May 1, 2010

Coaches are people too

I recently ran into a former student and her mother at the store, which is always fun.

Well, almost always.

In this instance, what I got was not "hey Xan, fancy meeting you here!" but an immediate diatribe about how our program could better accommodate this parent's child. I offered brief advice and tried to make my escape, but mom did not want to give in until I agreed with her. Since her idea was unworkable, for reasons too complex to get into while I was trying to shop, I refused to give in and repeated my advice with a smile while backing slowly away.


Like I said, it's usually fun to run into students off-campus, as it were. Especially with the once-a-weekers I often don't recognize them, because they look so different without skates (shorter), hats (who knew she was a blonde?), and coats (heavens, she's not fat, she's bundled!). So I have my all-purpose "hey buddy! howeryadoin!" (what the heck is this child's name?) and we have a big smile and sometimes a hug.

The tweens usually look a little sheepish, wondering what greeting a teacher will do for their street cred. The former students give a baffled, do I know you? greet and move on.

Coaches have lives, just like you do. We shop, and we go to the library. We take our kids to school and attend political protests, or church, or book club. We have no problem making skating acquaintances a part of that larger life; what we don't want is for your personal skating issues to intrude on that life at inappropriate times. Talk to me in the rink, send me an email, invite me to coffee.

Don't demand that I fix the problems of the skating world when I'm trying to pick up milk.


  1. Bummer Xan,

    I'm sure you totally expected it to be a nice encounter and instead you got bombarded. I mean why can't you just accommodate everyone? :)

    Ice Coach

  2. This can apply to anyone who deals with people in their job and then runs into the same ones in their "real life". I used to be a coordinator at a staffing agency and lived in the same area as many of my registered job seekers. I couldn't go to the grocery store or even fill my car with gas without being bombarded by people asking if there was work available... (hmmm, since I'm not at work with my computer, just let me check my crystal ball... nope!)

    The worst was dealing with people who were let go for whatever reason... Yikes!

    My son's teacher purposefully picked to work for our school district for the same reason - because it was a 20 mile commute for her, and she was less likely to run into parents when she was on her time