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Jo Ann Schneider Farris

Jersey On Ice - A Reality TV Show About Figure Skating Coming to TLC

By December 8, 2012

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Coaches and Students - Jersey On Ice

I've wanted a reality show about figure skating to be shown on television for so long. †Finally, it's happened! †Jersey On Ice will premiere on The Learning Channel on Wednesday, December 12 at 10:00 pm EST. †I've interviewed the three coaches featured in the show and I've also previewed the pilot episode. †The coaches may act a bit like the moms in "Dance Moms."

I believe the Jersey On Ice will promote our sport, but I know in advance that the show will also be criticized. The situations shown may not seem realistic, but it should be noted that the disagreements that are shown in public in this TV reality show do really go on behind the scenes at other skating facilities. It's just that most confrontations in the ice skating world are handled in a much "quieter" manner. ...read more

Coaches and Students - Jersey On Ice -†Photo Courtesy The Learning Channel

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December 9, 2012 at 1:31 pm
(1) Married to a real PRO says:

You can’t be serious. I have been married to a Pro for 22yrs and I am also in the skating rink business. My wife skated for Disney for 3 yrs and has coached all the way up to Nationals. When we both sat down and watched the preview our mouths dropped open. There is no way ISI has sanctioned this to take place.( the number 1 man at ISI is a friend, after this comment I will be calling him). How can those woman call themselves professional. What a complete disgrace for the sport of Figure Skating. I pray it’s only 1 show before to much damage is done.

December 9, 2012 at 7:11 pm
(2) figureskating says:

The short 2 minute video promo-preview cannot give the full idea of what goes on. Watch the show on Wednesday night and then decide. TLC sent me the entire show in advance to view. It’s very well-done.

December 10, 2012 at 3:36 pm
(3) Laura says:

I am also a coach and in the ISI and think this is AWESOME! I’d rather watch these coaches then some of the others I know. These gals are entertaining!!! I hope the show is a hit so we can bring more people into the world of figure skating. Skate on!

December 11, 2012 at 3:24 pm
(4) gr8sk8r says:

As a competitive skater for two decades I know that there are good, bad, and ugly people involved in the sport at various levels. Often, good manners are on display whether or not cameras are in view but humans are just that and not always on their best behavior or in good moods.

I find it hypocritical for anyone involved in the sport to deny that there aren’t loud, obnoxious, ill mannered, people involved in the sport, whether they be skaters, coaches, parents, rink owners, staff, or officials.

I will watch the premier of the show and think it will show a portion these individual’s characters, not the character and spirit of every person involved in the sport. The show will not show each person’s true character in it’s entirety because reality shows are scripted, some more so than others. Anyone who watches a reality t.v. show and thinks that it is 100% real needs to acquaint themselves with the facts.

Even further, if anyone makes negative assumptions about all persons involved in skating from a reality t.v. show, they are simply not using the full potential of their brain.

December 12, 2012 at 9:18 pm
(5) Person says:

Lol right. Who are you kidding??? Any legit, qualified coach wouldn’t have sold themselves out to be misrepresented on reality tv. This show is revolting! More loud mouth, low brow trash. The way these coaches talk to children is horrific!!!!! The one even says sh*t in front of a young child?!?! They better hope they still have their day job when this show fails…..but I doubt they will because no one who uses their brain’s full potential would let their child be taught by them! They need to go back to the trailer where they belong and start hiding from the backlash.

December 12, 2012 at 10:31 pm
(6) RGZ says:

Coming from an international figure skating this is embarrassing to the sport of figure skating. This is not a real team or real coaches. The coaches make jersey look so bad. Further, I would like to point out i have worked with the best coaches in New Jersey and these women are not even considered coaches. I am disappointed that TLC didn’t chose a real club to make a show out of.

December 12, 2012 at 10:54 pm
(7) Work from Home says:

Seriously, if these coaches are indicative of the coaches that are now available, I wouldn’t have my kid in FS. My daughter trained at the UD under several intl and national coaches 20 years ago. FS was so a part of our lives that it consumed almost all of our resources. My daughter is graduated law school and I don’t think that the effort that she put in (and me as well) was ever wasted as she is dedicated & focused.

These women are unprofessional, and quite honestly our kids were doing double jumps and working on triples at age 7 & 8…. those kids they coach do not stand a chance under this coaching!

December 12, 2012 at 11:32 pm
(8) NY Skating Mom says:

What an awful show. This does NOT represent what REAL figure skating is all about. I was so mortified by not only the low level of coaching but also of the skating. Why couldnít they find at least some Juv or Intermediate level kids with some real skating skills to feature? Show how they prepare for regionals or something. You can find some fantastic, intense parents and coaches out there who at least are producing some incredible skaters. If we want to promote the sport of skating, this is definitely the WRONG message to send. At least with Dance Moms, despite what you may think of the teacherís style, she is producing amazing results. This show is ridiculous and I hope the producers realize the damage they are doing to the sport with it.

December 12, 2012 at 11:44 pm
(9) Jordyn says:

ok hold up… ALL of those coahes have FAKE credentials, look at their site!! PSA and USFSA and ISU are trying to get the show shut down! Those coaches are abusive and need are going to be banned from PSA and hopefully their rink will be shut down!

December 13, 2012 at 12:25 am
(10) USFSA gold level skater says:

Where are they getting their facts??? This show is a joke! They are skating in the lowest level of competition, an ISI in house competition. And then they say they are choosing a team to go to USFSA regionals. First off this is two whole separate divisions of skating. Secondly coaches do not choose a team to take. Also, they were saying their 17 year old skater and their 11 year old skater were skating at the same level. Ok this could be true, but the level they said does not even exist. It is not hard to learn the names of the ISI levels and the names of the USFSA levels. No one freaks out over an in house competition. Those are for your beginner skaters and are judged by other coaches. USFSA is your serious competitions and those are judged by real judges. Finally no USFSA skater would be skating at a rink that tiny. No parent would hire these coaches and no rink would allow them to work there if it was not for this show. USFSA skaters do not hire or work with coaches who do not have better credentials and are not gold level USFSA skaters themselves.

December 13, 2012 at 12:36 am
(11) Sk8mom says:

There is nothing remotely real about this show. ISI is recreational skating. These kids are not USFS competitors. FYI coaches don’t pick “teams” to go to open competitions. Anyone can go. If your coach wants to be an ass and ” cut you”, you can go without her. A skater without an axel at 11, isn’t competitive. Where did these coaches come from? Never heard of them, and I’m fro NJ. This is a joke.

December 13, 2012 at 10:21 am
(12) Tracy M says:

What a pathetic excuse for a show. Coming from a parent of a competitive figure skating in both ISI and USFSA, this show does no justice for the hardworking skaters and coaches in both these organizations. If these coaches treated skaters that way in real life, none of them would have any students. Shame on them. Plus, real competitions have more talent and are more organized than what was depicted on the show last night. I just wonder if this show was run past either skating organization. ISI skaters are competitive and can skate in both ISI and USFSA if tested. There is an Open Platnium event but it includes Freestyle 7-10 skills. Non of those skaters were skating at that level. House competitions are good indicators for practicing and perfecting programs and skills. Many of our US skaters started in the ISI program and are very successful at the National level. If your skater also skates USFSA, the programs are typically different in skills and length than ISI. This show is a crock.

December 13, 2012 at 1:35 pm
(13) Grace says:

This show is a disgrace. The woman are horrendous and have obviously just given up on themselves. I mean, you’re on tv. Wouldn’t you want to look your BEST. If that IS you’re best, then you have given up!

On another note, one of them use to be a stripper, another use to smoke dope. Great examples for our kids. I would NEVER allow my daughter to be taught by these bafoons!

December 13, 2012 at 3:08 pm
(14) Sk8mom says:

It is my understanding that PSA sent an email out to all coaches, about a year ago. Informing them of the show and asking if they or anyone they knew was interested. Apparently, the credentialed coaches wanted no part of this travesty. Also, USFS told clubs that any USFS skater who participated would lose eligibility. Therefore, no talented skater, in their right mind would do this.

The skaters are awful! Can’t land single jumps, and when they do they’re cheated or wrapped, horrible extension, horrible edge quality, airplane wing arms, no upper body fluidity. And they think they are Olympic bound? Someone give them a clue! They wouldn’t make it through initial rounds at Regionals – the real USFS Regionals. Not a misleading, let’s call the ISI Lake Placid Open Competition Regionals.

December 14, 2012 at 2:55 am
(15) Sk8pro says:

The best I can say about this horrible program is that I will hold it up as an example of behavior that will get a coach fired from my staff and banned from my ice rink. They are supposed to be coaching children. Ice skating is supposed to be fun. This is nothing more than low self-esteem mouth breathers yelling at children for their own self-aggrandizement. I cannot imagine ISI giving any sort of sanction to this and USFS would certainly not tolerate it. Parents take heed, this does not represent the majority of supportive coaches in this sport. If you do happen to run across a coach such as this, simply dismiss them and find another. As for TLC, this is just one more reason to not watch it.

December 14, 2012 at 9:24 am
(16) Sk8mom says:

Sk8pro, don’t worry. USFS did not sanction it. As I said, above, they notified all member clubs that any skater who participates would loose eligibility. And, obviously, no reputable coachs are involved. I cannot speak to ISI, I am not in the loop for that.

This is not about skating, it is about loud obnoxious, self involved women who are living through their kids. A shame that our sport is being portrayed this way. Not that there aren’t bad coaches, rude parents, and kids who don’t understand what their level of talent is. But, why prey on that?

December 15, 2012 at 8:53 am
(17) Xan says:

None of the coaches named is listed in the membership directory of the Professional Skaters Association as a current member of the PSA, at least under the names they are using in the show.

December 19, 2012 at 9:37 pm
(18) Iknowu says:

@Sk8mom, the ISI or the PSA committee had to have approved the filming of a skating show. The coaches didnt just wake up and decide to make a show. TLC approached them with the idea, approvals were needed from skating associations before a camera even shoed up at the rink. Whoever gave the ok to film, my guess is the director of PSA, the show about ice skating coaches should have insisted on a preview of the show before the release of the pilot. And my best bet is that there are copies of letters, emails and saved voice mails giving TLC and the coaches to move foward with Jersey On Ice. I have known former skaters who have been cursed at, told to move their fing fat ass, etc by their coaches.

Instead of bashing the coaches on websites, why hasn’t anyone personally contacted them?

I personally think that a coach who leaves his wife and runs off with his 16 yr old student is far more worse than these coaches.

December 20, 2012 at 11:31 pm
(19) Sk8mom says:

Iknowu, clearly you don’t know how this works. There are sanctioned events, competitions and shows. USFS and ISI sanction individually, since they are not the same organization. USFS sent out a mass email message stating that any USFS skater who participates in the show would no longer be eligible for qualifying USFS competition. The ISI stated this: “On Dec. 12 TLC aired the pilot episode of “Jersey on Ice,” a show that included footage of supposed preparation for and participation in a local ISI competition. The Ice Skating Institute did not encourage, endorse or approve this content and has no association with this reality show. The poor behavior, abusive coaching and “winning is the only thing” attitude exhibited in the show is not an accurate reflection of ISI’s positive, rewarding instructional methods and inclusive, non-qualifying competition philosophy. We abhor the scandalous theme of the show and are disappointed in the negative portrayal of figure skating exhibited by the producers and participants.” (copied from the ISI Facebook page). TLC doesn’t need USFS or ISI permission to do this show. However the skaters do. If the skaters choose to be on the show, they lose eligibility. I doubt any of these skaters care about that, since they will never qualify anyway.

And what does a coach running off with a student have to do with this? That is completely off topic. There have been coaches who have been banned from USFS due to inappropriate behavior. The coaches in this show are just a joke. ANd they make skating look bad. People who don’t know anything about real training may think this is what goes on. It isn’t and it’s offensive.

December 25, 2012 at 5:40 am
(20) Iknowu says:

Sk8mom, I think your the joke and live in a fantasy world, if honsetly dont believe that there are coaches who act this way. Let me know of a perfect rink and I will go see for myself, otherwise people in glass houses should not throw stones.

December 25, 2012 at 5:40 am
(21) Iknowu says:

Sk8mom, I think your the joke and live in a fantasy world, if honsetly dont believe that there are coaches who act this way. Let me know of a perfect rink and I will go see for myself, otherwise people in glass houses should not throw stones.

January 9, 2013 at 10:50 pm
(22) MarDel says:

Yes, coaches are real. We are friends of a family who has a daughter who is an amazing gold medal skater who does take instruction under at least one of the coaches on the show. The young skater we know travels for competions, and is constantly at practice.

January 10, 2013 at 1:47 pm
(23) ska8mom says:

Having been involved in skating (for years), at a world level, I think I know what I’m talking about. Iknowu, if it makes you feel better to believe that this is how successful coaches are on the ice, go ahead. There are clearly problems in skating, caused by coaches. Have coaches had inappropriate relations with skaters? Yes. Most notably one from CT and one from Detroit. Not naming names. But, this is not the norm. A more serious problem in skating is that skaters are encouraged to be too thin. Creating a serious eating disorder problem in the sport. However, the crude, loud, ignorant crap that went on in this show is not real. And half of what the coaches were saying about the “upcoming competition” was wrong, at best misleading. These were not competitive young ladies. Mostly they were the kids of the coaches, even more disturbing that they were treated so badly. It appears that the show was not picked up – thank goodness. Just one more opportunity to bash NJ.

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