The relationship between skater and coach can vary greatly, but most skaters will agree that their coach provides an irreplaceable amount of support and guidance. Sometimes, skaters have very amusing interactions with their coaches, filled with lots of banter, excitement and playful exchanges. We love to see coaches let loose in the Kiss & Cry with their athletes, and we especially love to observe pre-skate rituals between student and teacher. Here are five times #TeamMK skater/coach interactions made us smile this season:
1. Kanako Murakami & Coach Machiko Yamada
Kanako Murakami and her Coach Machiko Yamada have a very positive, playful relationship. Aside from providing support, Machiko always manages to make Kanako smile in the Kiss & Cry – not an easy task! After Kanako’s 6th place performance at the 2015 Japanese Nationals, we certainly didn’t expect a spirited pat on the head from Kanako’s coach, but it was just what Kanako needed to shrug off the less-than-ideal finish.
2. Max Aaron & Coach Tom Z
Coach Tom Zakrajsek is a ray of positivity when it comes to coaching – optimistic and encouraging, he’s exactly what his athletes need when they have an up-and-down season. In Max Aaron’s first Grand Prix assignment of the year, Skate America, he nailed his two programs and edged out silver-medallist Shoma Uno by just over a point. The result? A gold medal and a huge celebration from Coach Tom Z!
3. Grant Hochstein & Coach Peter Oppegard
Grant Hochstein had an incredible season, making his debut at Four Continents and Worlds and giving strong performances at both. It’s every coach’s dream to watch his or her skater excel on the World stage, and Peter Oppegard’s enthusiasm showed when he excitedly slapped the boards as Grant skated by.
4. Patrick Chan & Coach Kathy Johnson
Patrick began working with Kathy Johnson in 2012, and since then, she’s seen him win gold at Worlds 2013 and silver at the 2014 Olympics. After taking the 2014-15 season off, many were unsure what to expect from Chan this year. It was a season of highs and lows, but the one constant was the incredible support he received from his coach. We love Kathy’s excitement after Patrick’s season’s best free program at Four Continents, which launched him from fifth to first place!
5. Piper Gilles, Paul Poirier & Coach Carol Lane
Piper and Paul started their season off with a spectacular win at the 2015 Ondrej Nepela Trophy. The only person more excited about the duo’s gold medal was their coach – how amazing was Carol’s reaction to their winning score? Even better was how adoringly Piper & Paul reacted to their coach’s excitement – #allthefeels!
Do you have a favourite skater/coach moment from the season? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter!