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OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF BABES…(AND SOME ADULT SKATERS, TOO)

(read the comments at the bottom – funny ones there as well)

This happened in a beginner ice dance class: I asked the group of girls, about six of them, if any of them knew what a “progressive” was. {For those of you who don’t know, it’s basically a good crossover with the foot sliding on the ice as it crosses the other one.} One of the 8 year-old girls answered,  “It’s an insurance company.” They all nodded and confirmed it was the company with the weird lady dressed in white and blue.

That is an effective ad campaign, indeed, if this brand is getting imprinted a good 10 years before they’ll have a need for it….

*

From a fellow coach:

I had a student that every time I asked her to do something she was not comfortable with she told me she was having trouble because she doesn’t understand English that well. She always said this in perfect English.

*

From a fellow coach:

I was teaching a group class of 5 year olds and told the kids to touch their toes. I turned around to help a little girl that had just fallen. When I turned back one boy was still touching his toes and the rest of the class had returned to the wall. I asked the boy if he was ok and he asked me if it was ok to come up now.

*

From a fellow coach:

I was teaching Little B and he said, “I am going to put you in my mouth to warm you up.”

*

From a fellow coach:

I said to my six year-old student: “I wish I was as funny as you!”

She responded, “Don’t you wish you had such big edges like me too?”

*

My skate came undone, so I bent over to re-tie it during a lesson with a six year old. After I stood back up, she said to me with a tone of kindness and authority: “If you ever get a knot in your laces, let me know because I’m really good at getting them out.”

*

From a fellow coach:

As I was exiting the bathroom, a 4 yr old student of mine sees me as she enters and jumps into the air…arms spread somehow knowing I’ll catch her…wraps her arm and legs around my torso and says…” I just love you.”

*

From a 3 year-old whose grandmother wheels her up to the rink door in her stroller in her skates, so she can step directly from stroller to ice:

“I have a grandma.”

“Oh really?”

“Her name is Grandma.”

*

From a proud 5 year old wearing fuzzy kitty mittens:

“Do you know who else has skates in my family?

“Who?”

“My mom, my dad, and my doll.”

*

From a 4 year old who did not want to work on her two foot hops a.k.a. frog hops:

She started crying and said that she couldn’t do this because her nose hurt.

“Is it cold?” I asked, fully feeling her pain.

“Yes, and I don’t want it to run!” She started crying harder.

I nodded with understanding, trying not to laugh, and made a note to put more tissue packs in my coat pocket for just such emergencies.

*

This comes from a colleague.

“I was working with an 8 year old on her loop jump. I told her that the one she just showed me was better but still a bit sluggish. She asked me what sluggish meant. I told her that I meant it didn’t have enough energy and was kind of lazy. She looked at me as if I was crazy and said, ‘So why didn’t you just say that?'” (Ha! Just wait until she gets to her SATs!)

*

From a 10th grader working on her Junior Moves.

I asked her to do the left foot of her Rockers. To clarify, she pointed across the rink and said, “You mean the second act…I mean, second side?” We both cracked up at her verbal slip. I asked if she was currently reading plays in school. She confirmed that, in fact, they were reading Macbeth. Then she went out to show me her second act. I confess that I’ll have trouble referring to it as anything but that, from here on out.

*

This comes from a colleague.

“I told my 9 year old student to show me her lutz combo. She said, ‘That sounds kind of like a sandwich.'”

*

I overheard this exchange a fellow coach had with a student and asked her if I could share it.

A nine year old in pigtails does another flying camel. The coach says, “Okay, that was better.” The student responds: “Good enough for the Olympics?” Coach: “Well, it needs to be a little bit better for that…”

*

This comes from a colleague.

“I was teaching my six year old student the ‘headless spin’ the scratch spin where you tilt your head back. After she tried it, she bounced over to me and asked excitedly, ‘Did it look like my head had fallen off?!'”

*

This comes from a colleague.

“We were getting ready for our annual Basic Skills Competion last week, so lots of skaters had programs for the first time and didn’t know how to use the CD player. Therefore, I had one of my teenage students sit in the music box for the last practice and play the music for the younger skaters. When I explained to one of my 10 year-old students how to go up to the window in the plexiglass and ask for her music, she said, ‘Oh, it’s kind of like ordering your music at the drive-thru.'”

*

This comes from a colleague.

“In preparation for our upcoming ice show, I asked the students in my learn-to-skate class if they had their cowboy/cowgirl costumes ready. An exceptionally cute four year-old boy looked up at me, puzzled, and simply said, ‘a boat… is not a cowboy.’ I couldn’t disagree.”

*

From a quiet 4 year-old boy.

After falling, he stood up and rubbed his knees for a long time. I thought he was going to burst out crying, but when I asked if he was okay, he said, quite astutely, “It’s a good thing I’m not any heavier, because I would have cracked the ice.”

*

From a 7 year-old girl who looks about 4 and who is dressed 99% of the time in pale pink.

When she skated up to me this week, I noticed that there was a new hole in her smile, which of course led to a discussion about the tooth fairy. Then I asked her how the competition went this weekend. She grinned and said proudly, with a lisp: “This weekend I got firstht in the competition and I lost my firstht tooth.”

*

This comes from an adult ice dancer.

“Last week, after skating a particularly large and powerful pattern of the Paso, only to balk at the infamous mohawk, my coach in exasperation, asked why I couldn’t complete the final transition from forward to backward. My response – ‘It’s my mo-phobia.'”

*

This comes from a colleague.

“One of my teenage students was claiming to her father that she didn’t need to hurry up and get home in order to get her homework done, because she is going to become a skating coach like me, in the future. In fact, in the next breath, she informed me that she is planning to take over my students and synchro team when I die. Not wanting to get directly involved in the homework battle, I asked her, if, for now, we could think about this transition in terms of retirement instead of death.”

*

From a teenager well-versed in the practice of positive thinking.

I asked her to do her “other” side of the Novice Moves Back Perimeter into Inside Threes.

“You mean my bad side?”

“Well…” I responded, “I don’t think we should look at that way…”

“Okay,” she said, “You mean the side that is awesome but just not quite as awesome as the other side?”

“Yes.” I chuckled. “That side.”

*

This comes from a colleague.

A little 5 year-old said to her, “If this doesn’t get more fun, I’m quitting.”

*

From a teenage boy on his Senior Moves.

We were working on the spiral pattern and I asked, “Can you feel that your leg is not up high enough?” “No,” he said, practically wincing, “all I can feel is pain.”

*

From a group of 4 and 5 year-olds in my beginner lesson.

Girl #1: “I’m going to be very tired today because I also have my Irish step dancing class.”

Girl #2: “I know lots of ballet moves!”

Me: I turn to the third member of the class, a tiny little boy, in order to include him in this impromptu conversation. “And what else do you do besides skating?”

Little Boy: Quite proudly, he answers, “School!”

*

From a 13 year-old prone to smirking.

I was explaining that, while the pattern on the Ten-Fox ice dance is very important, she shouldn’t look down at the ice in order to achieve it. Instead, she should use her peripheral vision. She looked at me and said, “My peripheral vision doesn’t work.” I proceeded to run a few impromptu and admittedly amateur vision tests, and the results were just fine. Nice try, though.

*

From a fellow coach.

A little girl in my group class was talking about the different types of ice skates yesterday. She informed me that hockey skates are much harder to skate on because of their curved blades. “If I had hockey skates, you know what I’d do?” she asked, scrunching up her face. “I’d cut vegetables with them!” Clearly, she will never be a hockey player.

*

From an intelligent and thoughtful 13 year old. We were working on her Novice Moves and I said, “Now those are the Choctaws I’ve been dreaming about.” She paused, looking a bit upset then she shook her head and smiled. “Oh,” she said, “at first I thought you said those were the Choctaws you’d been grieving about.”

*

From a former student who was helping out a 5 year-old in a Tots class.

He was one of those beginners we’ve all come upon at least a few times, one of those small children who must also be part mule: he just wouldn’t (or couldn’t) move. When she tried to get him to march, he said with conviction, “I don’t want to march, I want to skate.” When she wisely explained that marching was a kind of skating, he still didn’t budge. Needless to say, it was a long half hour and lots of toys were involved.

*

From a spunky college junior.

She was taking her Senior Moves test this week. We had been talking about performance quality, confidence, and how to control your nerves. As she stepped on the ice for her 5 minute warm-up, I offered up that old adage, “Act brave and no one will know the difference.” She came back with her own version: “You gotta fake it ‘til you make it.” Of course, she now has her Gold Medal.

*

From an extremely helpful 10 year-old.

I was telling her how, on her Crossrolls, I wanted her to leave her arms out to the side, “east and west,” instead of letting them swing all over the place. She thought about this for a second, as if consulting her inner-compass. Then, she asked me, “Do you know how to remember the order of North, South, East, and West?” She put her index finger up in the air and moved it clockwise around a circle. “Never Eat Sour Wheat.” Thank you! I’d never heard that before: who needs GPS with that handy mnemonic? It’s also a good way to avoid food poisoning.

*

This comes from a fellow coach (who is a former student of mine!  Ah, sigh…time sure does march forward.)

“A six year-old who was working on her forward swizzles announced that her family was moving, ‘but the house isn’t finished. They’re building it new just for us. No one has ever sat on the toilet yet.'”

*

From a 5 year-old in one of my group lessons this week.

We were about to do “airplanes”, which are basically just U-turns around an orange cone. I was demonstrating how to tilt your “wings” into the turn and make a motor sound with your mouth when she randomly asked, “Can we go to Florida?” There’d been a snowstorm the day before and another was predicted for the next day. “Yes,” I said. “Let’s go to Florida,” and we all turned on our engines and flew.

*

This comes from a colleague who teaches outdoors.

“It was rather chilly outside and a student started scratching her face vigorously. She said, ‘I’m so itchy.’ When I asked her if the wind was burning her face, making it itchy, she replied, ‘No, I have bed bugs and I’m covered in bites.'”

*

This comes from a colleague. Recently, she tried to get her 7 year-old student to twist her neck around on her back crossovers by telling her to imagine that a really cute boy was standing back there. In response, this usually quiet and shy girl scrunched up her face and shared a very interesting and politically-charged poem:

Girls go to college,

To get knowledge

Boys go to Jupiter,

To get stupider.

*

This comes from a colleague.

“On Friday morning, a 13 year-old, Juvenile skater said to me, during her lesson, ‘I can’t spin on Fridays.'”

*

This comes from a colleague who coaches outside.

“My teenage student was having trouble with one of the end patterns in the Novice Moves. It was one of the first really cold days. When she skated back toward me, I asked her why she stopped in the middle of it. She told me her ears were cramping.”

*

From a stressed 6th Grader.

She informed me that she wasn’t going to be able to stay and practice after her lesson because she had to work on a school project about Egypt. When I asked her specifically what the topic was, she answered with an exasperated eye roll, “I don’t know…something about the Nylon River.”

*

This comes from an old friend who coaches half way across the country.

“I had a 5 year-old student who had just passed her Dutch Waltz, so we were ready to learn the next dance, the Canasta Tango. She was always sort of flitting around the rink during her lessons, so I never really knew how much information was getting through. That night, her mom called to tell me that her daughter had come home and announced to her dad that, ‘my coach taught me the nasty tango today.'”

*

From a 6 year-old “about to be 7 any second” (her words). While working on her Snowplow Stops, she offered up one of those statements that has nothing to do with anything, but seemed nonetheless necessary to say right then: “My mom dropped her cell phone in our lake.”

*

From a concerned 10 year-old.

“What happened to your face?” she says, pointing the space right between my eyebrows.

“What?” I say, rubbing at it self-consciously, figuring I have a pen mark, or something.

“It looks like you have a scar.”

“Oh,” I respond, trying to not look horrified. “That, my friend, is a wrinkle.”

*

From an adult who I occasionally work with on Senior Moves. When I asked him to show me the choctaws near the end of the pattern, he said, with self-deprecation, “You mean my mock-taws?”

*

From a clever teenager who had developed an unreasonable number of blisters on her feet as a result of getting her boots re-built, and then enduring several hours on the ice during a synchronized skating camp: “I felt like my feet had been deep fried.”

*

From a quiet, obedient 6 year-old. I usually ask my littlest beginners to tell me what their favorite drink is, then I have them put their arms up “like tables” and pretend I’m pouring out liquid into cups to balance on their forearms. “Now, don’t spill your hot chocolate!” I say to try and get them to control their arms. Every week, this little girl answered, “Water.” When, several months in, I encouraged her to change up her order, for fun, she didn’t hesitate for a second and surprised me by naming a drink I’d never heard of, and was a far-cry from water: “Passion-fruit smoothie!”

*

From a chatty 5 year-old I was teaching on a public session. While we were marching around the rink, she just looked up at me and stated that, “An ice cube would make a good skating rink for an ant.” This observation, so utterly random and entirely true, immediately convinced me that working with kids was pretty much the only way to go.

11 Responses to “Skater Quotes”

  1. Jesse Says:

    Love the skater quotes, keep ’em coming.

  2. Martina Says:

    Yesterday I was giving lesson to two small 5 year old boys. When getting off the ice one turns to me a says ” I have not breathed the entire lesson.”

  3. Alyssa Says:

    While teaching axels in a group lesson (why ISI does that is TOTALLY beyond me, but I digress…) A desperate 16 year old girl turns to me and says, “You could offer me a brand new car, and I STILL couldn’t land my axel.”

  4. Head Smells Like Fish Says:

    Regarding the “random” quote of the week, I once taught a 4 year old who volunteered that her “Daddy can’t eat broccoli beacause it gives him gallstones”. I thanked her for sharing and moved on.

  5. Alyssa Says:

    My 7-year old student, (who was adopted by a single mom,) turned to me and said, “I don’t have a daddy. Daddies are hairy – like bears.”

  6. Jessica Says:

    Oh, boy. I get those unrelated remarks all the time during my lessons, especially from skaters in the Tot level. I think the most memorable random statement I’ve ever heard from a student was from a four-year-old girl who told me, “My cat had an ear infection and my mom has to put drops in his ear.” Out of the mouths of babes…

  7. Jessica Says:

    Another classic child skater quote: I was explaining to a seven-year-old girl that she could not put her foot down on her forward edges because the judges would consider it a “touchdown” and she’d be asked to reskate the element.

    After a few seconds, this little girl looks up at me confused and says, “I thought touchdown were only in football…”

  8. Jill Says:

    I had a teenage student who was having trouble landing any jumps that day.
    Her excuse…..”I can’t jump today, because my mom made me take out the garbage!”

    4 year old boy in learn to play hockey class (We were teaching in the hockey class, because apparently, the hockey coaches were incapable of teaching anyone how to skate, and so the figure skating coaches got the job)
    “I play hockey, I’m a boy, I wear a cup. Girls can play hockey too, but they don’t wear a cup. I don’t know why. “

  9. Kimberly Says:

    I was at a public skating session a couple of weeks ago when this little boy, who couldn’t have been more than four, came whizzing by me in full hockey gear at full speed from center ice. I myself was just a few feet from the boards and stopped to watch him. He skidded across the ice and slammed into the boards with the requisite WHACK. Concerned (I’m a registered nurse), I skated up to him and, once I assured myself he was OK (he had this huge smile on his face and looked very excited), I told him, “Wow! You looked just like a pro!” All smiles, he looked up at me and excitedly answered, “I KNOW, I KNOW!! It’s my new pads!”

  10. Roberta Dunn Says:

    When teaching snowplow sam classes, I tell kids how important it is to fall correctly, bend knees, curl up in a ball, etc. Sometimes they don’t get it, so I say “if someone came running up to you and went to punch you in the tummie, what would you do?” Well the answers were not exactly what I was looking for. One 5 year old boy said “punch him back”, another said “run away”, another little girl said “call my Daddy.”

  11. Kathy Collings Says:

    At a Learn to Skate session, some fellow coaches and I saw a little girl on her hands and knees pretending to lick the ice. When we asked her what she was doing, she said, “I’m a Zamboni!”

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