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Author Topic: Training for the Olympics?  (Read 12737 times)

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Offline jumpingbeansmom

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Training for the Olympics?
« on: August 30, 2010, 08:32:28 AM »
 :o

A good friend of my dd (the friend is 11)- has changed coaches.  We have been told point blank from the parents 2 things.....the girl is looking for kinder gentler coaching, AND, they are going to split the family to train her for the Olympics.   :o

Seriously,  I was stunned into silence....not only do I not think this girl is Olympic material (she ONCE skated pre-juv in a local competition), but who SAYS at 11 they are going to train for the Olympics?? I mean, what are the chances even the best skaters are going to the Olympics?? Talk about high pressure...and then looking for gentler coaching to train for the Olympics? 

I just nodded my head and said, good luck to you.  Would you have done anything different???

Offline phoenix

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Re: Training for the Olympics?
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2010, 08:44:27 AM »
There's really nothing you can say in a situation like that. it's ill-advised, so do exactly what you did & just hope they will not do anything that destroys the family or the daughter's future, education-wise/financially etc. I've seen that happen & it's always a tragedy.

Offline Isk8NYC

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Re: Training for the Olympics?
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2010, 08:49:46 AM »
The odds on getting to the Olympics are lower than winning Powerball.  (That reminds me, gotta check those tickets.)  Many parents think/say their kids are going to the Olympics even earlier - at 5 or 6 years old.  I know of kids who were doing conditioning and weight training at 7 in preparation for finishing all the girl's doubles before puberty.  

I wouldn't rule a skater out just because she's only 11.  Sounds like the parents are committed to make the sacrifices and investments, so it's possible.  Anytime someone says "is my daughter/son too old?" Johnny Weir's name comes up.  Weir started skating at 12 and I'd say he's done incredibly well.  However, there were probably a hundred other 12-year old boys who started that year and didn't stick with it or didn't find the right coach who brought out the best in him.

It really depends on the skater; maybe she resisted competitions because the coach was pushing too hard.  The "kinder, gentler" approach may be just what she needs to overcome some anxiety issues or to encourage her with a different viewpoint.  I hope the girl does well and the family stays intact.

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Offline Sk8tmum

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Re: Training for the Olympics?
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2010, 09:16:17 AM »
There is no way to predict who is going to be a top-notch skater (national, Olympic level), and being basically geeky and overly analytical, I've started mentally charting the trajectory of the skaters in our area. The "early stars" who got their doubles, etc, at age 8, landing axels at age 7-1/2 first try etc etc etc are not necessarily the ones who are now excelling.  Many of our top level skaters, when they get to the competitive level, are often the kids who were lower in the rankings at the younger age. They may have started later; taken longer to develop; had different coaching philosophies at play; been injured; etc. 

Talent ID is not a science, it's an art. It takes into account a range of things, including body type; interest; athleticism; personality; trainability; and musicality.  It's hard to predict that in an 8 year old or 10 year old or 11 year old ... Also, at the lower levels, the focus seems to be on JUMPS and somewhat on spins, so the jumper gets the "ooh-wow" response, whereas skating is so much more. Thus, your 11-year-old who was never much at competitions may have been at the back of the pack for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to:

a) injury
b) staged development, with a coach who focussed on all skills and not just jumps
c) a coach who focusses on perfect singles and doesn't move on to doubles etc until technique is great; this leads to future quality doubles and triples, just takes longer
d) lack of focus on skating; i.e. may have been participating in other sports


Or a range of other factors. Of course, her parents may also be overly ambitious ... seen a lot of parents who are convinced their kid is going to the Olympics, when it's not likely on the cards; as long as they don't have a coach feeding it for personal reasons, it's just like the parents of the kids who are convinced that a scholarship to Harvard is what their kid should be ready for ... high goals are okay, as long as they don't result in personal misery later.

As for the gentler coaching thing ... coaching is a fit thing, and some kids really do excel with a gentle coach who will not succeed with a tough coach. Gentle doesn't mean weak. My kid's coach is tough, directive and brutal, and it works for him; other kids do not deal well with this coach, and are more successful with a gentler more suportive coach. Some of the gentlest coaches I know are the most exacting ... different kids respond to different coaches ... my son's coach would destroy my daughter's confidence, for example, but my daughter's gentle coach is still just as tough and rigorous, just with a different manner.

Offline Sk8tmum

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Re: Training for the Olympics?
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2010, 09:19:56 AM »
I just nodded my head and said, good luck to you.  Would you have done anything different???

oh yes ... the head nod and good luck wish is perfect. Every skating parent should perfect it.  Actually, every parent should perfect it. Cuts down on stress, makes your life pleasanter, and makes everyone comfortable around you. You're supportive and nice. That's a good skating parent trait.  A very very very good skating parent trait.  Teach it to the skaters, and the dressing room also becomes a pleasanter place and less stressful for the skaters ...

Offline jumpingbeansmom

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Re: Training for the Olympics?
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2010, 09:20:14 AM »
Or a range of other factors. Of course, her parents may also be overly ambitious ... seen a lot of parents who are convinced their kid is going to the Olympics, when it's not likely on the cards; as long as they don't have a coach feeding it for personal reasons, it's just like the parents of the kids who are convinced that a scholarship to Harvard is what their kid should be ready for ... high goals are okay, as long as they don't result in personal misery later.


This is my worry...the girl is not that tough, and easily upset and discouraged.   I cannot imagine, at this juncture (not even qualifying level) saying out loud we are training for the Olympics...what a burden on the kid!

Offline Sk8tmum

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Re: Training for the Olympics?
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2010, 09:23:44 AM »
This is my worry...the girl is not that tough, and easily upset and discouraged.   I cannot imagine, at this juncture (not even qualifying level) saying out loud we are training for the Olympics...what a burden on the kid!

We always say that we are training for Nationals for my one kid.  Not that we expect it, although it's not impossible - because if we said that we weren't training for and working towards Nationals, it would be seen as a sign of lack of confidence in the ability to get there.  Different kids, different ways of managing their expectations and various neuroses; my other kid, we would never say something like that because of too much pressure which would be a problem.  Fortunately, the two different coaches get their different manners of motivation.  Which is why we love our coaches! ;D ;D ;D

Offline jumpingbeansmom

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Re: Training for the Olympics?
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2010, 09:51:11 AM »
We always say that we are training for Nationals for my one kid.  Not that we expect it, although it's not impossible - because if we said that we weren't training for and working towards Nationals, it would be seen as a sign of lack of confidence in the ability to get there.  Different kids, different ways of managing their expectations and various neuroses; my other kid, we would never say something like that because of too much pressure which would be a problem.  Fortunately, the two different coaches get their different manners of motivation.  Which is why we love our coaches! ;D ;D ;D

THAT I can see...it is a more short term immediate goal-- I don't know,  the Olympics at this juncture sounds like....well like someone else said Powerball.

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Re: Training for the Olympics?
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2010, 10:18:41 AM »
This is my worry...the girl is not that tough, and easily upset and discouraged.   I cannot imagine, at this juncture (not even qualifying level) saying out loud we are training for the Olympics...what a burden on the kid!

Whenever parents start saying "WE" are doing this or that, is when I cringe and suspect parents who say those things of living their own childhood dreams through their kids.
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Offline jumpingbeansmom

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Re: Training for the Olympics?
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2010, 10:25:58 AM »
Whenever parents start saying "WE" are doing this or that, is when I cringe and suspect parents who say those things of living their own childhood dreams through their kids.

Good point...and to be fair, I cannot remember if they used 'we'.   I don't think they did except maybe to see 'we' are training her for the Olympics...I mean, the parents do have some role right?? (money, time, sacrafice?)

Offline phoenix

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Re: Training for the Olympics?
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2010, 10:42:01 AM »
Depending on how long they've been in the skating world, and how many larger competitions they may or may not have seen, it could also be that they're really not aware of how very long a shot it is--and if the skater isn't a high enough level yet where it's gotten really really hard, they may not realize really what it takes. People on the outside don't realize that those Olympians represent the 1 millionth percentage of all skaters.

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Re: Training for the Olympics?
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2010, 10:44:08 AM »
Depending on how long they've been in the skating world, and how many larger competitions they may or may not have seen, it could also be that they're really not aware of how very long a shot it is--and if the skater isn't a high enough level yet where it's gotten really really hard, they may not realize really what it takes. People on the outside don't realize that those Olympians represent the 1 millionth percentage of all skaters.

That could be true. 

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Re: Training for the Olympics?
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2010, 11:15:47 AM »
This makes me really, really mad. These kind of parents that use their kids to play out their little dream. Are these parents idiots? The girl can't even do a double axel (if I am correct, Juv is when double axels come in??) and they think she's going to be competing on the national scene in less than seven years? Did they even ask the poor girl? They're going to split her from the family! The only thing that's gonna come out of this is broken hearts, debt and destruction of the girl's future.

All over the internet you see this- just look at Yahoo!Answers. There are tons of questions "is it too late to start figure skating/go to the olympics?" etc. and the people answering say "no! anything's possible! go for it!" What is with this stupid obsession with the figure skating Olympians? People don't join the swim team or track team and say "Oh I wanna go to the Olympics."

/rant

Since people like this don't listen when told what a long shot it is, there's nothing you can do but exactly what you did. If they ask you if you think she can make it, politely say that it's not very likely because only about .0001% of skaters go to the Olympics.

Offline jumpingbeansmom

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Re: Training for the Olympics?
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2010, 11:34:14 AM »
This makes me really, really mad. These kind of parents that use their kids to play out their little dream. Are these parents idiots? The girl can't even do a double axel (if I am correct, Juv is when double axels come in??) and they think she's going to be competing on the national scene in less than seven years? Did they even ask the poor girl? They're going to split her from the family! The only thing that's gonna come out of this is broken hearts, debt and destruction of the girl's future.

All over the internet you see this- just look at Yahoo!Answers. There are tons of questions "is it too late to start figure skating/go to the olympics?" etc. and the people answering say "no! anything's possible! go for it!" What is with this stupid obsession with the figure skating Olympians? People don't join the swim team or track team and say "Oh I wanna go to the Olympics."

/rant

Since people like this don't listen when told what a long shot it is, there's nothing you can do but exactly what you did. If they ask you if you think she can make it, politely say that it's not very likely because only about .0001% of skaters go to the Olympics.

Well yeah, I mean, it seems like WAY premature to be saying anything like that. .... I wasn't trying to say it was impossible, but I was just stunned to hear this.

Offline drskater

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Re: Training for the Olympics?
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2010, 11:06:11 AM »
OP: You handled the situation beautifully. There's no point on stomping on someone's dreams. Reality will sink in soon enough. Was the mother obnoxious about it? I once met a mom who simply couldn't stand it that non-competitors were sharing the ice with her little princess and she never let an opportunity pass to inform us that we all had to get out of her daughter's way because little princess was going to the Olympics. LOL! Of course, the other skaters and their parents just ignored her.

Offline jumpingbeansmom

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Re: Training for the Olympics?
« Reply #15 on: September 01, 2010, 11:32:00 AM »
OP: You handled the situation beautifully. There's no point on stomping on someone's dreams. Reality will sink in soon enough. Was the mother obnoxious about it? I once met a mom who simply couldn't stand it that non-competitors were sharing the ice with her little princess and she never let an opportunity pass to inform us that we all had to get out of her daughter's way because little princess was going to the Olympics. LOL! Of course, the other skaters and their parents just ignored her.

No she wasn't obnoxious at all...I really just think they don't know.   I mean, the girls isn't even yet able to skate at regionals this year because she couldn't pass pre-juv moves-- it seems like such a big hill to put in front of her at this juncture especially talking about splitting the family to do it.   The skater is just not really tough, often complaining of aches and pains and tiredness and honestly my 9 year old trains longer hours-- and no, I don't expect her to go to the Olympics!

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Re: Training for the Olympics?
« Reply #16 on: September 01, 2010, 01:02:37 PM »
No she wasn't obnoxious at all...I really just think they don't know.   I mean, the girls isn't even yet able to skate at regionals this year because she couldn't pass pre-juv moves-- it seems like such a big hill to put in front of her at this juncture especially talking about splitting the family to do it.   The skater is just not really tough, often complaining of aches and pains and tiredness and honestly my 9 year old trains longer hours-- and no, I don't expect her to go to the Olympics!

Yeah, I guess reality will come down soon. Let's hope it's just a phase, and the kid will move on to soccer in a couple of months.
Couldn't pass pre juv? Wow. Has this mother seen Senior moves?

Offline jumpingbeansmom

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Re: Training for the Olympics?
« Reply #17 on: September 01, 2010, 01:07:49 PM »
Yeah, I guess reality will come down soon. Let's hope it's just a phase, and the kid will move on to soccer in a couple of months.
Couldn't pass pre juv? Wow. Has this mother seen Senior moves?

I know!  :o They went on an extended summer vacation, met a famous coach by chance, took a couple of lessons and then this idea was hatched.

Offline Sierra

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Re: Training for the Olympics?
« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2010, 01:41:18 PM »
I know!  :o They went on an extended summer vacation, met a famous coach by chance, took a couple of lessons and then this idea was hatched.
Oooh. Wait a second here. Did this coach give them this idea? I have heard of coaches telling parents how gifted and talented their child is, just to get them to keep paying for lessons.

Offline jumpingbeansmom

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Re: Training for the Olympics?
« Reply #19 on: September 02, 2010, 07:41:02 AM »
Oooh. Wait a second here. Did this coach give them this idea? I have heard of coaches telling parents how gifted and talented their child is, just to get them to keep paying for lessons.

I have no idea

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Re: Training for the Olympics?
« Reply #20 on: September 04, 2010, 06:17:55 PM »
I know one parent who seems to be living through her child.  She forces her kid to skate all the time and do lots of competitions.  She has big goals for her daughter, who she refers to as "my athlete."

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Re: Training for the Olympics?
« Reply #21 on: September 04, 2010, 10:52:14 PM »
The whole Olympic thing just annoys the daylights out of me.  Whenever anyone finds out that DD is a figure skater they immediately ask "Oh, is she going to the Olympics?" as if that is the only reason anyone ever puts on a pair of skates.  No, she skates because she loves it, loves to coach, loves to perform and compete and because it's a life-long pursuit (her Nana is still skating at age 77).  DS is a football star, but no one asks us if he is trying to get into the NFL (although he has a way better shot than DD does at ever making the Olympic team!)

Offline twokidsskatemom

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Re: Training for the Olympics?
« Reply #22 on: September 05, 2010, 02:19:21 PM »
Yeah, I guess reality will come down soon. Let's hope it's just a phase, and the kid will move on to soccer in a couple of months.
Couldn't pass pre juv? Wow. Has this mother seen Senior moves?
Lots of skaters dont pass pre juv moves the first time, I dont  think I would base her chances on one moves test.
And no, I would say 85 percent of even Juv girls dont have D/A in a program yet.I wouldnt base anything on a low level. Its those that stick with it that do the best IMO.

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Re: Training for the Olympics?
« Reply #23 on: September 07, 2010, 07:56:27 AM »
I wouldn't assume that the parents are living through their child. 

I know a lot of skaters who really do think that they have a shot at the Olympics and their parents are supportive.  Life does get in the way of those ambitions because of the cost, logistics, ice time, social events, school, etc. that prevents skaters from focusing on that target.  Just getting to the Pre-Juv level requires a lot of training and dedication.  Perhaps her progress vs. her dream is what help spur on this decision.

These parents seem ready to help their daughter chase the dream by relocating, hiring coaches, etc.  It might happen, you never know. 
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Offline jumpingbeansmom

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Re: Training for the Olympics?
« Reply #24 on: September 07, 2010, 09:22:36 AM »
Well, they picked a new coach, locally-  a guy from the Ukraine, who seems to be a good coach-  his own daughter is a phenomenal skater with several triples under her belt- I think she is 15.   However, the daughter is crying just about every day when her father is coaching her....maybe he will be different with someone else's child, but I have my doubts I guess.   It doesn't seem to me she went to someone gentler.