In Korea, when we first got on the ice, I skated around and did some spins, before seeing that the beginners (the few who had not skated before) had just got on the ice. I went over to help them, and started teaching them a little. Five minutes later, one of the Korean coaches came over to me and told me to continue warming up - she'd thought I was one of the athletes!
Later in the trip, another Korean coach asked me if I coached any of the 3 girls. I said, no, I generally don't coach the higher levels because I don't actually have enough coaching time for them, and moreover, many of them skate at times when I'm at work.
Is this an excuse? Is the real reason that they do not want me as a coach? Years ago a "friend" told me that with all the falls I was taking, nobody would want to take lessons from me. I felt rather insulted, yet it made me wonder if my quest to achieve as a skater puts me down a notch in others' eyes.
Recently, one of the coaches went back to his hometown for a visit, and nobody seems to know when he will return. His skaters are left in the lurch, many of them have found or are looking for alternatives, yet none has approached me.
Why? I don't know. My interaction with many of them have been as a skater rather than a coach. Are there are other issues at play? Other damning gossips going around the rink? Or perhaps it is as simple as me having to approach them!
There are a few who I would love to work with. I have toyed with the idea of asking them, but have been hesistant - partly because I wouldn't know when to schedule them in if they do say yes! Unless coaching is allowed during the early-morning National team ice time...
[Afternote: the other part of the reason I'm hesistant is because... I'd hate to "poach" other coaches' students!]
So, back to my coaching times - what would I give up for my students? Last year, I would coach in the early mornings on public holidays as I had a couple of girls in the Nationals. This year, I have none, so I went to the rink for ice time myself (for the record, I also pay full price for my ice time!). When I saw the other coaches busy with students entering the Nationals, I was, for a moment, rather glad I wasn't giving up skating to be coaching then!
I must sound disillusioned and confused about what I want, but truth be told, being a skater and a coach can be conflicting - while I want to attain a higher level in coaching, I still want to achieve as a skater. Both demand my attention and time on ice, leading me to question - would I rather be skating or coaching?