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Jo Ann Schneider Farris

Jersey On Ice - Response to Comments About TLC's Figure Skating Reality Show

By December 15, 2012

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Jersey On Ice Coaches

A reality television pilot, Jersey On Ice, aired on The Learning Channel on Wednesday, December 12, 2012. Many people have been critical of what was shown. Listed below is a summary of viewers' concerns and comments.

I've put together a detailed response to the concerns listed below.  They are valid concerns and need to be addressed.

  • Jersey On Ice - Response to Comments About TLC's Figure Skating Reality Show
    1. The coaches' behavior is unprofessional.  They also exhibited poor sportsmanship.
    2. The three coaches featured are not qualified ice skating coaches. It has been stated that these coaches may have inflated their credentials.
    3. It has been said by some that the show does not show "real figure skaters" who take part in US Figure Skating's qualifying and non-qualifying events, competitions, or tests.
    4. Very low level skaters who are preparing and competing for an ISI, Ice Skating Institute, in-house competition are featured. It has been expressed that these skaters can't truly represent all that goes on in the figure skating world.
    5. The quality of the skating shown is very, very poor.
    6. The coaches talk about preparing skaters for an upcoming team regional competition in Lake Placid, New York. The event the kids are working for could not be a "real Regionals."
    7. People have also commented that the three major figure skating organizations in the United States, Ice Skating Institute (ISI), Professional Skaters Association (PSA), and US Figure Skating could not have possibly allowed their skaters and/or coaches to participate in this reality show.
    8. It has been stated that US Figure Skating sent out an email blast to all its member clubs which stated that participation in the show would cause its skaters to lose eligibility.
    9. It was also stated that the Professional Skaters Association sent out an email blast asking coaches to contact The Learning Channel about appearing in the reality show, but no PSA members responded to The Learning Channel's inquiry since "no reputable skating coach" would consider participating in a show like this one.
    10. One of the skaters, an eleven year old girl who appears in the show, has Olympic dreams, but doesn't really know what it takes to train properly to move toward that goal.
    11. The coaches have been accused of disreputable behavior.

    Further Reading:

  • Jersey On Ice - Response to Comments About TLC's Figure Skating Reality Show
  • Jersey On Ice Review
  • Jersey On Ice Photos
  • My Life Should Be A Reality Show! - A Family of Competitive Figure Skaters (From About.com Reality TV)
  • Do ice skating coaches act like the coaches in Jersey On Ice? - By Jo Ann Schneider Farris on Examiner.com -

    Jersey On Ice Coaches - Photo Courtesy The Learning Channel

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  • Comments

    December 16, 2012 at 9:10 am
    (1) Moriko Nishiura says:

    both the ISI and the USFSA can go suck it because all of skating is just like that. Any coach that thinks they are training little hopefulls uses abusive language, and harmful intimidation practices. In skating winning is the only thing that is important to USFSA skaters…BAmm!

    December 18, 2012 at 7:42 pm
    (2) GCcat says:

    Morika, you need to visit a reputable rink. The behavior demonstrated violates coaches codes of conduct by the different skating organizations. A reputable rink does not allow such behavior by house staff or visiting coaches.

    December 19, 2012 at 12:22 am
    (3) Fidgee says:

    Moriko, I had a “verbally abusive” coach when I was about 10 years old, BUT, when I changed coaches/levels, I found that I liked my new, nice, sweetheart coach more but I wasn’t progressing NEARLY as quickly with her as I had with my prior coach. The biggest difference? The first coach recognized that if I was bored, I got lazy and just wouldn’t TRY my hardest. She knew that driving me to the edge of anger would get motivate me to do ANYTHING to prove her wrong! And, you guessed it, it WORKED every time! I learned a LOT from her and adopted her style with my students. And, yep, it still works! Some students need that extra nudge–and some coaches recognize it and know exactly how/when/why to use it.

    I agree with GCcat, visit a REPUTABLE, well maintained rink with well-trained, PROFESSIONAL coaches, assistances, etc when shopping for a coach. If possible, watch a FEW classes and, if you see a coach you’re interested in, ask them if it’s alright to watch a couple of their private/semi-priv classes so you’ll have a better idea whether their coaching style is compatible with your needs.

    December 19, 2012 at 12:33 am
    (4) Dawn Doccola says:

    I agree with a lot of comments about the show. As a native of the New York area I did find it was yet another show that made us all look bad.
    However the one thing I did like about the show is that they did show us lower level skaters.
    I am an adult who currently competes at the gamma level. to me and a lot of others ISI meets are very real.
    I hate to break it to everyone but low level ISI skaters are very much “real figure skaters”
    I am one of them and trust me I put much time and heart into my skating
    Not everyone can or wants to compete in USFSÅ events. ISI events are very much apart of the skating world .If anything that is more the reality I know.
    I would have liked to have seen a mix of skaters more adults etc.
    with that said I do think that the behavior of the coaches was beyond bad.
    I dont know of any coach who would treat her students like that and get away with it
    I would love to see a show about figure skating that portrays the world of skating a lot better.
    At my rink I am lucky enough to train with Olympic level skaters and low level ISI skaters.
    We are all real skaters and that is the world I would like to see in a show about skating

    December 20, 2012 at 11:12 am
    (5) figureskating says:

    Dawn, I’m so glad you’ve posted this comment. I too, was glad to see lower level skaters on TV. I wished to see adults too. Keep working hard and loving to skate!

    December 20, 2012 at 6:33 pm
    (6) krista says:

    UMMMM figure skating is no different from any other hard ass sport and i beg any of you to please tell what sport doesn’t have hard ass coaches who use bad language and harassment to push their players… football, soccer, field hockey, lacrosse, hockey. all of these sports have coaches that are SO much worse…so shut up with your stupid comments saying crap like “they are ruining the name of figure skating”. uhhh no! we’re not. i have no idea how you run YOUR rink, buhhh our’s is different. so shove that down your piehole and choke on it. k? thanks.

    August 7, 2013 at 9:03 pm
    (7) Leah says:

    This show was horrible and the coaches are horrid. If the professional skating organizations truly cared about how they are being portrayed they would have barred these women from membership or prevented them from being credentialed at competitions. I am at a USFSA competition right now, and look down in the coaches area and there one of these women is, putting kids on the ice. It sickens me. All they are doing by turning a blind eye is encouraging the next wanna be reality show star who will further tarnish the sport.

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