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  1. #21
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    I hope nobody thinks that's what figure skating training is really like. How embarrassing. Maybe they are trying to cash in on Dance Moms or something?

  2. #22

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    If any of the coaches I know (USFS or ISI) talked to each other the way those four did - on the ice, in fornt of skaters and parents - they'd have been banned from the rink in twenty seconds. I feel bad for the skaters for being subjected to that squabbling - and I feel bad for the parents who pay these coaches to waste lesson time on issues that should be settled off-ice - or not even be issues at all.

    The final "competition" was definitely ISI in-house. 35 events with two skaters in each group amounts to about three hours max and waiting until the end to call out the results without posting them first is not something an open competition would do.

    Still, for what it was - a show about two sisters behaving badly in front of their children - I didn't think it was that terrible. At least it's the adults who were shown to be the fruitcakes and not the skaters. And it didn't really portray the sport all that badly - no ranting about corrupt judges or incomprehensible scoring - the major failing is that the show fails to explain the level of competition we're seeing.
    I'd rather be thought of as absolutely ridiculous than as absolutely boring.

  3. #23

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    Yeah, it's a show about these women with low-level competitive skating as the milieu, not a show about skating.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by danceronice View Post
    Well, the KIDS seemed nice...the moms and coaches were all a blond Jersey-accented blur.

    So...this is ISI skating, huh? (The programs, I mean.) I've never seen ISI kids before. Huh. Um. Well. (Please tell me this is a bad sample and they're generally better than this.)
    Where I am, all the kids start with ISI. Then about FS3, the more serious skaters start with USFS. They continue with both -doing ISI comps to support their rink and to inexpensively try out new programs in front of judges and an audience(the bronze, silver, gold, platinum levels correspond well with USFS) and USFS comps. After they are juv/intermediate many stop ISI comps because the levels have fewer skaters so it can be more of an exhibition. But they often volunteer during the ISI comps to support their friends at the rink.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by maatTheViking View Post
    I feel sorry for the 11 year old if she figures out that whatever her mom signed means she can to USFS competitions - regardless of her talent or lack thereof.
    I don't think it will harm her, if she is not already a member of USFS. If she is only a member of ISI, then I would think that USFS not sanctioning the show is irrelevant. IRRC, they don't sanction ISI competitions either, and plenty of skaters skate ISI and later transfer to USFS with no issues. It would only be a problem for her if she was already a USFS member, and did not have permission from USFS to participate in an unsanctioned event (the show/and ISI competition/etc).

    Now, the $$$ factor of the show could possibly be an issue with USFS eligibility. Back in my day, nobody made $$$ skating unless you were a pro so I don't know how that would fit in.

    ETA: danceronice, what you saw skating-wise was no different than what you see in USFS basic skills competitions and in most older-age test-track events at USFS local comps.

  6. #26
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    IRRC, they don't sanction ISI competitions either, and plenty of skaters skate ISI and later transfer to USFS with no issues.
    My understanding is there is a blanket sanction that allows eligible USFS skaters to participate in ISI competitions and events. Many kids here do regionals and also ISI.

    http://www.usfsa.org/Athletes.asp?id=230
    If compensation is not received for skating, only novice and above must report their participation to USFS.

  7. #27

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    ISI is a wonderful organization; I'm an adult No-Test level USFS-wise and there are practically no USFS competitions anymore for an adult skater at my low level (job changes over the years put a serious dent in my skating time, I'm only getting back to it on a truly regular basis now). You learn the same skills in ISI as USFS; in fact, the USFS Basic Skills program came about as USFS (finally) realized there were other skaters out there than just those who expect to go on a seriously competitive test tract of Regionals, Sectionals, etc. I volunteer assistant coach adult beginners at a seasonal rink that concentrates on recreational skating and uses ISI levels. I really miss the ISI competitions my old group used to hold.

    ISI competitions are more relaxed and fun; there are 5 awards, 3 medals and ribbons for 4th and 5th place. There also is a team aspect; the members of each ISI team have points added up based on their placements (5 points for a gold medal, 4 for silver, etc.) , and 1st, 2nd and 3rd place team trophies are awarded based on points. However, Jersey on Ice is really distorting ISI more than a bit. Those obnoxious coaches are making it sound like you have to "qualify" for the Lake Placid competition similar to Sectionals or Nationals. That's not true; any skater who is a member of ISI or a member of an ISI team can go. It's just a big ISI competition with a good reputation that attracts a lot of skaters. The concept that these coaches will "select" certain skaters over others for Lake Placid is crap; most coaches band together for Lake Placid to bring any interested ISI skater and have as big and strong a team as possible.

    This show is disgusting; the bickering, the nastiness and the focus on the selfishness of the coaches over the skaters themselves does a real disservice to skating in general. Hopefully this piece of junk will be canceled quickly. And I hope none of those skaters are USFS members and won't get hurt by participating. I've read several articles about the show, and USFS skaters are weighing in strongly and negatively, pointing out that these kids are not USFS competitors and how this really doesn't represent the competitive skating world that most viewers are used to seeing. One poster noted that the producers had approached her club and the club/rink couldn't usher them out fast enough. The rink in the show has had some serious coaches, including Alexander Zhulin, but it's reputation is likely to go down the drain with this. While it might be funny, it's a train wreck and makes skating in general look bad.
    "Once you've skated together long enough, and you're really good friends, you can close your eyes, put your hand out and she's right there." Joe Dolkiewicz, 2011 US Novice Pairs Bronze Medalist

  8. #28

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    Kristin Fraser is the Skating Director at the Floyd Hall Arena and Igor Lukanin is one of the coaches: http://www.floydhallarena.com/skatinginstructors.asp
    "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

  9. #29

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    I started skating at Floyd and I have these two things to say about what I saw on the TV last night:

    1. It's NOTHING like it was 14 years ago.

    2. Very little of this is for show. These coaches are pretty much exactly the same in person.

    Make of that what you will.

  10. #30

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    The website tells you a lot; none of the 4 coaches featured are PSA certified and only Deana holds a USFS certification Sylvia, am I correct in that you need at least one of these certifications to coach skaters for USFS competitions, and some rinks require proof of certification before they even allow you to coach your skaters on their ice? Coaches are also required to take continuing education for keep these credentials going (for the record, I'm an ISI-bronze level judge which I achieved by passing a written test, didn't go any further as I am no longer an ISI member since our ISI team disbanded and I don't compete ISI any more). Even at my level, I'm a member of PSA at the associate level as I only coach a few hours a week and my work is strictly on a volunteer basis assisting the coaches who teach adult beginners. I have no regular students; I don't have the skills or experience to do that kind of coaching. Basically, these ladies are low level coaches only really qualified to teach at the ISI level. If you want a distinction, look at Patty Ensign's qualifications and the type of coaching she does (Regional/Sectional/National competitors) vs the Jersey on Ice coaches.
    "Once you've skated together long enough, and you're really good friends, you can close your eyes, put your hand out and she's right there." Joe Dolkiewicz, 2011 US Novice Pairs Bronze Medalist

  11. #31

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    What does "Also moonlights as sparkle" mean?

  12. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yazmeen View Post
    The website tells you a lot; none of the 4 coaches featured are PSA certified and only Deana holds a USFS certification
    Yes, only Deana Sroka is on the current coaches' compliance list maintained by USFS (required for coaching at their test sessions, non-qualifying and qualifying competitions): http://www.usfsa.org/content.asp?menu=coaches&id=451
    "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. #33

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    Is the Kristin that was in last night's episode (the coach that the other three beeyotch coaches couldn't stand) Kristin Fraser? I didn't see much resemblance to the online photos.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

  14. #34

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    No, she's Kristen Gerard, further down in the photo lineup. Again, not a USFS or PSA-certified coach. She was about the only one who seemed tolerable. She appeared to care about her students instead of the "it's all about me" attitude of the other 3. Good grief, I feel sorry for this woman coaching both Deana's and Michele's daughters, talk about a no-win situation. My husband's coach has a grown daughter who competed for years, and she always maintained a policy of being a mom, not a coach in her relationship with her daughter's coaches over the years.
    "Once you've skated together long enough, and you're really good friends, you can close your eyes, put your hand out and she's right there." Joe Dolkiewicz, 2011 US Novice Pairs Bronze Medalist

  15. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by zaphyre14 View Post
    And it didn't really portray the sport all that badly - no ranting about corrupt judges or incomprehensible scoring
    True, but I don't think it helped the sport that most of the coach-skater interaction was pretty negative. If parents think that's what all coaches are like, they might be reluctant to get their kids into skating.

    the major failing is that the show fails to explain the level of competition we're seeing.
    Agreed. It would be complicated to explain USFS vs. ISI for a non-skating audience, but the basic differences could be covered fairly quickly. That, however, would take away from the show's premise that these coaches are working with all these kids that are struggling along the difficult path that one day leads to the Olympics....
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

  16. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    True, but I don't think it helped the sport that most of the coach-skater interaction was pretty negative. If parents think that's what all coaches are like, they might be reluctant to get their kids into skating.
    also, the fact that the coaches were all about how the skaters winning and talking badly about each others skating. It is not the supporting environment I would want a kid doing sports in - if I wanted my kid to go into skating I would know that the chances of being super competitive are so slim, the primary goal would be to have fun and do something athletic and artistic and learn other life skills like winning/losing, dealing with nerves, performance, team spirit, kindness and so forth.

  17. #37

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    There was some discussion about skating (and spinning?) slowly or with speed, but almost nothing in terms of the coaches giving technical corrections to help the skaters improve what they were doing.

    My guess is that's primarily because the producers didn't think it would be of interest to non-skating audiences, so instead they chose to focus on the motivational side of coaching. It's also possible that that's what these particular coaches spend most of their lesson time on anyway.

    I think it would be valuable for audiences who are interested in getting a peek into what goes into this sport to witness some of the technical aspects of training. But even in a TV show that aims to do that and takes skating seriously, rather than one that aims to focus on controversial personalities, how much time would TV networks want to spend on coaches talking about which muscles to tighten or where to position the weight over the blade? Was there any of that in that 2006 series?

  18. #38

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    It's also very counterproductive behavior considering these kids are an ISI team. Part of the goal of ISI competition as I mentioned, especially at a competition like Lake Placid, is team points and doing well as a team. These women seem hellbent on the "screw the other kids, my kids have to WIN" mentality with any team aspect ranking a very distant second, if even that high.
    "Once you've skated together long enough, and you're really good friends, you can close your eyes, put your hand out and she's right there." Joe Dolkiewicz, 2011 US Novice Pairs Bronze Medalist

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    Kristin Fraser is the Skating Director at the Floyd Hall Arena and Igor Lukanin is one of the coaches: http://www.floydhallarena.com/skatinginstructors.asp
    Interesting. i used to skate with Fraser/Lukanin at the Gardens Ice House when they were there. I'm surprised she would go for this. I know of at least three rinks that turned this concept down when approached by TV guys to put this on.

    As an aside, I took my European Waltz with Igor. Skating with a dancer of that level . . . . It was awesome. I didn't look nearly as good of course when I did the solo version for the test.
    In my spare time, I like to interview figure skating legends.

  20. #40

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    I live in Newark now. Maybe I should take a trip to Little Falls when I need to unwind to watch a "live" taping.

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