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Skating Mommaz from Hell

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by Ziggy, May 6, 2010.

  1. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    Because the Joubert thread is getting derailed by this (partly my fault), share all your horrifying skating mommaz (and pappaz) stories here. :watch:

    The only thing I have to contribute:

    A skater skated the best performance of their life at a competition, but singled their last jump. They were ecstatic. When they went to their mom after the performance, the first thing she said to them was "Why haven't you landed that [last jump]?" :revenge:
  2. jlai

    jlai Title-less

    Are you using they as a way to suppress gender information or is this pair skating? :confused:
  3. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    To make it gender neutral.

    I was talking about one person.
  4. Marco

    Marco Well-Known Member

    Hmm Ziggy. How long ago was this (roughly)? :D
  5. jlai

    jlai Title-less

    After reading several positive stories about a skater and his family, I got talked into paying for tickets at one event for that skater's parents. When I called the mom up to offer my help, she yelled at me and demanded to know where all her tickets for all her events were (I only knew about one event). She talked as if I owed her money or something. She had no desire to know who I was; only that I was to make the arrangement the way she wanted it.

    Then I haerd similar stories from other fans.

    People like that are the ones you never hear about in skating news. You really never know about people, really. Sometimes the normal ones aren't that normal either. sometimes I do wonder if one can invest lifetime's savings into a child's skating and be normal. :(
  6. essence_of_soy

    essence_of_soy Well-Known Member

    10 bucks says it was Lavonna Harding's response to Tonya's fantastic career - high performance at Skate America 1991.

    Makes me wanna whack her with Suzanne Bonaly's broomstick.
  7. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    Wow that performance was so amazing. Such a wasted talent. :(

    And the person I talked about isn't anyone famous. Just a good example of how thoughtless and cruel parents can be. :/
  8. firefly

    firefly Active Member

    This story is about 4 years old..I had a 5 years old student who was at her first competition. I should note that the Learn to Skate coaches figured I was the only one who could deal with the freaky stage mom...so I had this little girl for about 6 months as a student. She started her solo great but about 30 seconds before then end she totally forgot what to do. As I was by the boards, I made some signs to tell her what to do. I swear I had never seen a little girl so frightened.

    When she came out the ice, I conforted her saying that she did great, that she did it like she should have do, like a champion, etc...She knew very well she messed up but, I mean, she's a five years old at her first comp, what should you expect? By the time she had her skates off, she was okay. Then we went to see her parents. Her mom wasn't in the stands when whe arrived. I explained to her father that it didn't matter she forgot. The first thing her mom said when she came back is: « Student name» you have alzheimer!!!!

    I swear I was about to punch the mom...She is probably one of the biggest stage mom in our club as the little girl is still skating along with her younger sister...
  9. Artifice

    Artifice Guest

    :yikes: ahhh the nightmare ! How can you, as a coach, deal with that ? I mean can you say to the mom that this is not a problem if the girl messed up at such a young age and for her first competition ? How far do/can you go in explaining to parents what is important and what is not ? You teach the skater but sometimes parents just need some "sportive behavior" training to.
  10. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    It's hard because they are paying you to teach their kid, not to hear parenting advice and you don't have the authority to be supernanny either. So you can't do much really, I guess other than gentle encouragment.
  11. Artifice

    Artifice Guest

    Well, I think that one of the hardest part of the coaching job is not technic, pressure or weird schedule (not only), it's parents from hell ! They are always around you, at the rink looking at whatever you do, acting badly with their kid and even being unproductive and a bother for your work.

    What do those parents think ? They are crual. I would like to say them that it's not because they couln't fulfill their personal dream that they have to force their child to do that for them ! Would they like to have someone always on them telling that they don't work hard enough, that they should skate like this or like that ? Sure no, so why do that to the kid ?... grrrr
  12. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

    On behalf of teachers throughout America and much of the rest of the universe, I would like to say welcome to our world.

    We have the slight advantage of them not being at school all the time, but they are able to fill our in boxes, call us on the phone (even at home, at 7:30 Sunday morning perhaps), stalk us at our homes (seriously, I had a parent driving past my house last spring to check my whereabouts--and he was an officer in the local police department), shove their way into the grocery line while we are paying to discuss the kid's exam grade. In July. While we are paying for the groceries. Stop us to request that we call them. At church. In the communion line. And if we are not completely cooperative with all of this--they call our bosses to complain about us. Always leaving out information such as "I asked her while she was in line for communion" or "I left the phone message at her house at 1 a.m. which may be why she did not call me back in the half hour time frame I requested."
    cholla and (deleted member) like this.
  13. firefly

    firefly Active Member

    I agree, there's not much we can do unfortunately. Just do your best so the kids are happy when they are with you...In my case, I just said nothing. If I had said something I think I would not have said it the way I wanted and I probably would have offended the mom enough that I would have been in trouble with the Learn to Skate coaches. I was around 18 at the time so I had absolutely not credibility whatsoever to give parenting advice!!

    Artifice, your so right. I am not a coach anymore, but for me he most important thing is that the kid is happy and has other interests in ilfe than skating. There are other important things like knowing how to make friends, go to school, play, etc...You need to push the talented kids but not at the expense of other things...
  14. cruisin

    cruisin Banned Member

    I don't understand. Why would you be paying for a skater's parent's tickets? And if it's that the parents couldn't afford them, they should have been thanking you, not attacking you. Was this a major competition? Because, I've never seen open comps that charge admission (at least not more than a few dollars). And if the parents can't afford the tickets, how do they pay for skating? Sounds like you had to deal with a true nut job!

    Parents actually do that! Yikes! I never e-mailed, called, or complained about a teacher for either of my kids, throughout K-12. I might have left a message for them in the school office, to please call me, as I had a question. But, I would never impose myself on a teacher like that.

    The only thing I did complain about one time (to the principal for allowing it) was: When my daughter was in elementary school, a neighbor's kid found a dead owl in their backyard. The Parents (who are nuts) let the kid bring it to school for show-and-tell. The dead owl was kept in the coat room for 3 days (in a shoe box), while various classes checked it out. I was horrified! No one knew how the owl died, what kind of germs or bugs it might be carrying, and they left it where the kids kept their coats and lunches! The kids were lucky they all didn't wind up with lice. Not only that but (from what I understand) quite a few of the kids were really upset about seeing a dead owl, up close. I think this was first grade. And quite a few parents called to ask: What are you thinking?! Not just OCD me :D!
  15. JockProf

    JockProf Member

    When I was coaching, my favorite phrase to use was "The best place to coach is an orphanage."
  16. Artifice

    Artifice Guest

    lol :lol:
    Poor coaches, parents can be so difficult sometimes !
  17. cruisin

    cruisin Banned Member

    To be fair, though, so can over controlling coaches. Sometimes difficult parents are created by difficult coaches. I've seen coaches who were far worse than the worst parent.

    Not you, though, JockProf :)!
  18. sk8tingfan30

    sk8tingfan30 New Member

    I agree. My daughter once had a coach who tried to control every minute of her life on AND off the ice.
  19. Icetalavista

    Icetalavista Active Member

    You know how they have those posters up about what behavior is/isn't acceptable at various sports events (for the kid athletes)? Why don't coaches be completely up front with parents who bring their kids to them for the first time and set boundaries then? For example, if I observe you berating your kid after practice/tests/competitions, our coaching relationship ends? etc etc

    And yes, I know the parent would just yell in private. But at least the kid would be spared public embarrassment.

    Of course if coaches are dependent on the $$$ of abusive parents they are in trouble.
  20. cruisin

    cruisin Banned Member

    Yes it is all about the $$$. But the coaches can be just as abusive or worse. And sometimes the coaches just let the parents do it so they don't have to. If boundaries are to be set, they need to be set on both sides. I've seen far more instances where coaches overstep boundaries than instances where parents do.
  21. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    That's exactly why when kids (or adults) begin training at Siudeks' club, they get all the rules layed down. Both for the skaters themselves and for the parents.

    And if they don't like them or break any of them, they can go elsewhere.

    But yes, if a coach really needs $$$ they can't afford to be that strict.
  22. maggylyn

    maggylyn Well-Known Member

    :yikes: Do you live in a small town? I can't imagine being seen/tracked down like that.

    About the athlete's parents from hell -
    there's lots of talk about crazy parents trying to live their own dreams through their children, but I think there's also the parents who just can't bear for their child to be average and normal. They pressure their kids to be perfect, or the best, because it's important for the parents' own twisted egos. Being average isn't good enough. :angryfire
  23. jlai

    jlai Title-less

    Actually my parents' generation was all like that. That's how they raised us.

    Did I like it? No. But they did push us to try harder.
  24. Dragonlady

    Dragonlady Sew Happy

    There are all kinds of bad practices on both sides - coaches and parents.

    The thing of it is that there is an enormous amount of money involved in the sport. Parents can never really be sure their child is as talented as they're being told because the coach won't make any money if the parents decide to pull their kid out of competitive skating. If the parents have money, some coaches will milk that for all it's worth - sandbagging the kid so he/she can win medals thereby encouraging the parents to continue to pay.

    Yes there are abusive parents in sports. Yes there are parents living vicariously through their children. But the vast majority of skating parents are truly there to support their kids' dreams and they're doing so with no real clue as to what it will take for their kid to become an elite athlete, or what they need to do to help their child succeed. There's no manual to tell you how to pick a coach, or a club, or anything else.

    I agree that someone needs to lay it out what is expected of the skater, of the parents, and of the coaches, but I've never had a coach do it for my kid or for me and I don't knnow of any other parents whose coaches did something similar.
  25. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    And then there are the coaches who coach their own kids who are just awful. Because the kid can't get away from either parent or coach and has no-one to defend them. They are kids that I feel very sorry for.
  26. Holley Calmes

    Holley Calmes Well-Known Member

    Ah-stage Moms (and Dads.) Not skating, but dance is not far behind. I have stories of mothers who took their children out of broken leg casts two weeks early so they could audition for the Bolshoi school..and this child was only 12! But mostly, I see it in small, petty gossip and meanness to other dancers. I'm sure this is true of skaters. It's like a subtle undermining psychologically of those who might not have been genetically blessed with perfect ballet bodies.

    I write murder mysteries, and my next one is about stage/ice skating mothers. I'm going to kill off a few.
  27. kedrin

    kedrin Well-Known Member

    I'd read that.:)
  28. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    Can the rest of us here help you?
  29. cruisin

    cruisin Banned Member

    I'll help, but I want to torture a few coaches and judges in the book.
  30. avivadawn

    avivadawn Well-Known Member

    I'm so sorry for getting you roped into that mess. :duh: She did a lot of lying to a lot of fans at that event. Including me. Karma did come around for her, however. ;)
    And yeah, I've also got another story for you about that same Mom.
    After the comp, we invited her and several FSUers and some friends of mine that came down to watch one of the events to a late night dinner at a local restaurant nearby. She tried to get us to cover HER meal, as if it was her right as a parent of a competitor to have someone else pay her way. We stood our ground, and she threw a fit. She ended up ordering Potato salad or something, and whined about the cost. Then she freaked out and wanted someone to drive her to her hotel.....which was within walking distance among a large crowd of people going to the same place. I think that one of my friends drove her there, just to shut her up.

    A good story:
    While another member of a skaters family at the same comp accepted one ticket that they were looking for and a photograph in a new costume of this skater's partner that I had taken at a practice very graciously and then insisted on paying for it several times, even though I kept graciously turning her down. Total class! I'm glad that this skater (and partner) won a medal at this event!