Remote Coaching Makes Training More Accessible—Even for Skaters


One of my college students, 14-year-old Jayne Kim, who I’ve coached for over seven years, says, “Zoom video lessons have helped me see the small details and see myself more objectively.” Her mother Mia provides, “This has given her a different perspective on her skating. Plus, we like that there is flexibility in scheduling.” It’s true: We aren’t restricted by tight session schedules and boxed in by Zamboni breaks.

I’ve been utilizing video evaluation with my cellphone contained in the rink for a few years, together with my fellow coaches. (In reality, my very own coaches integrated video evaluation way back once I was coaching, by having a video digital camera operator standing by the facet of the rink. Back then, we’d take the VHS tapes residence and watch them on our TVs.) But trying on the footage collectively from residence, with out the distractions of different skaters’ music, the voices of different coaches, and the strain to get in additional repetitions, we are able to think about the corrections with extra focus.

This isn’t simply attainable within the determine skating world. Former triathlete Mackenzie Madison can also be leveraging video to assist her athletes remotely. She is predicated in Oregon however coaches triathletes around the globe. She does the vast majority of her work via social media and texting and enhances her video evaluation of working and swimming kind with apps like Dartfish. A self-described information geek, she’s additionally utilizing Garmin, GPS, and Training Peaks to trace her athletes’ progress from afar.

What she feels has been the largest and most stunning good thing about teaching remotely is one thing I’ve additionally skilled: elevated human connection. She says she has opened herself as much as extra constant contact along with her distant athletes than ever earlier than.

“You can’t be too formal with this, or there isn’t going to be a connection,” she says. “To make up for the distance, I’m making this more of a partnership. I want people to feel heard.”

While she after all nonetheless values teaching in-person, she is discovering that she will present extra individualized consideration to her athletes on this format, and he or she retains detailed notes on every athlete. “It’s all about being creative, changing things up as a coach, and encouraging your athletes to make changes as well.”

With my skaters, I’m nonetheless combining off-ice workouts with video evaluation. Daniela Senitta, mom of Charlotte, age 12, is comfortable to see how a lot stronger her daughter is getting from the off-ice parts of our classes. Senitta, who can also be a former determine skater, says, “I can see that this is translating to how she’s performing on the ice.”

Lauren Cozza’s 9-year-old son, Joey aka “Kid Boogie,” took up aggressive breakdancing throughout the pandemic via the Kids Breaking League, positioned within the Bronx, in New York City. Breakdancing, or “breaking” (sure, the identical breakdancing that is been in style because the Nineteen Seventies), is now a quickly rising sport that can debut within the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Joey nonetheless trains via zoom on Thursday nights despite the fact that his mother additionally drives him 30 miles from the NY suburbs for in-person coaching periods and competitions, referred to as Battles, on the weekends. Due to her work schedule, Cozza can’t make this commute greater than as soon as per week. Plus, she likes that, on Zoom, her son isn’t distracted by the opposite children. “It’s just him and his own space.”



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