Switching coaches | Golden Skate

Switching coaches

leo.

Spectator
Joined
Apr 4, 2021
At the end of february my current dance/moves coach just stopped showing up with no warning. This is by far not the first time he had been out for a week or so though without warning. Around mid-march he sends us an email that he wont be back by the day i have a dance test so i should find another coach to test with. A few weeks later my friend tells me her other coach told her he wasnt coming back so we went with that information as it was the best we had. I set up with another coach for my dances and my synchro coach took over my moves. A few days ago I heard that my old coach was starting coaching at another rink in the area (which i already skate at frequently).
I would like to just continue with the new coach who has at this point coached me through 2 tests short notice but now i will have to see my old coach at the rink likely and i'm not quite sure how to handle those interactions. I don't want it to be awkward every time i see him at the rink.
 

Kat12

Rinkside
Joined
May 19, 2009
Well, he's the one who left suddenly, so any awkwardness would be his, I'd think. He might go out of his way to avoid *you* from embarrassment. (Does he know you skate at this other rink, or is he going to be broadsided if he does see you there?)

You certainly don't owe him an explanation or excuse for you switching to someone else under these circumstances (and it doesn't sound like he would expect one).

If it were me, I'd play it by ear if I ran into him. He may decide the two of you will just ignore each other. Or, you could just say hello or nod politely if you do see each other without having to have extended conversations. Or, who knows...maybe you'll just be able to chat and pretend nothing ever happened as if you chose to part ways mutually and just not mention it.
 

NanaPat

Record Breaker
Joined
Oct 25, 2014
Country
Canada
I would definitely continue with the new coach.

Why would you even consider going back to the old coach? If they'd informed you of the change and asked you to follow them, it would be one thing. But as they just left you high and dry with no notice, I don't see that you owe them anything.

How about this: the first time you see them at the other rink, look surprised, say hello and say "oh, are you coaching here now?" Then say "Well, see you around", wave, and skate off.
 

WednesdayMarch

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Country
United-Kingdom
Absolutely continue with the new coach. Your previous coach's actions were very unprofessional. And NanaPat's advice is spot on.
 

Kat12

Rinkside
Joined
May 19, 2009
Exactly. I wouldn't think there's even a question of you going back to the old coach. Aside from the fact that he's unreliable, it seems to me that what he did was precisely his way of letting you know he wasn't interested in being your coach any longer/going back to being your coach (for whatever personal reasons he may have had for disappearing that may have had nothing to do with you). I mean, the guy disappeared and ghosted you (and, I assume, other people) and then when he reappeared, it was at another rink, having apparently taken on a different set of students, and he still never contacted you to let you know that he's back. That to me seems the action of someone who very deliberately has made a change in their life and does not want to go back to how things were before. I would find it more odd if you would go back to him, or even contact him to attempt to, than that you wouldn't.
 

sandraskates

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 31, 2006
Country
United-States
I am not defending your disappearing coach. But I just want to say that there are some horrid skating directors out there that oust coaches and ban them from their rink for no reason other than "We no longer want your services."
They write in non-compete clauses (I.E. you can't teach at any other rink) in contracts even tho coaches are mostly independent contractors. It's disgusting. Something like that may have happened here.

Stick with your new coaches. Maybe say "hi" to your old coach when you see him. Don't worry about any awkwardness - stuff happens!
It's likely that your old coach is now in a better arrangement at his new rink.
 

Vicki7

Rinkside
Joined
Aug 27, 2018
Stick with your new coaches. If you see your old coach, I'd let him take the lead as far as any conversation goes, if he initiates it, great, if not, that's his choice, in my opinion. I say this as someone who's had a situation a little like this (coach left the rink while I was out of the country for an extended period. Blocked me on social media, no text or call, and she left it to someone else to tell me I'd need a new coach when I got home).
 

Kat12

Rinkside
Joined
May 19, 2009
I am not defending your disappearing coach. But I just want to say that there are some horrid skating directors out there that oust coaches and ban them from their rink for no reason other than "We no longer want your services."
They write in non-compete clauses (I.E. you can't teach at any other rink) in contracts even tho coaches are mostly independent contractors. It's disgusting. Something like that may have happened here.

Stick with your new coaches. Maybe say "hi" to your old coach when you see him. Don't worry about any awkwardness - stuff happens!
It's likely that your old coach is now in a better arrangement at his new rink.
I was thinking it was possible he had some sort of personal issue, and it might be something he does not want, or is too embarrassed, to have to explain to people, so he didn't let anyone know before he left (or could not, if it was urgent or an emergency) and when he came back, chose to go somewhere else in order to not see/have to explain to people he worked with before.


Stick with your new coaches. If you see your old coach, I'd let him take the lead as far as any conversation goes, if he initiates it, great, if not, that's his choice, in my opinion. I say this as someone who's had a situation a little like this (coach left the rink while I was out of the country for an extended period. Blocked me on social media, no text or call, and she left it to someone else to tell me I'd need a new coach when I got home).
Ouch. That's harsh. Did she leave the rink for a bad reason or something? Was she angry at you that you'd left the country?
 

Vicki7

Rinkside
Joined
Aug 27, 2018
Ouch. That's harsh. Did she leave the rink for a bad reason or something? Was she angry at you that you'd left the country?
I never go the full story, so I won’t try and speculate, but it wasn’t anything to do with me in particular, apparently she did this to all but a couple of her favourite students and left the rink on not great terms with management.

It worked out for me in the end, she was very against me becoming involved in competitions for skaters with disabilities, she felt I should just do what everyone else does. This was nearly 6 years ago, I’ve only now reached the level where I can attend regular competitions. I’ve competed nationally and internationally in disability events with my current coaches.
 

Kat12

Rinkside
Joined
May 19, 2009
I never go the full story, so I won’t try and speculate, but it wasn’t anything to do with me in particular, apparently she did this to all but a couple of her favourite students and left the rink on not great terms with management.

It worked out for me in the end, she was very against me becoming involved in competitions for skaters with disabilities, she felt I should just do what everyone else does. This was nearly 6 years ago, I’ve only now reached the level where I can attend regular competitions. I’ve competed nationally and internationally in disability events with my current coaches.
That's too bad that she did that... but I'm really glad you found more-supportive coaches!
 

silver.blades

Medalist
Joined
Jan 4, 2007
Country
Canada
I am not defending your disappearing coach. But I just want to say that there are some horrid skating directors out there that oust coaches and ban them from their rink for no reason other than "We no longer want your services."
They write in non-compete clauses (I.E. you can't teach at any other rink) in contracts even tho coaches are mostly independent contractors. It's disgusting. Something like that may have happened here.

Stick with your new coaches. Maybe say "hi" to your old coach when you see him. Don't worry about any awkwardness - stuff happens!
It's likely that your old coach is now in a better arrangement at his new rink.
A club in my area hired new management a couple of years ago and they fired most of the coaches that were working there. I even worked at one club where they replaced a coach who taught groups and didn't tell them. They showed up ready to coach and there was someone on the ice doing their job. I also have a friend who was fired from a rink because "she was a terrible skater so how can she be a good coach?" The skating world is not a friendly place.

You're coach still should have said they were leaving, however, I know of at least one coach who was pushed out of a club who was threaten by management that if they informed any of their skaters, they would be reported to Skate Canada for ethical violations, so maybe that's what happened here. Stick with you new coach, but make a point to be civil with your old one if you see him unless given a reason to do otherwise.
 

iceskating21

Rinkside
Joined
Jan 10, 2018
I don't know the specific situation your previous coach was in. But generally speaking, I won't want to go back. No matter why he left, he didn't wrap up his job before leaving. At least he should tell you to look for another coach for testing.
 
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