Saturday, July 9, 2011

Oh Dear

I'm attempting to explain the ins and outs of figure skating to the grandparents. Responses are ranging from confused stares to looks of horror.

This may not have been the best idea in the world...


  1. Ah, skating to the uninitiated. Yeah, I remember the grandparents being not exactly 100% behind it. Oh well, after having a couple of national champ grandkids, they changed their tune right quick. Only took 10 years...

    And, well, to be honest, at least your rink doesn't have the crap going on at the moment that my rink does. This past week there was a coach's meeting, and, well, let's just say that there are several letters of resignation being contemplated right now. Don't want to say too much, because I don't want things getting back or getting around somehow, but I gotta ask - is it acceptable in ice for a "head coach" to have the power to assign students to other coaches? Coaches don't get a say. Parents don't get a say. Skaters definitely don't get a say. You can deal, leave, or quit. Would this be allowed by your PSA or any other such governing bodies in your sport?

  2. "Is it acceptable in ice for a "head coach" to have the power to assign students to other coaches?"

    Seems like an easy question: No, unless the skaters or people paying the coaches like it that way. "Head coach" should be putting customer preferences first. At our rink the skating director does not teach precisely to avoid the conflict of interest your "head coach" is headed towards. That said, a head coach who could give useful, impartial coaching suggestions to new skating families would be very useful. Seems there is no such thing.

    Also our rink isn't organized enough to have coach's meetings, as far as I know. So in that sense you are lucky.

  3. One exception to that; if the coaches are junior coaches learning to teach, then it would make sense for a head coach to assign students to the junior coaches, because the junior coaches might get in over their heads otherwise.

  4. Well, they are trying to institute a "Jr" coach vs. "Sr" coach type system, except that they are placing people in the "Jr" category who have been coaching for over 30 years and even coached students to being national champions. Our four time world champion is being instituted as a "Jr" coach because she "doesn't know enough" to coach at a higher level. Basically, "Jr" level coaches cannot continue to coach anyone once they have passed their first test - at which point the "head coach" will re-assign the student to another coach who is "more capable" of coaching at a higher level. This impacts many adult skaters as well as beginner kids, who won't be able to have lessons from their current coaches in two weeks time. Essentially, this all came about because of jealousy and (for lack of a better phrase) talent envy between the coaches. Avoiding conflict of interest is really not a concern. Truthfully, it gives someone (who isn't even a registered coach I might add) power to choose the best skaters for herself and her favorites, and give the less talented kids to the less favored coaches. Also, I recognize the sane person in this situation would just up and leave, however, rink politics in the area are touchy feely at best. As an added bonus, the national championships starts in two weeks, so mobility is not really an option right now.

    So, erm, yeah. Explaining things to the grandparents coulda been a whole lot worse....

  5. "Truthfully, it gives someone power to choose the best skaters for herself and her favorites, and give the less talented kids to the less favored coaches."

    That was what I meant by conflict of interest.

    One could also try simply ignoring the head coach. But this depends on your local legal environment.

  6. Ignoring head coach = fired because she is #2 to the rink owner, who would have legal powers. I don't know what will be the outcome, but my coach of 13 years is contemplating retiring completely because he has been through this crap too many times. So, I don't know. Something will happen, just don't know what it will be as of yet.

  7. It seems to me once the customers get wind of this plan the rink is either going to have to go back to the old way, or go out of business due to all their customers running away!

    There is NO WAY I would let someone else decide for me who my coach is, especially not if I already had an established relationship.

    Can your coach give you lessons anywhere else? (I have another ice rink within an hours drive, maybe for roller rinks that isn't possible.)