Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Is Coach Scary?

Short answer: No.

Well, at least Coach shouldn't be scary.

Last night at Practice Ice, Coach was with another little boy and occasionally grabbing Stitch for a quick demo. Stitch was doing his warmup routine and his program, but was acting crabby for reasons unknown. Grandma is in town to watch Stitch while Dad catches some work and I'm at the office, so Grandma was sitting with me and we were chatting.

"He's talking back to her," observed Grandma.
"Yeah, I'm working with him about that."
"Kids got some gumption, I don't think I could talk back to her."

Afterwards, Coach introduced herself, knowing that Grandma will be the one handling Stitch during the day and not me. She said she'd tie his skates and not to worry, very friendly. I told them to have fun without me.

Grandma, on the other hand, felt intimidated. "I don't know what it is. Maybe it's the accent."
"She's really nice."
"I'm sure she is. But she scares me."
"She gives the little kids stickers, she's fine."
"Oh, sure, she's from a war torn country and stickers are a reward? What was her reward for skating well? Eating?"
Well, this just sparked an evening of hilarity that hopefully dissipated some of Grandma's intimidation.

But I know a few parents who find the Coaches a little intimidating. I know I used to. And some Coaches act intimidating. My response was to be friendly. If any Coach wants to roll their eyes at my lack of skating information, I'd be happy to avail them of my vast knowledge of lightbulbs and polyester color media. We all have our specialties, but most people come together with smiles and self-deprecating humor.

What about you, dear readers? Do you or did you ever find your skating coach intimidating? How did you handle the situation?


  1. My coach isn't intimidating at all, possibly because we're the same age, but more because she's very friendly and approachable. She makes a point of speaking briefly to her skaters parents at the end of their lesson.

  2. My coach is not intimidating at all ever. I have seen him angry twice - once because kids were playing with a ball and it bounced onto the floor while people were skating. Other coaches at the rink... have their good days and their bad days. The bad days are really really bad days. They scare me. When they are in a bad mood I just really watch out for them and their lessons and I try to skate really well lest their ire leaks and they yell at everyone.

  3. The only times I heard group lesson coaches raise voices are to make children stop talking and listen or practice more. Not sure if they found the coaches intimidating? I personally found a few coaches too rigid or don't care enough to answer questions about technique, more frustrating than intimidating though.

    OTOH skaters on competitive / test track likely feel differently about private coaches because the expectation is higher and issues are more complex.

  4. Forget the coaches. It's the teenagers that freak *me* out.