Before I jump into this let me make a disclaimer here that I am not a coach. Just an athlete. But if you are a coach here are a few things you should avoid that I had the very unfortunate task of witnesses this past weekend.
1. This is a big one for me. As a coach, know your skaters. More then that know their names. I sat through an entire race. Where I watched a coach not only tell his skater the same thing lap after lap but also call them by the wrong name lap, after lap, after lap. My first thought it oh, simple mistake he'll get it right next lap.... I was wrong. This continued the whole race. To make matter worse this kid was in 5th place so he needed the motivation that should have come from his coach in order to catch up. Now, if your coach is trying to cheer you on by saying "let's go _____" and the blank is not your name then he is having the reverse effect. The athlete in question wasn't even a new athlete, he has skated for the SAME coach for like two years. Are you kidding me!?! If I was in that position that would have been the very very very last race I ever skated for him. I felt embarrassed for the kid let alone how horrible I felt that my coach didn't even know my name. Awful.. just awful.
Now before I jump into the next one.. let me make this clear. When I skate I want to skate against the fastest skaters. If I win i want it to be because I was faster and I deserved to win. I never believed a true victory was one that someone could look at and say.. they definitely wouldn't win that the majority of the time.
With that being said...
2. I also had the completely and utterly unfortunate luck of witnessing what I feel as a complete disgrace to sport in general. Not skating, but any type of sport you could think of. I watched a coach cheer on one of his athletes that was not yet 8 years old. NOT YET EIGHT! (Just remember that) and as another athlete pulled up along side of his to pass he yelled "FIGHT THEM OFF". Now the next part may or may not have been intentional or not but the fact remains that it happened. His skater's foot happened to collide with the passing skaters foot causing the passer to fall.. hard. And instantaneously the coach yelled "GOOD JOB. WAY TO GO. GOOD JOB" Pardon my french, but are you ****ing me!!!! This child is not even eight years old, and you have just successfully cheered them on for knocking another athlete down. Eight years old. Now his athlete may not have knocked the other down intentionally but either way you don't cheer them for that particular instance. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong but if my under eight year old child happened to do that I would make sure that were not trying to knock another athlete down simply to achieve a better placement.
Something like that makes me want to ask the parents.. is that who you really want playing a role in the development of your child?