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Coach enjoys role in helping skaters improve performance

By: Lucas Punkari

  |  Posted: Thursday, Nov 28, 2013 11:13 am

Airdrie Skating Club member Kalbie Hokanson watched over a routine that her coach Lynell Moss filmed during a event at Genesis Place on Nov. 24.
Airdrie Skating Club member Kalbie Hokanson watched over a routine that her coach Lynell Moss filmed during a event at Genesis Place on Nov. 24.
Lucas Punkari/Rocky View Publishing

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During an event such as the Winter IceFest Open at Genesis Place that took place Nov. 22 to 24, a figure skating coach can often be seen skating around the rink trying to keep track of all of their competitors.

In the case of Airdrie Skating Club Coach Lynnell Moss, competitions can be a challenge, but they are something she has enjoyed in her 20 years as a coach.

“You’re exhausted by the end of the third day, you get here about an hour early before everything starts and it can sometimes run until late at night, like it did here on the first night when we were here from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.,” said Moss, who has been coaching with the Airdrie Skating Club for 10 years.

“There are a lot of times where you are running back and forth between rinks and you only have a couple of moments where you can relax a bit, so it’s a good thing to have a group of coaches such as Chalsie Doiran and Kelly Kirby right there to debrief after everything is done to look things over,” she added.

When it comes to coaching at an event such as the one in Airdrie last weekend, Moss has a set plan for her skaters when they arrive at the arena before they take to the ice.

“Once we arrive at the rink, we start to warm the skaters up and if they are at a rink that they aren’t familiar with, we look everything over so that they can become familiar with the environment,” Moss said.

“We have the kids go through some dynamic stretching and help them to visualize their routine, and then we start to move everything towards the doors as they prepare to skate.”

Having a coach like Moss on hand is something the skaters, such as 16-year-old Kalbie Hokanson, find extremely helpful as they take to the ice for their performances in events.

“Skating is half physical and half mental,” Hokanson explained. “If you don’t have the right mindset going into a routine, you are going to go into a routine thinking that you are going to struggle and that exact thing happens.”

“So having a coach like Lynnell standing next to me before a routine, I find that talking to her before I go out and skate helps me out a lot,” she added.

During their routines, Moss will take out her iPad and record her skaters performances, which she feels helps competitors get better and notice their mistakes.

“The biggest thing that I like about it is the fact that the skaters can have immediate feedback,” Moss said. “The skaters have a chance to look at what they did right or wrong, and it gives them an idea of what they can do in order to get better.”

“It helps me out so much,” Hokanson added. “Sometimes when I am doing my routine at practice, I may be thinking that I am doing it perfectly, but then I watch the video back and notice things that I am doing wrong that I am unable to see otherwise.”

When everything is wrapped up at a competition, Moss finally has a chance to look over how her skaters did during the weekend, which is something that she enjoys the most about her role as a coach.

“Watching them achieve personal success and seeing them grow as a skater is the biggest thing for me,” Moss said.

“It doesn’t necessarily mean winning a medal either, as it could be a skater landing a jump for the first time or improving on a routine, there’s a reward to everything.”


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