This blog is a collection of my thoughts and experiences from ten years as a skate dad. For those of you sitting with your jackets in the bleachers, first I salute you, but second I want to give you an honest sense of what you are in for and what to expect. Ice skating is both a trying and a glorious sport, but it doesn't happen without the special group of folks who cheer, support, and console the participants. This is dedicated to you.
Sunday, June 30, 2013
- blue and gold
When you spend a lot of time at the rink with your kid, you also get to spend loads of time with both her peers and the skating coaches. While sitting quietly and watching the interaction of brains, the flow of love, you will find that the coaches have quite a different dynamic from the skaters.
The skaters feel exciting: they are exploring the new moves, emotions, and feelings attached at the edge of their envelope. They are observing, absorbing, and showing off a bit. They are learning both physical and social skills. They can see and imagine a future path to some glory and critical attention.
The coaches on the other hand watch the skaters with the quiet reserve of a teacher's eye, also with both some nostalgia and some pathos. For many of them watching a student brings back memories of a heartbreak. Or you may see a half smile fleetingly cross her face as a flashy student maneuver reminds the coach of one of the high points of her previous skating career.
Many times a coach will fall into a quiet glumness, realizing that she is "stuck" coaching, that her students' glamour is ahead of them but that her own is behind, that as a coach she is a cog in the process of growing teens. Coaches recognize the actual future of their students and how different it will turn out from their students' dreams.
If not for the love from their students, a coach would mostly prevail through a melancholy life.