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Aussie Willy
12-30-2011, 03:01 AM
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.
This so true. I have had a coach who worked his butt off when learning to skate and also made all the mistakes in the world. But it means that he understands in great detail the problems and how to fix them. Which in turn because I am the same, I probably have a better understanding of things and can sometimes work at a different level when trying to explain things myself.

It is also like judging. You don't have to have achieved a high level in skating but you sure as hell have to be able to analysis what you are looking at, identify the problems and then justify your decisions.

zilam98
12-30-2011, 03:04 AM
This so true. I have had a coach who worked his butt off when learning to skate and also made all the mistakes in the world. But it means that he understands in great detail the problems and how to fix them. Which in turn because I am the same, I probably have a better understanding of things and can sometimes work at a different level when trying to explain things myself.

It is also like judging. You don't have to have achieved a high level in skating but you sure as hell have to be able to analysis what you are looking at, identify the problems and then justify your decisions.

the very essence of why i brought up this thread--the level of success from coaches who were ex-skaters themselves vs nonskating coaches

Aussie Willy
12-30-2011, 03:17 AM
I also think that good coaches recognise their deficiencies too and don't work on what they don't know or understand. They then guide more the skater's development and progression and recommend directions the skater can take to improve. Edge of Glory talked about Linda Leaver sending Brian Boitano off to different people to work on those things that she felt others could do better.

DORISPULASKI
12-30-2011, 05:56 AM
Did Jason Brown's coach ever skate herself? (Kori Ade)

jlai
12-30-2011, 06:11 AM
Did Jason Brown's coach ever skate herself? (Kori Ade)

I was just wondering the same thing. I remember the manleywoman podcast and my foggy memory says she skated a little but had to learn a lot along the way but I could be wrong

DORISPULASKI
12-30-2011, 06:57 AM
Of course, that's a case where Jason's choreographer skated more than his coach did.

overedge
12-30-2011, 08:23 PM
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.

IIRC Kerry Leitch competed at the junior national level in Canada but never placed very well. Did he perhaps mean that he was never an elite skater?

fenway2
12-30-2011, 09:35 PM
Elena Tcherkasskaia

aliceanne
01-01-2012, 06:59 PM
I'm not sure why someone who never skated before would want to be a skating coach. It is not an easy or glamourous job, and you have to work long hours to make any money at it. It is primarily a labor of love.

I do agree that different levels of skating require different levels of expertise from the coach, and that success as a skater doesn't always guarantee success as a coach. One rink I skated at proudly advertised a former Olympian as a Learn-to-Skate coach. He was
a disaster. He couldn't remember learning moves such as Mohawks and 3 turns and had no clue how to break them down for beginners. To aggravate matters he had no patience. People complained bitterly about his classes, but new students kept signing up. They thought he had to be the best coach because he had won so many medals.

zilam98
01-01-2012, 07:24 PM
I'm not sure why someone who never skated before would want to be a skating coach. It is not an easy or glamourous job, and you have to work long hours to make any money at it. It is primarily a labor of love.

I do agree that different levels of skating require different levels of expertise from the coach, and that success as a skater doesn't always guarantee success as a coach. One rink I skated at proudly advertised a former Olympian as a Learn-to-Skate coach. He was
a disaster. He couldn't remember learning moves such as Mohawks and 3 turns and had no clue how to break them down for beginners. To aggravate matters he had no patience. People complained bitterly about his classes, but new students kept signing up. They thought he had to be the best coach because he had won so many medals.

Those nonskating coaches might be aware of their teaching skills/aptitude, and know that they could do better than the former olympians who were successful in skating because of their natural talent but unable to know or be patient enough to teach the sport to newcomers. it's the same with my dad. he's an exceptional electrical engineer on his own, but is never patient enough to pass on his knowledge to younger generations, especially to my brothers who are also electrical engineers aspiring to follow his path.

dewey
01-01-2012, 08:00 PM
Those nonskating coaches might be aware of their teaching skills/aptitude, and know that they could do better than the former olympians who were successful in skating because of their natural talent but unable to know or be patient enough to teach the sport to newcomers. it's the same with my dad. he's an exceptional electrical engineer on his own, but is never patient enough to pass on his knowledge to younger generations, especially to my brothers who are also electrical engineers aspiring to follow his path.

This. Being able to do something well does not equate being able to teach it. I have long maintained that being able to teach is its own gift.

gkelly
01-01-2012, 08:20 PM
Those nonskating coaches might be aware of their teaching skills/aptitude, and know that they could do better than the former olympians

Who are "those nonskating coaches"?

There's a big range between former Olympian and can't skate at all. Almost all examples who were named in this thread actually were skaters before they became coaches -- they just weren't successful enough competitors to be widely known as skaters and were more successful and therefore more well known as coaches.

Coaches who work only with beginners may have blade skill levels not much more advanced than that themselves.

"Coaches" who help elite skaters primarily with choreography and/or mental focus may not have much in the way of blade skills either.

But pretty much everyone who learns skating skills learns them from coaches who already had experience training their own skating skills.

Aside from Gus Lussi, at a much earlier point in the development in the sport, I don't know of anyone who teaches skating technique without having developed a respectable amount of blade skills of their own.

Is the point of this thread really to look for coaches who were never as successful skaters as their most successful students? There are plenty of those. But coaches who "never skated"? Don't know of any.

UDelpairs2012
01-02-2012, 04:14 AM
Pam Gregory did not have immense success as a skater but she coached Kimmie to the Olympics and a world title....but as far as not skating at all I don't see how a person could do that. The world of skating is that its on world. With its own language and everything.

Spazactaz
01-02-2012, 05:38 AM
How can you even be a coach without having skated? In Canada, to even get certified to coach the learn-to-skate programs you need to have passed the first tests in freeskate, dance, and skills.

aliceanne
01-02-2012, 01:11 PM
How can you even be a coach without having skated? In Canada, to even get certified to coach the learn-to-skate programs you need to have passed the first tests in freeskate, dance, and skills.

I think at the beginning levels you need a coach who can demonstrate the skills. Elite coaches may stand at the boards and direct, but never a basic skills coach. I agree teaching ability is important, but some technical skill is necessary as well.

There are usually a dozen national/international level skaters in my area and all of their primary coaches have at a minimum passed the senior skating test in their country of origin.

Did Lussi teach Button his basic skills? I thought Lussi's main contribution to skating was to break down the existing technique for jumping and spinning and based on physics improve it. His later students were already elites.