Spins With Very Young Boys (Charyl Brusch)

In this very short video, figure skating spin specialist Charyl Brusch has a very young male skater demonstrate some spins for the camera. This video is valuable from a coaching perspective, as Charyl shows an honesty that many coaches shy away from. She openly laughs after the skater falls, although the laugh is genuine because she is amused at the fearlessness and the type of fall the skater takes (and she recognizes he is not hurt). Sometimes this kind of laugh after a fall also helps a skater realize a fall is not the end of the world.

She also wants him to get his arms up as he skates and she says, “You look like a slob.” This may seem like an insult, which again most coaches would avoid, but this “honesty” is just valuable and effective feedback for skaters with a certain mindset, which this skater seems to have. In other words, this skater is more likely to acknowledge the comment and make a change because it is so clear (and Charyl has probably talked about it before). Nevertheless, Charyl is also supportive and complimentary, saying “good job, that was excellent” after a very nice one foot spin for this level. But then she follows that up with the very exaggerated, “That was the ugliest exit I’ve ever seen.” Again, this hyperbole is effective since young skaters and especially non-sensitive boys not only feel very comfortable with this kind of feedback, they may not even register feedback that is less extreme.

Most coaches don’t talk about a “karate chop” as a way to get the arms out on the exit, but again, this kind of language and image is effective with a skater like this who perhaps has a karate background or simply knows what she is talking about. The skater ends with a very nice sit spin and you can tell Charyl is amused by the cuteness of this skater, and she doesn’t hesitate to offer strong praise.


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