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Thread: Handling Coaching Disagreements

  1. #1
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    Handling Coaching Disagreements

    Here's a situation my little skater presented me with this morning:

    "Coach X (regular edges/MITF coach) tells me I need to do back power pulls this way, but Coaches (Y & Z, group edges and flow and movement coaches) tell me I need to do them this way. I don't know what to do."

    So, what to do? She's working with X on Pre-Juvenile MITF of which back power pulls are a part. Do we tell Y&Z, leave her PP alone, X says do it this way (leaning this way)? Does she do it one way with one coach and the other way with the other 2? Seems like that would just be too confusing.

    I don't know if it's a style issue or a true technical issue that would result in a "retry" if done one way and not the another. I'll be looking for a reference video that shows what a (passed) Pre Juvenile back PP is supposed to look like so I can show her.

    This is the first time we've run into this issue, though probably not the last, since she refuses to give up her Saturday group classes with different coaches and different styles than her regular coach.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sibelius View Post
    Here's a situation my little skater presented me with this morning:

    "Coach X (regular edges/MITF coach) tells me I need to do back power pulls this way, but Coaches (Y & Z, group edges and flow and movement coaches) tell me I need to do them this way. I don't know what to do."

    So, what to do? She's working with X on Pre-Juvenile MITF of which back power pulls are a part. Do we tell Y&Z, leave her PP alone, X says do it this way (leaning this way)? Does she do it one way with one coach and the other way with the other 2? Seems like that would just be too confusing.

    I don't know if it's a style issue or a true technical issue that would result in a "retry" if done one way and not the another. I'll be looking for a reference video that shows what a (passed) Pre Juvenile back PP is supposed to look like so I can show her.

    This is the first time we've run into this issue, though probably not the last, since she refuses to give up her Saturday group classes with different coaches and different styles than her regular coach.
    Have her regular coach talk to the group coaches about it.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by singerskates View Post
    Have her regular coach talk to the group coaches about it.
    Yes, that's a possibility, but the politics! They all know each other well, but teach at different rinks.

    I Just watched a video of a passed MITF test, and I honestly can't see that she's doing PP's any differently with her regular coach. I do have a better relationship with her than with the others though. I also pay her MUCH more.

  4. #4
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    Do the power pulls the way her moves coach wants. Especially if she’s taking the test soon. During group class she should just explain to them her private coach has her doing it this way.

    Once she’s passed that test, she can probably experiment with trying it the way the group class coaches want to do it - it can be helpful to try different styles of doing things.

  5. #5
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    I would say, as the mom of a skater, "So and so other coach says to do it differently. Can you two coaches talk to each other about it?" And just leave it at that.

    Maybe there's politics and drama and maybe not. But you really do need them to talk about it.

  6. #6
    Dreaming is believing... Ic3Rabbit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jf12 View Post
    Do the power pulls the way her moves coach wants. Especially if she’s taking the test soon. During group class she should just explain to them her private coach has her doing it this way.

    Once she’s passed that test, she can probably experiment with trying it the way the group class coaches want to do it - it can be helpful to try different styles of doing things.

  7. #7
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    I've had over a dozen coaches in my decades of skating. There were differing techniques and I learned something from all of them. But - I processed those differing techniques as an Adult, not a child. And as an Adult, I could toss out what totally didn't work for me - or I didn't like- LOL.

    I now teach group lessons and drop-in supplemental private lessons. No matter the age of the skater on the drop-in, I will always ask if them if they already have a coach. If they do, although I will assist them (they've already paid) I will advise them to go with the guidance of their primary coach. I certainly don't want to get into any bad-blood situations with the professional coaches.

    I have an adult skating friend who gets into the same dilemmas as you Sibelius.
    She's made her way up to the last freestyle group level and also takes private lessons. The coach in her freestyle group is one of the top rink coaches but so is her private coach. And she talks to me about how her brain has to reconcile differing techniques. Fun stuff!

  8. #8
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    I agree that the unspoken rule is that the technique taught by the primary coach should take precedence. He/she is the primary coach for a reason! Moreover, at the learning stage, it is better to learn one technique (that of the primary coach) and master it first, and only after that experiment with other techniques. Switching between different techniques in the learning stage could hinder the reinforcement of motor pathways.

  9. #9
    Tripping on the Podium vlaurend's Avatar
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    You are paying the MIF coach to get her moves-in-the-field to passing level. For that reason, I would follow her direction on anything that is on a MIF test. Having said that, your daughter should try it both ways and if she happens to find it more natural or easier for her doing it the way the group coach advised, then she should show that to her MIF coach and ask if it is acceptable or not, and if not, why not (just so that she understands correct technique, not to be argumentative).

  10. #10
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    How old is your skater? My impression is he/she is under 10, probably closer to 7.

    Depending on the age, it may not be possible to ignore what one coach is saying. So in the short term, it may be better to put the group lessons on hold.

    My daughter just turned 13 and she sometimes get confused by how 2 different coaches say something even when both coaches have the same correction.

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