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Skating Lesson Podcast: Dan Hollander

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by reese, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. reese

    reese Well-Known Member

  2. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

    I got the impression that she was waaay more competitive than he was and that it drove her crazy that her top student was just "happy to be there". He talks about the difference in personalities between the top competitors and those that place number 2 and 3.

    I thought it was interesting that he paid a coach to wear down his self confidence and a sports psychologist to build it up.
  3. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

    I just started to listen, and I'd like to point out that I don't think Jenny needed to take a swipe at manleywoman by saying "We listened to another podcast a couple of years ago with Dan Hollander ... but we don't feel the interviewer delved enough into the issues Dan had with his former coach." OUCH! Even Dave raised his eyebrows and widened his eyes three times when Jenny said that. It wasn't necessary for Jenny to say what she felt the "other interviewer" didn't do enough. Just go ahead and do your thing.

    So, Jenny, why not just acknowledge having been inspired to start your podcast by listening to manleywoman's wonderful work? Even if you don't necessarily agree with manleywoman's approach, why are you giving the impression that you're going to go after many of the same guests that manleywoman interviewed, in order to "delve more," or to ask what you seem to think are better questions!!? Perhaps taking a swipe is not your intention. I hope not. I think it's great that you and Dave have started your podcast, and I love your approach and all of the interviews you've done thus far. No competition is needed, and again, perhaps that is not want you intend to imply. There is room for everyone, IMHO.

    Obviously, it's easier to engage in more provocative interviews with skaters who are no longer in the eligible ranks and who are willing to speak out on controversial subjects. Hopefully, as your podcast continues Jenny, you and Dave might try seeking out a wider variety of guests, including coaches and choreographers, with the aim of informing young skaters and fans about many different behind-the-scenes topics, as your "Skating Lessons" theme suggests. Please consider "delving" into informative topics that are not mainly controversial and involving emotional conflict that leads to your guests or to you and Dave taking swipes at other people. Thank you.

    Would like to add that I am an admirer of Jenny as a skater, a figure skating blogger, and now a podcast host. In listening to what Jenny said again, probably it wasn't intended to be a slight, but that is the way it seemed to me when I first heard what Jenny said. Perhaps Jenny was just excited about "delving more" into the topic of coach/ skater relationships with Dan Hollander, as a result of her own life-changing experiences with her former coach (which Jenny wrote about so eloquently in her blog).

    Certainly, the interview with Dan is quite interesting and opens up a lot of important issues about how to choose the right coach to fit a skater's needs and personality, as well as learning how to navigate the sometimes perilous and rocky coach/ skater relationship.

    I was somewhat confused when Dan referred to his former coach as having been taught by Slavka Kohut Button, and when he indicated that his former coach told him Slavka taught her "to be an automaton." Since Dan also refers to the fact that Slavka was a coach to Janet Lynn, I can't imagine that Lynn was taught to skate "like an automaton." But, oh well, if she was, I guess we can be thankful that Lynn's God-given gifts saved her from actually skating like one. ;)

    Jenny and Dave could certainly have "delved more" into the Kohut teaching method reference that Dan made in order to bring out more clarity and specificity. :) In the absence of clarity, it seems to me it's possible that Dan's former coach's personality had some input into whatever the dynamic was between her and Slavka Kohut. Also, IMO, many of the issues that Tai previously touched on and that Dan discusses relative to his former coach involve a lot of complex generational issues that are not simple black or white situations, but more shades of gray.

    It was great hearing Dan describe how he discovered proper jump technique has to do with involving one's core rather than simply snapping one's shoulders. And also how he and another of his former coach's students learned proper jump technique independently after they had both retired and were touring in professional shows. It was quite funny and kinda sad when Dan described how he and the other skater later happened to share notes with each other.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
  4. alfongsucks

    alfongsucks New Member

    Well I have to say that I really enjoyed this podcast quite a bit. I liked the fact that Dan basically ratted out his coach as the maniac that she is. Lets face it there are way too many people in skating that say things like Oh I really respect this skater, I loved my coaches they were great for me but I needed a change. I guess I am very in your face, Call them out! Say my coach was an alcoholic, my coach was a bitch, my coach was sleeping with my mother! Just say it skaters! That is what makes it interesting! I would have not been so politically correct. I like all of the podcasts but I personally hate leaving things to the imagination. Some things are best left said! For that I really thank you Dave and Jenny!

    Anyway there is room for multiple podcasts.

    Anyway what I got out of the automation technique, five jumps have to make all of them, is that it destroys confidence. I think it really leads to very unhappy skaters. I remember reading in Janet Lynn's autobiography that she was very depressed, fortunately she was at the top of her game throughout her whole career but was she really? She usually was not the top american skater at worlds. Anyway I was really impressed with how coaches who coach others seem to teach their coaching techniques. Considering that Slavka coached Diana .....who coached Julie Berlin who coached Alissa. I bet that their training techniques were all very negative.

    The competing for lessons and the Diana cult was incredible. Well done Dave and Jenny!
  5. BittyBug

    BittyBug And the band played on

    I agree that Jenny and Dave should be commended for getting their subjects to open up. Frankly, listening to Hollander describe his relationship with his coach, it struck me as nothing short of abusive, especially the threats and intimidation that he would be nothing without her.

    One of his points that he made is that some people simply shouldn't be teachers, and it's so true. I'm not sure if his former coach still teaches, but I hope not. At any rate, kudos to Hollander for breaking the cycle and making a conscious effort to do things differently. I bet he's a fun coach.
  6. reese

    reese Well-Known Member

    This struck me too. Obviously a lot of coaches are ex-skaters who when they finish their competitive and/or pro careers feel like coaching is their best and most potentially lucrative skill. I wonder how many coaches feel stuck in a coaching career because they don't feel like they have a better option.

    Like aliceanne said, I did find it head-scratching that Dan's dad was pouring all this money into an abusive coach and then also throwing a ton of money at a twice-a-week therapist to deal w/ the fallout of the abusive coaching... I'm sure the irony isn't lost on Dan now, but still, seems like someone could have nipped that at the time, but alas.
  7. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

  8. BittyBug

    BittyBug And the band played on

    It's not entirely surprising considering the earning potential. How many other jobs do you know of in which you can start off making $30+ an hour, with no higher education? And in my area, lower level coaches make more like $50 - $60 an hour. Granted, it may be seasonal work depending on the area and it's hard to build up a student base to generate full-time work, but I can see why former skaters would gravitate towards the profession.
  9. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

    I remember when Hollander described how his coach made it all about her at Worlds where he was clearly devastated by his skate in his manleywoman podcast. This was longer and more detailed, but no more shocking.

    I was a fan of his during his eligible career, and he has the attitude I would appreciate if I had a kid in skating.
  10. FSfan107

    FSfan107 Well-Known Member

    That's what I got from what Dan was saying about the automation technique too. Sounds like he stills struggles with it to this day too because that technique has been so drilled into him. Interesting that Diana coached Julie Berlin too. Obviously I don't know all of the facts surrounding Julie Berlin/Alissa Czisny and their coach/student relationship, but Alissa always seemed to lack confidence in her jumps (though this has now gotten better I believe during her time with Yuka and Jason). This podcast was excellent and covered a lot of interesting issues involved in coaching. Great job!
  11. literaryfreak

    literaryfreak Well-Known Member

    Jonathan Cassar also used to train with Julie Berlin, and he struggled with jumps and consistency. All these data points...
  12. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady Well-Known Member

    I think Jenny Kirk and Dave did great work in their questions for Dan. It is important for coaches to keep their egos in perspective. It seems like too many of the smartest coaches lose touch with reality. This happens in many elite disciplines, like in academia, where professors often forget they are dealing with developing young people.
  13. ioana

    ioana Well-Known Member

    I guess she felt the need to explain why a second interview in a fairly short time span was warranted. Granted, this doesn't happen with regular celebrities at events like award ceremonies where they wonder around from Tv station to Tv station saying how honored they are to be nominated. Nobody feels the need to say 'You didn't talk about the lacy shoulder detail on your Valentino dress on BBC. So Chantilly or Italian hand-made? And, what about your chances of winning?" I guess its all relative to your own frame of reference. Given the shrinking skating coverage, Jenny felt the need to explain why addressing coaching issues was relevant and a good reason for another interview.

    I for one didn't think it was necessary to even explain it, but I never got the impression this was a swipe. Far from it.
  14. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

    ^^ Yes, as I said I didn't think it was necessary for Jenny to specifically say what she felt the other interviewer "didn't" do. But just go ahead and do her own thing. If she wanted to point out the other interview, great. That's a good thing, but in bringing it up, she could have phrased it more positively, e.g., "We were listening to another podcast interview with Dan from a few years ago and he mentioned some difficulties he had with his former coach that we wanted to delve more into."

    BTW, ioana, the #31 Dan Hollander podcast interview by manleywoman aired in September 2009.

    Maybe Dave and Jenny were listening to this manleywoman podcast recently, but their new interview with Dan is not really "in a fairly short time span." But, it seems clear that Jenny knows Dan fairly well and has likely spoken to him before privately about some of his traumatic coaching experiences. So surely that's another reason how this interview came together.

    Okay, I give Jenny the benefit of the doubt that she didn't intend to make a swipe. Jenny has a bright, determined spirit and I'm happy for her that she came through her difficult journey growing up as skater, and is now giving back in a unique and courageous way. None of us are perfect. And we can all learn from each other if we are open and willing to do so.

    Again, what Dave, Jenny and their guests are doing is revealing, educational, courageous, and as they aptly said at the end of Dan's interview, therapeutic! I applaud them. Figure skating does need to be made more open and accessible. The different generations need to communicate with each other better and share things that have tended to be traditionally kept hidden and secret. If the sport wants to evolve, grow and reach a wider audience, it needs to air out its own house and not be afraid to clean its dirty laundry, and blossom more openly, forthrightly and engagingly into the 21st century. There's quite a lot of things that need to be examined and changed in this sport. People coaching who should not be coaches is just one of the damaging problems that need to be addressed.

    Most of all, thanks to Dave, Jenny and their guests for making the effort to reach out and share the complicated, tough, and confusing growing pains aspects of this sport with those who need it most: young, innocent, starry-eyed skaters who are caught in the middle of the difficult transitions this sport has been going through in recent years.

    Yes, indeed, multiple podcasts are a good thing. And let's appreciate what everyone has to offer. I also extend many thanks to manleywoman for her pioneering inspiration. Keep up the good work, all!

    The Skating Lesson interview with Dan Hollander is full of important insights, revelations, and observations that demand a great deal more attention, reflection and investigation. BTW, I was eager to find out more about Slavka Kohout since she is mentioned as having coached Diana Ronayne. I wondered who had coached Slavka, and I found more details in the manleywoman podcast interview #29 (in two parts), which aired in July 2009:


    Wow re some of Slavka's references to expecting skaters to go out and do as many 2-axels in a row as possible! And, also Slavka criticizing today's students for not listening to coaches the way students in a different era used to. But, let's think about how maybe Slavka was trained and the differences between now and the era in which she grew up, and let's take into consideration her reportedly strong, aggressive personality. I'd also say that Ms. Ronayne seems to have a personality that was affected by training under Slavka in a way that adversely impacted her own coaching methods. As Dan pointed out, many of Ronayne's students were badly affected by the "cult-like" atmosphere and the "automaton" demands, but they each responded in different ways too, due to their own different personalities. There's simply NO EXCUSE for the abuse, but once again, there are generational complexities and personality differences involved, and much to be reflected upon.

    The sport is evolving in a roller coaster, by-the-seat-of-the-pants fashion without any of the generations seeming to fully understand each other. Now is the time to engage in open dialogue in order to gain deeper understanding, to forgive, to empathize, to grow, and to change in a way that takes us beyond simple finger-pointing, blaming, misunderstanding and miscommunication between and among the generations.

    BTW, I don't think either Jenny, Dan or Tim are focused on engaging in finger-pointing or blaming. They seem to have each grown from their difficult experiences and they are sharing their experiences as cautionary examples to learn from. They also appear to have achieved some perspective and acceptance re their inability to change what happened to them. I think they are brave and honest about wanting their experiences to make a positive difference in the lives of other young skaters. I especially appreciate what Dan is doing in giving back as a coach and a choreographer in such a positive and forward-thinking way. He's so cognizant of what he's learned, despite the pain and sadness, and he seems determined and successful in his efforts to not perpetuate the coaching mistakes he endured.

    I'm also glad that Rudy Galindo survived and thrived as a skater who went through very difficult times personally and professionally. He overcame a lot, and I enjoyed his recent interview with Jenny and Dave too. Lots of continued success to Rudy in his coaching career. And KUDOS as he enters the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame this week!
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
  15. Sasha is DIVINE

    Sasha is DIVINE Active Member

    Another terrific podcast from Dave and Jenny! I flove them. Dan was a great guest. I'm sure he's a terrific coach also.
    TheIronLady and (deleted member) like this.
  16. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

    I really appreciated Dan's candid answers.
  17. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

    I also like how Jenny and Dave are making technical adjustments to improve the broadcast. Having the interviewee in the center frame is helpful. And the clarity and viewer reception was much better as well. The content and approach is excellent. Thanks again.
  18. Lacey

    Lacey Well-Known Member

    Whoever Dave is needs to clean up his language.
  19. FSfan107

    FSfan107 Well-Known Member

    Huh? I really wish people would lay off the insults. I think it's pretty demeaning to say "Whoever Dave is". He's obviously a person who enjoys the sport of figure skating.
    TheIronLady and (deleted member) like this.
  20. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

    Dave Lease is Aunt Joyce of Aunt Joyce's Ice Cream Stand. Apparently, he's also an astute and funny figure skating blogger, an avid figure skating enthusiast, an adult figure skater, and a not so bad podcast interviewer teamed with Jenny Kirk.

    Jenny and Dave apparently welcome constructive comments and critiques. ;)
  21. TwizzlerS

    TwizzlerS Well-Known Member

    I found this very disturbing. But, I think it's good to get this information out there.
  22. Fabrichnova

    Fabrichnova Active Member

    This podcast along the others are up on iTunes for download now:

    iTunes link
  23. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady Well-Known Member

    I think he said one bad word once, and it was used descriptively, not to swear or be vulgar! Dan Hollander used colorful swear language as well during his responses, so singling out Lease seems juvenile.
  24. manleywoman

    manleywoman podcast mistress

    I didn't take it as a swipe. :) My interview with him was not focused specifically on coaching styles, or abusive relationships specifically. We acknowledged and talked a little bit about the abuse, but then moved on to his professional career. I think it was perfectly valid for D/J to expand on the abuse topic. Clearly there was a lot more content there to discuss.

    As for the language, the cursing doesn't bother me (pretty minimal really), though I'm not sure how they are rating their podcast on iTunes. If there's any cursing at all they can't get a "clean" rating on iTunes . . . those are iTunes' rules. Of course, D/J they may not care about that at all, so it's possibly a moot point. It's up to them really.
    TheIronLady and (deleted member) like this.
  25. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

    Thanks for weighing in manleywoman. :) Yes, Dave and Jenny take a different approach that is interesting and valid. I didn't notice much swearing either during the podcast. I thought it was a great interview, and Dan was very thoughtful and forthright. I don't recall hearing him give many interviews during his skating career, so I never really got to know his personality. His show numbers have been quite brilliant and hilarious.
  26. Alex Forrest

    Alex Forrest Banned Member

    I don't recall any swearing tbh. Did he say 'skate like shat' or something? BFD. Dave is incredibly insightful, witty, and bright. And Jennifer is too. I love these podcasts. Yeah, sometimes I'm getting a "ooooh, let's not go there vibe, keep it on the up and up" but they are trying to balance a REAL interview with a boring one where someone says "I just want to skate my best....". They are finding the right compromise, IMO.

    And I was incredibly impressed with how mature Dan Hollander came across, since I remember that Mrs.Doubtfire number and didn't know what to expect. I'd put my kid in his hands as a coach. This was Jennifer's and Dave's best interview yet.
    TheIronLady and (deleted member) like this.
  27. kwanette

    kwanette Fetalized since 1998

    What did he say? I watched the interviews w/Tai and Tim and listened to Rudy's, haven't gotten to Dan's yet.
  28. reese

    reese Well-Known Member

    Guys, it was a total non-issue. Dave was quoting Scott Hamilton about how to be a champion you either have to be "an idiot or an asshole"-- meaning not very in touch w/ the pressure/expectations or ruthless about winning. I think at some point Dan might have said he skated "shitty" at a particular event but I might be remembering incorrectly.
  29. 5Ali3

    5Ali3 Active Member

    FWIW, Diana Ronayne coached both Amber and Alissa Czisny before either began working with Julie Berlin.