Parents of top skaters sitting in on all practices - Eteri's group

AlinaRina

Rinkside
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
My kid wouldn’t be going somewhere I wasn’t allowed.

I think you underestimate how difficult some parents can be. There are a few notable skaters who were kicked out of my arena because of their parent's behaviour. It's easier to have a blanket 'no parents' rule than only allowing the well-behaved ones in. What they eventually did at my rink was ban them from the ice area, and isolated them to a specific viewing area. In another way, some kids get really distracted by their parents watching. I never allowed mine to come to training or competition because they were a distraction.

I'm glad having parents around works for Eteri's group though; the Russian training system is so tough, so it's good for them to have a mum or dad around.
 

Momtoiceprincess

Rinkside
Joined
Dec 27, 2019
I think it definitely depends on the parents. I have a little girl who skates, I don't think I could stay to watch a practice. I know I'd distract her!
Wow that's crazy to hear some of the Sambo parents are so harsh. My thoughts were that once a child reached a certain level all teachings are let to the coaches & parents let the coaches do their jobs. No interference...
 

jennapowers

Rinkside
Joined
Jun 25, 2018
I have been in Sambo70 as a mother who watched the training (temporarily) and I can confirm that some parents there are much worse and tougher than coaches. Including physical punishment because only the result and perfomance count them. It was sad to watch.

Really? Did you watch any of the practices with Alina or 3A?
 

colormyworld240

Medalist
Joined
Dec 9, 2017
It's nice to have parents sit in and be able to protect their child, but it's a very delicate balance that should have a strict set of rules. I'd imagine it could become Dance Moms very quickly. Especially in Eteri's camp, where there are so many high level skaters who are all fighting for the same spots and medals. I wonder if they ever have big blowouts with the parents about equality, being favoured, etc. Maybe Lifetime will come out with Skate Moms.
 

Momtoiceprincess

Rinkside
Joined
Dec 27, 2019
It's nice to have parents sit in and be able to protect their child, but it's a very delicate balance that should have a strict set of rules. I'd imagine it could become Dance Moms very quickly. Especially in Eteri's camp, where there are so many high level skaters who are all fighting for the same spots and medals. I wonder if they ever have big blowouts with the parents about equality, being favoured, etc. Maybe Lifetime will come out with Skate Moms.

Yes I thought the exact same. Especially the likes of 3A & the advancing juniors. But possibly Russian skating parents are different. It's possibly a cultural thing but my older girl does gymnastics, the Eastern European parents of elite kids don't stick around for any practice sessions. They drop off, give a big to their child, hahd them over to the coaches & collect with a snack & a hug. Alot of the US parents (including myself) hover around the waiting area at the rink & gym. I'd be lying if I said I didn't also watch the competition in my daughters age group....
Possibly these parents are less pushy especially 3As & trust Eteri & coaches?
 

TontoK

Hot Tonto
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 28, 2013
Country
United-States
It's nice to have parents sit in and be able to protect their child, but it's a very delicate balance that should have a strict set of rules. I'd imagine it could become Dance Moms very quickly. Especially in Eteri's camp, where there are so many high level skaters who are all fighting for the same spots and medals. I wonder if they ever have big blowouts with the parents about equality, being favoured, etc. Maybe Lifetime will come out with Skate Moms.

I've seen clips of that Dance Mom show... I'd never invest time in prolonged viewing of anything like that. My trash viewing requires sex and violence.

But, I can't help but wonder how much of that Mama-Drama is put on for the cameras.
 

Orlov

Medalist
Joined
Jun 19, 2018
I cannot imagine a rink in the USA in this day and age that would prohibit parents from entering the rink while their minor child was there. A lawsuit waiting to happen.:eek: So I do not find it “unusual” that rink access is “allowed” in any country or by any coach.
According to this logic, for example, parents have every right to be in a lesson at school (to sit somewhere at the back desks). And if someone will point them to the inappropriateness of this - "lawsuit waiting to happen". Quite a strange statement, as for me.

Returning to the main thread topic - there is nothing surprising or new (unless you make up your mind about Eteri by rumors, myths and memes, as is usually the case). She clearly and unequivocally outlined her position in the famous interview of 2017:

"Parents believe that the children are adults, they themselves understand what they need. But they do not understand - neither boys nor girls! Therefore, they really need the support of their parents. From morning to evening and, moreover, from evening to morning. Parents should provide their son or daughter with rest. Meet at home or maybe at the subway. Feed them, put them to bed. Make the child feel supportive. So that he would get up in the morning, not when his parents were still asleep, but when breakfast was ready. Parents should ask the child how training is going, and maybe sometimes come to the rink. Yes, it’s difficult, but it’s such a sport.
If a child wins a medal, parents can't start thinking - well, that's it, now he's on his own. He won't do anything on his own. An athlete should be, kind of, reflected by such a rebound from the coach to the parents, from the parents to the coach.
"

<...>

"This does not mean that we are not afraid for him [about learning quads]. Sometimes it's doubly scary.. But you can't escape from overcoming, and that's why I'm talking about family support once again. Remember yourself as a teenager - after all, when you had to go through something difficult, but somewhere nearby stood mom or dad, it was not so scary!

Interviewer: Truth. Once four firmly stuck baby teeth were removed at once, and the fact that my mother was there helped a lot.

Exactly. And we have many parents, unfortunately, take their children to the rink while they are very young. Then they start to think: well, what, the child will get to the subway himself, why should we go with him? And the child in support at this moment, in fact, needs much more than then. Knowing that mom and dad were so close would help him overcome his fear.
"

<...>

"Interviewer: Do you allow parents to be in training?

I encourage it. I see how guys change when there's a parent standing in the corner of the rink, against the wall. Especially when the child is at such a critical age. But we have almost all the boys, unfortunately, do not receive this support. One is 11 years old, for example, and I see his parents only once every two or three weeks. There are questions that I have to ask them, but in the end I have to solve them myself.

There is another option - from the very beginning to bring up children so that they were independent. But it usually doesn't work that way. Usually children are taken to the rink, and then, at some point, they stop doing it. They think they are already independent. But they are not independent! And our guys can't overcome themselves for some great idea. They're doing it for someone. And that someone must be there.

Interviewer: When a guy grows up, he wants to overcome himself for the sake of the girl.

Ok. I don't mind if the girl comes. The main thing - doing it for someone."



All those who follow Tutberidze-team remember the words of Irina Goncharenko (coach Elena Radionova) about Eteri:
"Before becoming a world-famous coach, Eteri at the beginning of her coaching career worked with children for whom figure skating was a leisure, took those who had already been expelled from sports schools as unsuitable. They were ordinary children, not the most talented, not the most courageous, who had to be persuaded to become bold and talented. She's still doing it"
These are beautiful words. Eteri in an interview basically told what practical work is behind this words. It's clear that this occupies her thoughts in the first place, it is considered a priority - to motivate the student to over-result. Even then, when they started talking about other topics, she would return to it, as in the passage about "the pleasure of overcoming"

"Interviewer: - There are not so many athletes who are able to experience this satisfaction from training…
- Why not? Let's catch anyone and ask... Alina, come here!

The interview is joined by world Junior champion Alina Zagitova.

- Alina, what is the greatest pleasure from the training process? - asks her Tutberidze.
- I love to skate... - begins skater.
- All right, don't use memorized phrases! - the coach interrupted her.
- I like to jump very much. And I'm very happy when jumps turn out, - Zagitova speaks a little more boldly.
- That is, it's overcoming! - again emphasizes the specialist. - It's was hard, skate FP two times, but everything turned out in the end. That's the pleasure of it. They're all like that. Only Moris…

This is Moris Kvitelashvili, who has been playing for Georgia since this season, appearing in the field of vision.

- If his parents had gotten involved... I've talked many times with both his dad and mom when he was still a teenager. I told them - difficulties persist in work, it is necessary to talk to him at home, he must come to training internally charged. But parents answered - he is an adult and himself should understand that he needs it. Okey, an adult. But if he doesn't understand, then he needs help..."


But of course our smart FS-fans people don’t perceive it. All that they saw in the interview was “she bad mouth about Adyan and Yulya!”. Although they case is given here more as an illustration.

"At some point, normal figure skating with Adyan started because of his father. For a very long time, the guy performed at competitions like this - "butterfly" [popped jump] here, "butterfly" there... Sloppily skated, did not show himself, although he was already jumping great. His father, who does not understand anything about figure skating, got tired of it, and he said to his son: once again you will come without medals - you are done with FS. Adyan's mother came running to me all in tears... - "What to do, the father strict, it not to disobey, how will Adyan take places on a pedestal of each competition?".
I don't know what happened, but from that moment Adyan became so concentrated that a significant increase in results began. He was full of work. And almost all of the following competitions took places on the podium. And that, I'm sure, was due to father's intervention.
But then at a certain stage, the parents "turned off"..."
 

Edwin

СделаноВХрустальном!
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 5, 2019
From what I gather from the scarce training clips from inside Khrustalniy's main rink, the parents (mothers/grandmothers) sit on hard benches behind the protective glass, probably boring themselves while the children are active on the ice.
Moscow is a huge city, if you don't live close, getting to the rink and back can easily take like two hours door to door, by car or Metro, to drop off or pick up your child. And when he/she is a pre-teen or young teen, I can imagine the parent/guardian not wanting the child to travel alone, without any attention, comfort or protection.

Dance Moms probably has all the 'crazy mums' scripted to act up like crazy. But from reading US gymnastics boards, the attitude of parents who pay for the lessons of their child can actually be almost as bad as depicted in that show.
 

VegMom

On the Ice
Joined
Aug 25, 2017
I never leave my skater alone at the rink. As much as I might like to go do something else, I feel like there aren't enough protections. I have witnessed first-hand how slowly coaches and staff react when someone gets hurt. And while I'm not one to jump up and run on the ice, I do feel like it's important to be at the rink in case something happens.

I have only left for 'camps' where there is explicit, legal duty for the coaches to monitor the skaters and ensure their safety. Even then I stay sometimes.

The difference between school and skating is American rinks all have big signs that say "Skating is Dangerous. Skate at your Own Risk." which literally means they have nearly zero legal duty to help your child if they're injured. Usually, it's even often explicitly stated that a parent MUST accompany a child under the age of 12 or whatever, just like at a pool or some other place that has inherent danger.

At a school, they have enormous duty to help. They have mandatory reporting of suspected abuse or neglect, etc. They're all explicitly trained in dealing with a variety of emergencies. But with skating, that legal duty does not exist. There's some Safe Sport duty but it's not the same. And as far as I can tell, whatever emergency training that occurs is very rink-specific.

And I've seen it first-hand. Coaches don't even always know where the first aid kit is, where the defibrillators are, where/how to get an ice pack etc. I have witnessed an evacuation at an ice rink and it was not organized, clearly never planned. I was extremely thankful I was there to help and look over my kid as well as the ones that parents had left alone. But schools have mandatory fire drills where everyone practices an evacuation, so when/if it happens for real they all know exactly where to go and the teachers all have a method for keeping track of the kids.

I might sound a little over-protective and maybe I am, but if I were crazy over-protective then I would not allow skating or any of the other sports my kid is interested in doing because they're all dangerous. I think I have a measured, logical risk-reward balance.

---

There are some parents who get jealous of how coaches interact with other skaters vs their skater. I'm not like that. I never have the criticism. I think mostly because my skater doesn't usually need to be pushed. He's too hard on himself. If anything, he needs to be told to stop, take a break. But that's not the kind of thing the other parents want the coaches doing for their kids. They usually want the coaches pushing their kids, being more critical. I would actually love it if they were more playful with my skater, making it less like work and more like fun.

Also, I know some parents can't watch their kids skate. It's too emotional for the parent or for the kid. Some parents hide or leave because the skater gets too nervous around the parent. My skater really likes it when I watch. He wants me to see everything. It gets to be a little much sometimes and I just want some alone time or I want to read or something.

That said, when my skater is older I do plan to leave more often. Whatever he's doing, I plan to help him develop more independence so he's not as reliant on me or someone else and just does everything himself more. For instance, where I live they allow kids to become CPR certified at age 12 and up. So I plan to sign him up for first aid and CPR at age 12 and around then he gets more independence related to his improved safety skills. At age 16 or 18 he will also be allowed to drive and I will let him drive himself to the rink and stay alone if he wants that. It's all baby steps.
 

Roo87

Medalist
Joined
Nov 12, 2017
Parents weren’t allowed at Karolyi ranch. My kid wouldn’t be going somewhere I wasn’t allowed.

On another note, Chris and Alexa invite the public to watch them practice. Alas, they are in CA.

Kaetlyn Osmond practiced on rink inside a mall in Edmonton, anyone could watch!
 

flanker

Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 10, 2018
Country
Czech-Republic
This may be new to the people who are no fans of Eteri (yet still make judgements), but it is commonly known between the people who are. E.g. I liked when Alina was talking about how her babushka became nearly a tech specialist during watching her at trainings and that they often talked about the practice at home later :biggrin:
 

el henry

Fangirl of men’s spirals and split jumps
Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 3, 2014
Country
United-States
This may be new to the people who are no fans of Eteri (yet still make judgements), but it is commonly known between the people who are. E.g. I liked when Alina was talking about how her babushka became nearly a tech specialist during watching her at trainings and that they often talked about the practice at home later :biggrin:

Anyone can make judgments, Eteri fans do it, and people who are not Eteri fans do it. That’s what we do here.:laugh:

I am not surprised at all. I can’t imagine *any* coach, from the lowest level hometown rink to Eteri and Brian and Raf and whoever, not allowing parents or guardians in the rink.
 

Sam-Skwantch

“I solemnly swear I’m up to no good”
Record Breaker
Joined
Dec 29, 2013
I can’t imagine *any* coach, from the lowest level hometown rink to Eteri and Brian and Raf and whoever, not allowing parents or guardians in the rink.

That actually surprises me. It is quite common to see coaches who deter parents from being in the rink. I mean I don’t think I’ve ever seen any parents banished from the building outright but I’ve certainly seen parents banned from rink side and during off ice training. I’m talking lower levels right up to elite. Actually one of my friends who coaches very high level skaters has in the past asked specific parents not to attend trainings but also allowed other parents from the same group :laugh:
 

el henry

Fangirl of men’s spirals and split jumps
Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 3, 2014
Country
United-States
That actually surprises me. It is quite common to see coaches who deter parents from being in the rink. I mean I don’t think I’ve ever seen any parents banished from the building outright but I’ve certainly seen parents banned from rink side and during off ice training. I’m talking lower levels right up to elite. Actually one of my friends who coaches very high level skaters has in the past asked specific parents not to attend trainings but also allowed other parents from the same group :laugh:

I think I mentioned in an earlier post that all youth athletic activities have rules to prevent Little League kibitzing at a training session. One too many of those, and you’re out. I doubt Eteri, Raf or whoever would brook interference during the session.

If a rink is just outright banning parents of minor children, without evidence of bad behavior, have them contact me. Well, no don’t :laugh: but to do that with the legal requirements and protections in place in most US states. I don’t get that::disapp:
 

colormyworld240

Medalist
Joined
Dec 9, 2017
Anyone can make judgments, Eteri fans do it, and people who are not Eteri fans do it. That’s what we do here.:laugh:

I am not surprised at all. I can’t imagine *any* coach, from the lowest level hometown rink to Eteri and Brian and Raf and whoever, not allowing parents or guardians in the rink.

I think on the previous page some were saying that it is not common for parents to be allowed in training rinks in NA? I don't know anything about elite skating camps so I can't comment. But from what I gather Eteri allowing parents to be there is something out of the ordinary.

I'm conflicted, though. I just see the competitive environment becoming toxic easily. Maybe not at a lower level, but certainly at the elite level. I'd imagine that skating parents can quickly create a toxic environment. Dance Moms scripted/unscripted drama aside, I think it's quite a natural reaction. Naturally, all parents want their kids to be the best and want the attention on their child. And if your kid has invested so much of their childhood into the sport, I'd expect the "support" from parents can become toxic; even the most level headed parents can spiral into craziness when their kids are involved. Especially if said child has a potential to become the next World/Olympic champion; losing out when you're so close is much harder than if you never really had a shot.

Just look at the reaction on this forum from the fans. We don't even know the skaters and we're constantly arguing about who is more deserving, most overstored, has the best elements, etc. If the fans sat in on practices, it would be awful for the skaters. And we don't even know these skaters. Now imagine it with the parents, who are the ultimate fans.
 

flanker

Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 10, 2018
Country
Czech-Republic
Anyone can make judgments, Eteri fans do it, and people who are not Eteri fans do it. That’s what we do here.:laugh:

I am not surprised at all. I can’t imagine *any* coach, from the lowest level hometown rink to Eteri and Brian and Raf and whoever, not allowing parents or guardians in the rink.

Anyone can, but only those informed will do the judgements that are somehow relevant. Just look how many people are surprised. I find it funny :biggrin:
 

flanker

Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 10, 2018
Country
Czech-Republic
That actually surprises me. It is quite common to see coaches who deter parents from being in the rink. I mean I don’t think I’ve ever seen any parents banished from the building outright but I’ve certainly seen parents banned from rink side and during off ice training. I’m talking lower levels right up to elite. Actually one of my friends who coaches very high level skaters has in the past asked specific parents not to attend trainings but also allowed other parents from the same group :laugh:

It probably came from the experience with those particular parents :biggrin:
 

VegMom

On the Ice
Joined
Aug 25, 2017
It probably came from the experience with those particular parents :biggrin:

Exactly. We have had parents who are banned from the rink. But it's just THOSE parents because THEY did something truly dangerous. It's mostly the hockey parents but there are some figure skating parents too, who do things like threaten their child's competitors!

When I have talked about 'drama at the rink', this is the kind of stuff I'm talking about.
 

el henry

Fangirl of men’s spirals and split jumps
Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 3, 2014
Country
United-States
I think on the previous page some were saying that it is not common for parents to be allowed in training rinks in NA? I don't know anything about elite skating camps so I can't comment. But from what I gather Eteri allowing parents to be there is something out of the ordinary.

I'm conflicted, though. I just see the competitive environment becoming toxic easily. Maybe not at a lower level, but certainly at the elite level. I'd imagine that skating parents can quickly create a toxic environment. Dance Moms scripted/unscripted drama aside, I think it's quite a natural reaction. Naturally, all parents want their kids to be the best and want the attention on their child. And if your kid has invested so much of their childhood into the sport, I'd expect the "support" from parents can become toxic; even the most level headed parents can spiral into craziness when their kids are involved. Especially if said child has a potential to become the next World/Olympic champion; losing out when you're so close is much harder than if you never really had a shot.

Just look at the reaction on this forum from the fans. We don't even know the skaters and we're constantly arguing about who is more deserving, most overstored, has the best elements, etc. If the fans sat in on practices, it would be awful for the skaters. And we don't even know these skaters. Now imagine it with the parents, who are the ultimate fans.

I just re-read all the posts and I didn’t see anyone say it was out of the ordinary for attendance to be “allowed”. I think everyone has specified that parents were always welcome to *observe* in the rink. Interfere, not so much ;)

I think these are the common points:
1. Parents are, to the best of my knowledge, always allowed in the rink in the US. As @VegMom has pointed out, there are good reasons for parents to be present. Given the (understandable) legal interest in the safety of minors in the US, I cannot imagine a rink having a blanket ban. I have read interviews with Raf, Tom Z., Kori Ade, all talking about parents present at the training (not as the main topic of the interview, but as a parenthetical).

So I’m not surprised that Eteri (nor did I see anyone else who was “surprised” as I understand the term) has parents or guardians observing. Of course she does!:yes:

2. No coach wants kibitzers, Monday morning quarterbacking, Little League parents or otherwise to interrupt the training session. I would imagine rinks worldwide have rules about that, from Eteri, Raf and Brian to the local coach in Smalltown, Anywhere.

I think we all agree :)
 
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