Monday, June 30, 2008

competition: I need a wacko-skating mom repellent

Ice Girl is new to figure skating. Well, she had taken Learn to Skate before, but in November of 2007 she was in Basic 3. Now, eight months later, she's in *gulp* Freestyle 4.
Yeah, yeah. Go, Ice Girl.
I'm a terrible mom, but her advancement is a double-edged sword: every time she leaps up several levels in one go, it means less and less Learn to Skate. LtS is a great scheme, but that's for another post.
Ice Girl had a Basic Skills competition in Rockford, Ill. on Sunday. As I said, she's new to figure skating and still pretty low level. Well, at least she was. Is. For now. *sigh*
Anyway, when we signed her up for this competition, she had just finished Basic 5. So, we signed her up to compete at Basic 6. Who knew that she'd fly up so many levels by competiton time?
Ice Girl is 12, which is pretty late to be beginning in figure skating. It's not ancient, but it's a bit late. Ice Girl has competed with kids her own age, but this group was pretty tiny. Most were 6 or 7 years old.
Ice Girl placed first in the compulsory (yay) and another competitor's mom asked me how old Ice Girl is. I told her: 12. Here's what she said:
"How can a 7-year-old compete against a 12-year-old?"
"Steriods?" I suggested before I could filter myself.
She didn't get the joke, so I just left it. But this mom started showing me records she's kept of all the girls her daughter has competed against. Some were older, some were younger, but this was, um, Basic Skills. Who keeps records like that?
Later Ice Girl also won the freestyle.
The no-sense-of-humor mom was back. She told me that I should move Ice Girl up because it just wasn't fair to the other girls.
I thought I'd have to hold Ice Girl's coach back: she's short, but surprisingly firey.
Later Ice Coach told me that the reason Ice Girl won was that no one can keep skates off that kid. She practices. We have ice time. She PIC skates. She runs through her programs in the living room. Ice Girl's got it bad. Oh, and Ice Girl loves, loves, loves the hardware (medals).
It's one thing to have kids compete at different age levels, say, in math. This wasn't math, though. This was a skill that Ice Girl has picked up in eight months. Yeah, she's older than the other girls, but they had essentially the same training, right?
Anyway, I'm thinking that I need to go into business for myself. I'm going to develop a spray for parents like these. Some sort of repellent that I can either spray on myself like Off! or Skin So Soft or that I can use like a one-shot deal. Just spray it at the nutty parent and have a peaceful competition.
I think there's a market out there, don't you? :)


Aaron said...

Make sure it contains 25% Deet! Goodness...these parents can't be Bitter Betty's just because Ice Girl actually practices! I love it..."Who keeps records like that?" My goodness, apparently the crazy one keeps those records!

angel said...

To be honest, yes they had the same training. But no, its not fair to compare a 6 year old and a 12 year old. They dont have the same muscles,they dont have the same focus or attention span.
That said, my skaters always have been with kids twice their age. For the most part, they also beat skaters twice their age.
I do understand why the other mom was upset. Its not a fair conparision most of the time. Its not skills, its age.

Ice Mom said...

You know, Angel, I think you're right about the developed muscles and attention span.

However, I also think it's a Basic Skills competition.

We all have to keep it in perspective. :)

angel said...

I agree with you. But it starts out in basic and only gets worse as you go higher.!!I think because parents put so much money in this sport,they think their skater should win.
Its harder when your young skaters beats an older one, then the teens get upset and stop.Who wants to be beat by a 7 year old?
You just have to learn to ignore it , smile and move on.:}

Ice Mom said...

Yep! I understand the moms get worse as the skater advances.

Once I develop my repellent, I'm going to make a mint, I tell you! :)

SusanAtLifeskate said...

What a sad moment in skating. Make sure to shield Ice Girl from wacko-mom, so she doesn't overhear any of her negative comments.

Anonymous said...

As a coach, I hear both sides. It's best just to nod, smile, and say "oh my look at the time..must dash off!!!"

some kids practice more and some don't. it shows.

Laura said...

Steroids!!? You are awesome.

Angie said...

I want some of that spray! My daughter competed in her first competition in June and came in 3rd place. She competed at the basic 4 level. Anyway... the mom of the girl who took 1st was quite boastful! Her "That's my baby!" comment while the girls were having their podium and group picture shots was a little, shall I say, over the top! Yup, I think you'd make a bundle if you could develop and market that spray! LOL!

Ice Mom said...

Geez, Angie, you need that spray! Who boasts about winning? That's woman should write a book: How to Raise a Monster, because that's what the kid's learning to be.

skatergirlMOM said...

I may try sewing again. I love the glam of the fabrics and the stones--it brings out my inner girl. My daughter and I watched the rerun of Project Runway last night with designers working creating a costume for Sasha Cohen. It puts a new spin on it now that my daughter is into skating.

Thanks for the info on the special hours at the Pettit. I wasn't aware of that. We've been hanging out at Eble in Brookfield. We live in Western Wauwatosa so we're almost smack between the Pettit and Eble Ice Arena. Eble is a rink so it's easier to practice on than the oval at the Pettit but cheap ice time is always a plus regardless of the shape.

I enjoy your blogs. Maybe we'll bump into each other at a local venue.

Ice Mom said...

In the summer the Pettit folks melt the speed skating track, so open skate is just in the inner ovals.

Good luck with your sewing, Skatergirlmom!

katiedear said...

People in skating don't like you if you are cute. They don't like you if you aren't cute. They don't like you if you win. They "like" you if you lose but talk about you behind your back. If you are "talked" to in front of your face take it as a good thing; at least you know who to avoid. It doesn't get any different. Wait until your child coaches. They still don't like you. Have friends outside of the rink. Have a life (if you can) outside of the rink - but still practice. Go to regionals; they will place your child according to age. Basic skills competitions are very good; because they are primers for competing. So many coaches don't let their students compete because they don't want the skaters to experience defeat or they don't want to experience it themselves. You would be suprised at how many coaches can't/don't even read the directions or know how to put together a program. Requirements change all the time. Just because coaches are hired by park districts doesn't mean they are qualified to do much of anything.
If you win in a Basic Skills competition; enjoy it. If you win at Regionals or Sectionals; you know you are on your way.