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gkelly
12-29-2011, 04:11 PM
Gus Lussi

That's the only person I could think of who was a technical skating coach without having been a skater.

My very first skating instructor was a guy who had been a professional ballet dancer and who knew enough about skating to teach beginners, but by the time I was ready to start learning the preliminary figures I needed to switch to a different coach. I'm sure he never competed as a figure skater, but it's possible he may have done some performing on ice.

At the elite levels, I don't think you'll find technical coaches who hadn't also skated themselves. Possibly not as competitors, especially considering that for much of the 20th century performing or teaching skating would have been enough to lose their own eligibility to compete. But if they're better at teaching than at doing it themselves their students may far surpass their own accomplishments.

Choreographers who don't skate themselves wouldn't be able to teach technique, but they could help skaters with second mark/program component aspects of performance better than some technical coaches. If they started as stage choreographers and then learned how to skate themselves, then they could also teach technique.

A.H.Black
12-29-2011, 04:16 PM
Gus Lussi

from wikipedia -


Gustave François Lussi (1898 – June 23, 1993) was a figure skating coach. His students include many champions, such as Dick Button, Donald Jackson, Ronald Robertson, Ronald Ludington, Barbara Ann Scott, David Jenkins, Hayes Jenkins, Dorothy Hamill (during her novice years), John Misha Petkevich, and John Curry.


Some of Lussi's other students, such as Mary Scotvold, Robin Wagner, Evelyn Kramer and Priscilla Hill, have also become successful coaches who have passed on Lussi's techniques to subsequent generations of skaters. Wagner coached Sarah Hughes to the 2002 Olympic title and Sasha Cohen to her first World Championship medal. Priscilla Hill has coached Johnny Weir to three national titles. Evelyn Kramer is now known as a "spin doctor" and has helped many skater improve their spins. They include Michelle Kwan, Robin Cousins and Caryn Kadavy

His influence will continue to be felt for generations to come.

AYS
12-29-2011, 04:46 PM
According to his obituary, Gus Lussi at least knew how to skate, but was primarily a ski jumper when young, and was involved in producing and directing ice shows before he started coaching. On a note interesting only to myself :shuffle: , he was born on the exact same day (same date and year) as my grandfather.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/obituary-gustave-lussi-1483334.html

madm
12-29-2011, 04:48 PM
Found a reference for Sappenfield which indicates that she too skated

http://figureskating.about.com/od/topskatingcoaches/p/dalilah.htm

There was an feature story about Dalilah in one of the skating magazines a couple of years ago (maybe in Blades on Ice?) Does anyone have a link to it? I believe she competed up to the junior pair level but then her partner cut his foot badly skating, was never able to skate again, and that was the end of her competitive career.

Frau Muller
12-29-2011, 06:05 PM
Danny Kwan! During the 2001/02 season, he coached "somebody" to a U.S. National title and an Olympic bronze medal. Not shabby.

Moka-Ananas
12-29-2011, 06:11 PM
I would never take figure skating lessons from someone who never figure skated.

THIS!

My sister used to be quite good on a regional level and was invited to train with some "professional" coaches together with other talented children.
There was a coach in ice hockey skates who told them that Russian figure skating technique sucks and who has never figure skated himself. You do the math.

winterone
12-29-2011, 07:15 PM
Danny Kwan! During the 2001/02 season, he coached "somebody" to a U.S. National title and an Olympic bronze medal. Not shabby.

She didn't need a coach.

briancoogaert
12-29-2011, 07:34 PM
She didn't need a coach.
Everybody needs one. ;)

So, Danny Kwan, Suzanne Bonaly, and other parents never were coaches, but it's another kind of relation.

Me, I need someone who was a good skater as a coach ! lol

I don't know if Annick Dumont was a skater before. She said she had an injury, but when, at which level ?

berthesghost
12-29-2011, 07:43 PM
THIS!

My sister used to be quite good on a regional level and was invited to train with some "professional" coaches together with other talented children.
There was a coach in ice hockey skates who told them that Russian figure skating technique sucks and who has never figure skated himself. You do the math.
Your sister took from evy scotvold? :lol:

skatesindreams
12-29-2011, 07:49 PM
According to his obituary, Gus Lussi at least knew how to skate, but was primarily a ski jumper when young, and was involved in producing and directing ice shows before he started coaching. On a note interesting only to myself :shuffle: , he was born on the exact same day (same date and year) as my grandfather.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/obituary-gustave-lussi-1483334.html

More about him:

1980 Gus Lussi - Pioneer American Coach
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxNN2XgDLkU

gkelly
12-29-2011, 08:03 PM
There are several different functions that coaches can serve. Designing programs to maximize points according to the rules or to convey artistic meanings, and helping skaters to focus mentally, are areas where technical skating expertise is not needed. So a skater, generally one who is already an adult, who already has developed the necessary technical expertise can often do well with support in other areas.

Such an experienced skater might prefer to have the primary "coach" be someone who focuses on artistry or mental approach. S/he could work with a technical coach as a secondary resource, or use video or other objective feedback to help maintain skills or even improve or learn new variations.

However, unlike a century ago when skating techniques were first being discovered/invented, the technical level of the sport is now far beyond the level where self-taught skaters could possibly develop enough technical expertise to reach elite competitive levels. I.e., everyone needs a technical coach of some sort to teach them how to execute the necessary skating skills in the first place.

Lainerb
12-29-2011, 11:00 PM
Minzhu Li? I had thought she competed at Worlds in the 1980s but now that I look back there doesn't seem to be her name in any of the results. Did she compete at events within China or as a pairs skater?

Kasey
12-30-2011, 12:09 AM
Along the same lines, what do people think of coaches who had been skaters who succeeded at the elite level, compared to those who had more modest success? I wouldn't think it should matter so much, as anyone who had skated to novice or junior level certainly has the technique experience to train others; but other than the name recognition and political factor, would a higher-level success trend towards having more success with coaching skaters? I haven't really paid enough attention to note whether there is any correlation between the success level of the coach and the success level of their skaters...

overedge
12-30-2011, 12:30 AM
Not that I am a high-level skater by any means :lol: but I think that coaches who once competed at a high level maybe are better at managing that sort of experience. By which I mean, dealing with the federation(s), arranging travel, scheduling the skater so s/he is in their best shape at the competition, and so on.

But I don't think having competed at a high level necessarily translates into being able to coach at a high level. Some high-level skaters get that way because they have so much natural talent, and someone who "gets" things easily sometimes has trouble as a coach, because they don't know how to explain how to do something to someone who doesn't get it.

Lurking Skater
12-30-2011, 02:27 AM
I agree with overedge, a great skater may not be a great coach. We have a wonderful skater at our rink who would be a terrible coach because everything came easy to her. The things that came easy to me as a skater are the things I have the worst time teaching. To me, a good coach knows how and why an element works and can use that knowledge to pinpoint why an element isn't.

I took a seminar from Kerry Leitch several years ago and he said that he was never a skater and was able to be successful because of his technical understanding of the elements that he was able to gain. I can teach someone an axel because I understand the jump, but I can't land one myself.