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  1. #1

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    Thumbs up The Skating Lesson Podcast

    I started following Jenny Kirk on Twitter the other day and saw she was starting a podcast with figure skating blogger Dave Lease. Their first interview is with Tai Babilonia. It's very interesting if I should say so myself! Here is the link to the 1st part of it:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=o0lHznAGxco

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    This is the Facebook page for the podcasts: http://www.facebook.com/TheSkatingLesson

    Here's the link to the original thread on Kirk's blog from 2012: http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/show...nd-losing-quot

    ETA that the inaugural podcast with Tai Babilonia is in 10 parts: http://youtube.com/user/TheSkatingLesson
    Last edited by Sylvia; 01-02-2013 at 10:10 PM.
    "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

  3. #3
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    I'm listening to part 1 now. Wondering why Jenny/Dave felt like they had to split it up into so many small chunks, but I'm assuming they were trying to keep file sizes low.
    In my spare time, I like to interview figure skating legends.

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    Thanks for those additional links, Sylvia.

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    I got a little teary hearing Jenny and Tai discuss their experiences with eating disorders. I like that the format lends itself it to them having a more frank conversation about certain topics in skating like body image issues and addiction.

    Tai's rant about boot problems is funny. As is a woman in her 50s still referring to John Nicks as "Mr. Nicks."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabrichnova View Post
    I got a little teary hearing Jenny and Tai discuss their experiences with eating disorders. I like that the format lends itself it to them having a more frank conversation about certain topics in skating like body image issues and addiction.

    Tai's rant about boot problems is funny. As is a woman in her 50s still referring to John Nicks as "Mr. Nicks."
    A bit off topic from skating, but the "Cosby kids" still refer to Bill Cosby as "Mr. Cosby" in interviews. If nothing more than out of habit, I would still refer to most of my former teachers and professors as Professor, Mr/Mrs./Ms. unless specifically invited to do so differently.

    Sylvia, thanks for the link to the Kirk blog thread, she is a wonderful writer and very insightful. She writes specifically about her own battle with an eating disorder here: http://www.jenniferkirk.com/2012/05/...ealized-dream/

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    I've honestly yet to ever watch a podcast, but I'm tempted to do so if only to see how Jennifer does. I've missed her writing and articles, et al. Glad she's doing fine and expanding her horizons. She's a great role model for those that inevitably no longer compete, but move on to other areas of their life.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabrichnova View Post
    Tai's rant about boot problems is funny.
    Yes. It may be that competition viewers will be hearing less and less about that sort of thing in the future, thanks to podcasts like this.
    Last edited by falling_dance; 01-03-2013 at 04:28 AM.
    I can call the moon a pear, but it doesn't make it so. -- kwanfan1818

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    The part about never sitting down w/ Randy to talk about Lake Placid blows my mind. It's been 33 years, it might be time to just hash that out w/ him and move on.

    I love all the not-so-thinly-veiled digs at current skaters (namely Tai at various US pairs teams and Jenny re: Jeremy Abbott's "nutrition" comment).

    Anyway, I dig the Dave/Jenny combo so far. Excited to see what else they come out with.

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    I enjoyed it although would have preferred it in one video. Can't you upload full length now on youtube? Great idea to have Tai as guest number 1. As Manleywoman proved, Tai is a talker and VERY honest!

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    Quote Originally Posted by NadineWhite View Post
    I've honestly yet to ever watch a podcast, but I'm tempted to do so if only to see how Jennifer does.
    Honestly, I didn't "watch." I had it on in the background while I was doing other work. I peeked once in a while though.

    Quote Originally Posted by floskate View Post
    I enjoyed it although would have preferred it in one video. Can't you upload full length now on youtube? Great idea to have Tai as guest number 1. As Manleywoman proved, Tai is a talker and VERY honest!
    I agree she was a good first guest. (It was also nice that they referenced my podcast in one of the videos).

    As someone who does this, I will be surprised if they are able to keep up with the pace of one podcast per week. It's really a lot of work. But good luck to them! I'd do one a week myself if I had the time.
    In my spare time, I like to interview figure skating legends.

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    Love this, although, not surprised, I enjoy pretty much everything Dave does.

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    I enjoyed "watching" and listening to this debut "Skating Lesson" Podcast interview with Tai (1/2 of my favorite pairs skaters)! I think it is a great idea their (Dave/ Jenny/ Tai) theme of reaching out and having the different generations of skaters communicating with each other ... this sharing "lessons" idea is a good one.

    I also feel that Tai's discussion of being open and honest as a step toward greater communication has resonance. I would agree with Jenny too that such openness and sharing will probably be realized only with skaters of different generations reaching out to each other individually. These types of efforts tend to happen from the bottom up, and not the top down.

    During the interview, Jenny and Tai seemed to speak from their heart and their gut and their wealth of growth experiences good and bad, sad and inspiring. Re some of the references made to specific skaters, I think there were many compliments given to a number of skaters as well, and the more critical references were not intended to be mean-spirited or to single anyone out in a personally negative way, but just to point out some of the general problems, difficulties and obstacles faced by skaters today vs in the 70s and 80s. I get Tai's wish that U.S. pairs skaters would learn the importance of staying together. I don't think she's placing all the blame on the skaters either, but only trying to point out that it is a confounding issue that skaters' coaches, agents, managers, parents and USFS seem to mishandle.

    I do think skaters today are kinda caught in the middle of all the hoopla, mental and physical pressures, and expectations which are magnified 1,000 percent in this age of the Internet and global immediacy. Skaters can't fly under the radar and have the chance to develop slowly within a localized supportive community of other skaters in the way that Tai and Randy were able to do in a bygone era (was it really that long ago, my heavens!)

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    I appreciate that Ms Kirk is branching out and trying new avenues to bring skating to the masses, and of course to the fans. I would have preferred a different cohost though...someone with a less biased perspective...someone who perhaps who had been in broadcasting of skating, or another skater, like Jenny, who has experienced the world of elite skating, to add perspective and a different background, stories, experiences to the interviews. Perhaps someone like Ben Agosto, or a coach, like Audrey Weisger, who is now doing SPARQ1, or even someone like Terry Gannon, who was around the sport long enough to bring a seasoned perspective to the interviews.

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    I loved this interview, watched the whole thing. Especially liked Tai's rant about "after the fact" excuses: boot problems, injuries, etc. I've felt the same way for a long time now!
    "I hit him with my shoes... if he had given me the medal like I told him to, I wouldn't have had to hit him!" -- 8-year-old Rhoda Penmark in "The Bad Seed"

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    Here is a teaser of Jenny and Dave's next podcast with Tim Goebel!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLGNuLh5EbA

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    ^^ Wow, "taking off the veil!" I like how Tim owns up to the fact that s**t happens when the stakes are high, and in looking back he wishes that he had handled his break-up with Carol Heiss differently. He also implies that perhaps the same might be true for Frank in "firing" him. Brutal but honest description by Tim of how horrible he felt re the timing of the firing two days before an NHK competition.

    ITA re Tim's suggestion that it might be helpful for up-and-coming skaters if they were taught more about the hard realities of the sport prior to being caught up in a disillusioning set of circumstances that are the opposite of "rose-colored" dreams. And not only that, Tim also points out that it would benefit fans and the sport as a whole to be more open and not so PC and pristine about the harsh realities and back-stabbing going on behind-the-scenes.

    I look forward to hearing the rest of this podcast interview.
    Last edited by aftershocks; 01-07-2013 at 05:48 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by B.Cooper View Post
    I appreciate that Ms Kirk is branching out and trying new avenues to bring skating to the masses, and of course to the fans. I would have preferred a different cohost though...someone with a less biased perspective...someone who perhaps who had been in broadcasting of skating, or another skater, like Jenny, who has experienced the world of elite skating, to add perspective and a different background, stories, experiences to the interviews. Perhaps someone like Ben Agosto, or a coach, like Audrey Weisger, who is now doing SPARQ1, or even someone like Terry Gannon, who was around the sport long enough to bring a seasoned perspective to the interviews.
    Ben Agosto, Audrey Weisinger, and Terry Gannon are paid professionals who don't provide their services for free. This is afterall, free content, and Dave and Jenny are putting a lot of work into it. Dave's perspective as a fan and an adult skater is as valid as anyone's. Personally, I impressed that someone in their 20's knows as much skating history as he does and I appreciate the clips he posts.

    Kudos to Manleywoman too!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by aliceanne View Post
    Ben Agosto, Audrey Weisinger, and Terry Gannon are paid professionals who don't provide their services for free. This is afterall, free content, and Dave and Jenny are putting a lot of work into it. Dave's perspective as a fan and an adult skater is as valid as anyone's. Personally, I impressed that someone in their 20's knows as much skating history as he does and I appreciate the clips he posts.

    Kudos to Manleywoman too!
    To reiterate, I applaud Jenny in her efforts. Perhaps she will branch out over time an include others on her team of interviewers.

    On to Tim Goebel's clip.....he makes a very valid point, and one that few USFS skaters have rarely talked about.... the process of breaking up with a coach, when USFS encourages their athletes to be PC about the dissolution of a coaching arrangement (or any other subject matter that might provoke an emotional response). I am sure there have been many circumstances over the years when break-ups were not on the best of terms, and as Tim pointed out, perhaps not timed for good outcomes at a competition. But, I also have to wonder, how does an organization like USFS deal with situations like Tim's when they are "casual observers" for lack of a better phrase, of the relationship between the coach and the athlete....USFS is not in the rink day in and day out, they don't know what is being said on the ice...they only get reports from the participants (the athlete or coach) or bystanders, so then it becomes an issue of 'he said/she said" sort of thing, and nothing good comes of that type of argument/disagreement, and from the "corporate" standpoint, USFS encourages none of the participants to air their dirty laundry so to speak. It just becomes fuel for rumors, and as Tim points out, lots of back stabbing that goes on, the undermining of an athlete's achievements/success/goals for their season or career. Is it just an issue of maturation, and that many of these athletes have led unusually sheltered or focused lives, and that when a coaching relationship takes a turn towards being no longer productive for either the athlete or the coach, is it just better to walk away, and leave all the bitterness at the door? I also think it is a "generational" topic....that something like Tim and Frank's parting ways was handled differently than perhaps in 2012. Thinking back to the Carlo Fassi stories, and his strict disciplinarian environment for his athletes....they might have complained, but then they were sent home for the day or a week, until their attitudes changed. Frank skated and grew up in that environment, and I would assume his attitudes and coaching style were formed by a similar environment. That "veil" of propriety has continued for many in the sport to this day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by B.Cooper View Post
    To reiterate, I applaud Jenny in her efforts. Perhaps she will branch out over time an include others on her team of interviewers.

    On to Tim Goebel's clip.....he makes a very valid point, and one that few USFS skaters have rarely talked about.... the process of breaking up with a coach, when USFS encourages their athletes to be PC about the dissolution of a coaching arrangement (or any other subject matter that might provoke an emotional response). I am sure there have been many circumstances over the years when break-ups were not on the best of terms, and as Tim pointed out, perhaps not timed for good outcomes at a competition. But, I also have to wonder, how does an organization like USFS deal with situations like Tim's when they are "casual observers" for lack of a better phrase, of the relationship between the coach and the athlete....USFS is not in the rink day in and day out, they don't know what is being said on the ice...they only get reports from the participants (the athlete or coach) or bystanders, so then it becomes an issue of 'he said/she said" sort of thing, and nothing good comes of that type of argument/disagreement, and from the "corporate" standpoint, USFS encourages none of the participants to air their dirty laundry so to speak. It just becomes fuel for rumors, and as Tim points out, lots of back stabbing that goes on, the undermining of an athlete's achievements/success/goals for their season or career. Is it just an issue of maturation, and that many of these athletes have led unusually sheltered or focused lives, and that when a coaching relationship takes a turn towards being no longer productive for either the athlete or the coach, is it just better to walk away, and leave all the bitterness at the door? I also think it is a "generational" topic....that something like Tim and Frank's parting ways was handled differently than perhaps in 2012. Thinking back to the Carlo Fassi stories, and his strict disciplinarian environment for his athletes....they might have complained, but then they were sent home for the day or a week, until their attitudes changed. Frank skated and grew up in that environment, and I would assume his attitudes and coaching style were formed by a similar environment. That "veil" of propriety has continued for many in the sport to this day.
    My impression of Tim Goebel is that he can't accept the fact that his body changed and he couldn't do the big jumps any more.

    I don't know why he keeps bringing up his split with Frank. He set the tone for his relationship with Frank when he abruptly split from Carol Heiss two weeks before Worlds. The fact that Frank accepted him under those circumstances should have told him how Frank felt about loyalty and coaching relationships.

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