easier for them to talk to you than it is to run away, they'll talk. Don't go through life (especially in skating) waiting for things to go your way. Make them go your way.
 

iceskating21

On the Ice
Joined
Jan 10, 2018
There might be some reason that you don't know. But if I were you, I may ask for refund and go to a different program. In this sports, coach is very important. If they don't want to teach you, they have hundreds of ways to be polite and look like working hard, but teach you nothing. No to mention they ignored you obviously. Oh, I really don't like the fact that some coaches are so unprofessional.
 

silver.blades

Medalist
Joined
Jan 4, 2007
Country
Canada
I don't have any advice different from what you've already been given, but I did have a similar situation at the end of my skating career. My coach didn't stop speaking to me, but they did stop showing up for scheduled lessons. In my case, it was almost definitely because I was getting older (I'd hit my 20s) and was having problems with injuries and they weren't interested in coaching someone who likely wasn't going to be taking any more freeskate tests. It really sucked since I'd been working with them for almost 10 years and I really needed support to get through my injuries, not someone who avoided dealing with me. So I appreciate what you're going through.

I completely avoided addressing the situation until I had to quit, but I wish in hindsight that I'd spoken to my coach, especially since it had been a long term relationship which made it suck even more. So I will second the advice from others to talk to the coach. You might not get the response you want, but you'll feel better having it all out in the open. If nothing else, you'll know that you faced the problem head on, which can only make you feel better.

I hope things work out better for you then they did for me and that things go well with the other coach. Best of luck.
 
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cl2

Final Flight
Joined
Nov 9, 2014
* One option is to explain your situation to the club president and ask for at least a prorated refund. Explain that, even if the club president does twist the coach's arm to give you the attention and respect due you, you would find it unacceptably stressful taking lessons under such a forced arrangement (and the coach would likely do a crappy job, anyway). Cut your losses; minimize your anguish; take your business elsewhere.
To add to tstop4me's point about forcing the coaching arrangement, another thing to consider is, whether the coach(es) have the know-how to teach someone with a disability. If it's something that requires specialized knowledge that they don't have, you won't want to be learning from them anyhow. Otherwise, you may be put at higher risk of injury. Make sure that you find the right coach who knows how to coach you safely.

Sorry to hear how unprofessionally they are treating you.
 

Vicki7

Rinkside
Joined
Aug 27, 2018
To add to tstop4me's point about forcing the coaching arrangement, another thing to consider is, whether the coach(es) have the know-how to teach someone with a disability. If it's something that requires specialized knowledge that they don't have, you won't want to be learning from them anyhow. Otherwise, you may be put at higher risk of injury. Make sure that you find the right coach who knows how to coach you safely.

Sorry to hear how unprofessionally they are treating you.

As a skater with a disability, I have to say that the know how is out there - there are coaches all over the world teaching skaters with a range of disabilities. It’s also not necessarily unsafe to teach us - it depends on the disability.

My coaches are constantly trying new things with me to find what works and how we can overcome the challenges my disability brings. They also share knowledge with their fellow coaches so that more coaches feel confident teaching skaters with a variety of disabilities.

Unfortunately the coach has to want to learn these skills and sadly there are some who think people with disabilities shouldn’t be involved in the sport at anything more than a recreational level. I think the OP needs to find a new program where they’re valued and not overlooked and ignored.
 

kolyadafan2002

Fan of Kolyada
Final Flight
Joined
Jun 6, 2019
As a skater with a disability, I have to say that the know how is out there - there are coaches all over the world teaching skaters with a range of disabilities. It’s also not necessarily unsafe to teach us - it depends on the disability.

My coaches are constantly trying new things with me to find what works and how we can overcome the challenges my disability brings. They also share knowledge with their fellow coaches so that more coaches feel confident teaching skaters with a variety of disabilities.

Unfortunately the coach has to want to learn these skills and sadly there are some who think people with disabilities shouldn’t be involved in the sport at anything more than a recreational level. I think the OP needs to find a new program where they’re valued and not overlooked and ignored.

In addition, even if was the case that the coach was unable, they still should be giving encouragement etc. Saying "good job" or "yes" or "almost" - stuff you'd do for any other skater. That being said, to teach technique to somebody with a disability, you have to adapt your teaching style. But honestly, as a coach, it is very rewarding when you see the student succeed and overcome everything.
 
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