I began coaching over 16 years ago. Before moving to the Philly area, I was a staff coach at several skating complexes in the Pittsburgh area. For about four years I commuted to IceWorks on the weekends. In 2006 I decided to relocate and become a full-time staff coach at IceWorks.
Along with teaching private and group lessons, I have held various skating related postions over the years. I have been a synchronized skating coach, skating show director, Learn to Skate Director, Summer Camp Director and a judge at many ISI local, national and international events.
I have accompanied my students to both qualifying and non-qualifying competitions across the country. My competitve skaters have ranged from 2 to 65 years of age. They have experienced a lot of success and have had a lot of fun over the years. Along with many other competitions, my skaters have won medals at the Keystone State Games, the State Games of America, ISI World and National Recreational Championships, USFS Regional Championships and the US Adult National Figure Skating Championships.
Education and Prior Employment Experiences
My educational background includes a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration with a minor in Psychology from Duquesne University. I also have a Masters of Business Administration from Duquesne University with a focus on Training and Development and Management Information Systems.
I was an instructional designer in the banking industry and for a non-profit organization for the blind. I developed customer service, systems and computer software training programs. Over the years I have worked with many special needs individuals. I have found this work to be exceptionally rewarding.
My Approach to Coaching
I believe that everyone learns differently and at different paces. Skaters should be taught with their learning style in mind. Not every approach works for every skater, so it is important to find the right fit. I implement a lot of the learning theory I used during my instructional design days in my coaching.
I believe in creating a positive, safe and fun learning environment. I have found that skaters in this type of an enviroment progress faster than their counterparts whose environment is not as positive. Skating is an expensive sport that requires a big time commitment. My requirements are that my skaters work hard, but that they also have fun. I encourage my skaters to support, help and cheer each other on.
I am a big believer in team coaching when the time is right. I have a group of coaches who I have worked with over the years. I usually suggest bringing in an additional coach for my competitive skaters after I have worked with the skater for about a year.
I believe in celebrating accomplishments however big or little they may be. This also includes non-skating related accomplishments. We often have jump or spin contests. The skaters really enjoy these fun and motivational events. The most popular event is the Axel Trophy Competiton.