Monday, December 27, 2010

Dear Young Skater; You are Not a Coach

There's a very nice young lady at the rink. She's about 13 or so, very sweet, obviously loves to skate and is progressing fast. Her back crossovers are like silk, her three turns are magic, and she's learning a Waltz Jump and spins. She's very lovely and is eager to spread her enthusiasm with the other girls. She largely avoids Stitch, because while she finds him cute, she really doesn't seem to know how to approach a little boy who spends a lot of time on the ice pretending to be an ambulance. (She once told him to please stop with the siren noises. Stitch ignored her. Welcome to public skate!)

But yeah, really nice young lady. We'll call her NariNam

Trouble is, she's a beginner. And her enthusiasm bubbles over into "let me teach you." I have no issue with kids playing and daring each other into new moves, but NariNam wants to teach. So after her lesson is over, I'll often see her out with a helmeted kid with wobbly ankles stumbing through a forward crossover. NariNam is right there, playing Coach. This weekend she was critiquing her "student's" skates, knocking on the obviously plastic heel and stating that she "didn't trust" skates where the blade wasn't screwed in. She was playing equipment expert to some very cheap sports store skates. And mom was right there, nodding, smiling, being sucked in by the prospect of free instruction and NariNam's obvious charm. After resurface, NariNam was prodding this kid into back crossovers. She does this with at least three little girls at any session I see her on.

Again, I don't mind kids helping each other out. What I do mind is a kid acting as an expert to a move she herself picked up not but a month ago. How does NariNam know that this particular kid is ready for her impromptu lesson? What if NariNam pushes this kid into something where the kid gets hurt? I mean, the PSA website pretty much details why Skating Coaches cost so much; there's tests and certs and insurance involved.

I know NariNam's dad is very proud of her, as well he should be, but he really needs to put the nix on this Amateur Coaching routine. I think it's a recipe for disaster.

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