Everyone else is "just" a teacher.
I have fought this attitude throughout my career as, yes, a skating coach.
Painting with a broad brush, Joanne's definition does not take into account the coach's own motivations, the constraints of the market she's in, or the nature of the students she is best with.
I see what she's getting at-- just being on the ice with students doesn't make you a "coach" with all the connotations of that word. But she then goes on to define the term with almost purely mechanical definitions, and by defining out anyone who doesn't have competitive students.
I did fine on two of her bullet points:
"A Figure Skating Coach Does More Than Just Teach:
• A figure skating coach is more than just a teacher: he or she is a figure skater's mentor, guide, and role model.
• A successful figure skating coach will draw figure skaters to a rink or a figure skating club".but then, oops!
"Figure skating coaches teach lessons and manage figure skaters' lifestyles and training".I leave their lifestyle and training alone. This is because I don't teach competitive skaters. I take beginners, special needs, and other kids that a lot of coaches turn up their noses at, especially the "coaches" (by Joanne's definition). I turn them into skaters. I can always see that moment when suddenly I'm not just that adult skater who thought she could teach figure skating. It's when Coach World Famous suddenly notices that the awkward little boy whom he wouldn't have slowed for at a stop sign looks like a skater. And starts offering me tips in the middle of my lesson.
But he's a "mentor, guide, and
So how about ethics? Do you get to call yourself a coach if you violate one of the most basic tenets of the profession? I guess so, because Joanne doesn't mention it.
Nor is there a word about credentials, which I consider the marker between a weekend teacher and a committed coach. PSA ratings and ISI judge credentials is the first thing I ask any coach about. An ethical coach takes the continuing education. That Gold at Sectionals in 1994 is great and all, and I honor you for it, but it's time to move on and get some current credentials.
Then there's this one:
"Skating Instructors and Teachers Give Group and Private Ice Skating Lessons [implied 'but'] These people may or may not also take on the skating coach role. "Oops. That's me again, and lots of other really great coaches that I know. She goes on to talk about 5 a.m. lessons, traveling to competitions, managing the training, and yes, even what they charge. (But no guidance for us mere "teachers" on what we can charge.)
And then there's the real killer:
A Skating Instructor Can Teach Part-Time, But a Skating Coach Must Teach Full-Time:Nail in the coffin. I do this part time. Of course I work in a market where only the most competitive coaches with the wealthiest students have a prayer of making a full time living at this, but that's just my bad luck. I don't get to call myself a coach. I'm just a teacher.
Fine. I'll wear it proudly. I'm a teacher, who has changed the lives of countless children through my love, skill, commitment and support of the sport. I guess I'll have to stop my students now when they call me, as they affectionately do, "Coach Xan."