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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Coaching Experience

I have always been upfront with my coaching experience (and inexperience). Years ago, when I first started coaching, I told my first student, an adult beginner, that she was my first student. Erm, bad move - instead of going "oh cool!" she went straight to the office to ask for someone else...

Well, at least I never had to tell anyone that again.

It is still important to me that student and coach start off with the same understanding. One of my student's father asked me how far I could bring his child. I replied that I was, at that time, comfortable with up to (ISI) freestyle 3, but I would grow with my students.

And it is exactly that - coaching has made me a better skater, and skating has made me a better coach.

Through coaching, I become more analytical and more aware of each skill. Having to demonstrate each move has made me more conscious of what I was doing and where each part of my body was.

Such awareness translates, thus to my own skating. No more blindly flinging myself into each move, as I did years ago, when I was in college, giving A. 'heart attacks' with all my falls. Every step, every move is deliberate and controlled. I start to get the "feeling" that has been eluding me all these years.

As I progress with my own skating, I gain confidence to move to a higher level with my students. I know that what I tell them is from experience, not just from imagination.

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