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  1. #1

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    Time hasn't slowed down figure skating's Mr. Nicks

    A pre-Worlds Orange County Register article about Coach John Nicks, who turns 83 this month: http://www.ocregister.com/sports/nic...g-olympic.html
    "Well most people retire at 65 or 75," said Nicks one recent morning in office at the Aliso Viejo Ice Palace. "And I guess I to be honest with you I never much thought about it. I was always very much into what I was doing. I've always been very lucky with my health. I've had teaching since 1961 in this country. And I've only had 11 days not working because of sickness so the health thing, I've been very fortunate. That has enabled me to go on as long as I have.

    "And also I think when you get older you need things to help you. You need a little excitement in your life, which you're not getting as much," Nicks continued laughing, "and I think when I go to competitions, in particular World Championships and Olympic Games, it's exciting. I really look forward to that. I sometimes don't look forward to coming in here at 6:30 in the morning in a cold ice rink and working but I really look forward to the competition part and traveling and going to these competitions."
    ...
    "I do know if I coached the same as I coached 30 years ago I would be out of business, that I know," Nicks said. "And I think all coaches will tell you that through the years the adaptation you have to make with young people and the different lifestyles and the different priorities and different strengths and weaknesses the generations show after generation you just have to understand it and keep up with it and change your coaching attitude dependent on these changes. I think if you don't change you're dead."
    (Note: Nicks is no longer Courtney Hicks' primary coach -- see this thread (starting with post #25) for today's official announcement.)
    Last edited by Sylvia; 04-12-2012 at 08:29 PM.

  2. #2

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    He has been a "treasure" for US skaters/skating.
    More power to him!

  3. #3

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    The Professional Skaters Association's EDI Award for 2012 Coach of the Year was awarded to John Nicks last night - article: http://web.icenetwork.com/news/artic...&vkey=ice_news
    "Ashley [Wagner] is a complete scatterbrain and listens to half of what I say," Nicks said, once again calling upon his dry English wit. "She is very critical of me; [she says] my hairstyle doesn't hack it, my clothes are too old-fashioned. Recently she said I was her 'Yoda.' My friend had to tell me Yoda was [that character] from Star Wars."

    After the laughter died down, Nicks added, "If it wasn't for Ashley, I wouldn't be here."
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  4. #4

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    A most deserved honor!

  5. #5
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    Definitely a well-deserved honor for one of the legends of our sport.
    "I miss footwork that has any kind of a discernible pattern. The goal of a step sequence should not be for a skater to show the same ice coverage as a Zamboni and take about as much time as an ice resurface. " ~ Zemgirl, reflecting on a pre-IJS straight line sequence

  6. #6

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    He brought her to the top, she had the goods, but she needed someone to bring it out.

  7. #7
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    congratulations to Mr. Nicks on winning the Coach of the year award. well deserved honor

  8. #8
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    Very well deserved.

    It would be nice to see him work with Patrick Chan. I mean who else is worthy?

  9. #9

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    Bravo, Mr. Nicks! Well deserved!

    And I don't care what Ashley says, I love his hair.
    Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club
    Old, lonely, pathos-hungry, and extremely gullible

  10. #10
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    Way to go, Mr. Nicks! Well deserved!

  11. #11
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    Wonderful and deserved honor, which is mentioned to be John Nicks' second (but what year did he win it the first time?) Great accomplishment and very inspiring the work he and Ashley achieved together. What a great sense of humor, and what an elegant gentleman! BTW, Nicks was interviewed by manleywoman on episode #15 of her skatecast.


    Quote Originally Posted by arakwafan2006 View Post
    ...

    It would be nice to see him work with Patrick Chan. I mean who else is worthy?
    I really don't see Nicks taking on anymore top level skaters at this point. His work with Ashley has been serendipity and it was she who sought him out and promised to do everything he said.

    Besides, Patrick already has more than enough skating insiders in his corner, especially the judges.

  12. #12

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    Mr. Nicks last won won the Coach of the Year award in 1991.

    Leah Keiser (12th in her senior debut at 2012 US Nationals) recently switched to him.
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  13. #13
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    ^^ Thanks Sylvia (that must have been for his work in pairs?)

    Nicks is amazing, but again I thought he was paring back a bit with taking on a lot of skaters, especially top level ones where lots of travel is involved. I don't think it was easy for Ashley to get him as a coach. He was working with Marley/ Brubaker for awhile, and then handed off those coaching duties to Meno and Sand.

  14. #14
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    One of the things I liked about Rise is that it really showcased Nicks' deadpan humor and unique style. He's a legend in the sport - congrats on his win!
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

  15. #15

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    Congrats to Mr. Nicks! Well deserved honor!

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garden Kitty View Post
    One of the things I liked about Rise is that it really showcased Nicks' deadpan humor and unique style. He's a legend in the sport - congrats on his win!
    I will always have great respect for Mr. Nicks for his help with the US FS team after the 1961 tragedy.

  17. #17
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    Talking good point

    Quote Originally Posted by aftershocks View Post



    I really don't see Nicks taking on anymore top level skaters at this point. His work with Ashley has been serendipity and it was she who sought him out and promised to do everything he said.

    Besides, Patrick already has more than enough skating insiders in his corner, especially the judges.
    You do make two great points. I think that it was Sasha that brought him out of retirement ( i seem to remember him sayin he was doing a lot of fishing before she called him to prep her for nationals) in 2010. John Nicks does not need any more accolades however i could see him coaching a mens champion. Patrick seems to know his weaknesses and seems willing to do whatever it takes to fix them. John could most likely help. Just a thought. I would imagine that Patrick would give John respect from day one since John most likely could care less about apeasing patrick. The combination i think would be great.

  18. #18
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    I don't see anything wrong with the coaching combination, but conversely I don't think Patrick needs Nicks, he needs the judges to respect the fact that he (Chan) is not perfect every time out. Patrick deserves to be given scores in line with the level of his performances, so that he will have a better measure of his actual accomplishments and areas where he needs to improve. In any case, why would Patrick need to be "appeased"?

  19. #19
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    I don't think Chan is interested in a coach to whom he had to listen without question. He's been there, done that.
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

  20. #20
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    Ah, yeah but it might help Patrick to listen to someone with Nicks' experience. Unfortunately, as a result of always winning (per ISU judges' scoring), Chan may feel like "he's been there, done that." In reality, he still has a lot to learn. In comparison to Dai Takahashi's career and accomplishments (particularly on a personal and growth level), Chan has been nowhere* (despite 2 World championships, one of course achieved controversially). His BAD if Chan needs someone to "appease" him.

    Tempest in a teapot in any case, as I doubt Nicks has time in his pared-down schedule. Isn't it true that Nicks is working now mostly with younger skaters and with skaters who are trying to make it to the next level? Chan is ironically already at the "next level," but without a compass.

    * Or, maybe he's been to quad & SS heaven more often than his mortal ego can bear.
    Last edited by aftershocks; 05-27-2012 at 10:58 PM.

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