Rooting for underdogs!
Article on Mr. John Nicks' Jan. 26th visit to an ice rink in Breckenridge, Colorado:
The town of Breckenridge was blessed with an unexpected and atypical sporting opportunity this week at Stephen C. West Ice Arena. World and U.S. hall of fame figure skating coach John Nicks was in town...
The town of Breckenridge was blessed with an unexpected and atypical sporting opportunity this week at Stephen C. West Ice Arena. World and U.S. hall of fame figure skating coach John Nicks was in town for a ski trip with his daughter, their first time to Breckenridge, and he was connected with the town recreation department. They asked if Nicks, 91, would be interested in a figure skating clinic, and the recently retired longtime coach for U.S. Figure Skating couldn’t say “no.”
Back when Nicks was the age of the youngsters he taught in Breckenridge this week, he learned about the sport thanks to his father’s sports equipment store in Brighton, England. Nicks was his father’s “guinea pig” for the ice equipment he sold. Soon enough, Nicks and his younger sister developed as pair skaters, ultimately winning the British, European and World Championships in 1953.
Nicks also hopes casual fans appreciate the mental and physical toughness of figure skaters. He said it takes someone special to gradually and, at times, painfully learn a new trick when the margin for error of landing on a quarter-inch blade is slim.
That’s why “the triangle” of athlete support is so important to him. The three parts of the triangle are the athlete, coach and parent, and Nicks said some of his success as a coach of more than 1,110 skaters over nearly six decades came thanks to his understanding of the balance between when the athlete needed the parent versus the coach and vice versa.
“In figure skating, you have to be cognizant of so many things,” Nicks said. “You have to be athletic, artistic and understand the importance of music in a program. You have to be pretty tough with all of the falls and hurts you’re going to have. And you have to handle pressure.”