How would you describe the process of building your organization from it’s inception to earning a spot on Team USA?
The Synchroettes organization began in 2001. We have grown from 2 small teams of 30 skaters to 10 teams of 185 skaters. It has been an incredible journey of triumphs and defeats, all the while persevering and keeping our eyes on our goals. Having seen our Junior Team USA skaters begin in our organization, as far back as 2001 at the then ‘youth’ and preliminary divisions to now being among the top of the Junior division and represent the US is nothing short of a dream coming true for our skaters, coaches and organization.
Who have you looked up to as a mentor and guide? What kind of support have you received from other coaches, teams, families, your community, etc.?
Personally, I have had the good fortune of learning from so many coaches: Lynn Benson, Nancy Rossi, Vicki Korn, Lisa Darken, Merita Mullen, Becky Stump, Carla Degirolimo, Saga Krantz, Donna Mitchell and Heather Paige and many others. US FigureSkating offers so many opportunities to learn and grow and I had the honor of being a WIN project participant 3 times. As the head coach of our organization, it is my responsibility to continue to learn and improve, I attend as many camps, clinics and seminars as my schedule permits. I have found that this sport has a tremendous amount of people who are willing to share knowledge and guidance to help our sport become stronger in so many ways. USFS judges and technical panel members have been a large part of giving advice and support that have contributed to our teams improvement.
How would you describe your coaching style and philosophy?
I love every minute of coaching, and I feel this reflects in my coaching ~ of course, there are corrections to be made, but I do my best to deliver them in the most positive way. I also make it a point to give our assistant coaches and spot sharers time to add their input which adds to the teamwork. I know that, the more we work together, the better we become as a coaching staff.
The Synchroettes are one big family–both literally and figuratively–how do you think the family aspect influences your coaching style and the overall team atmosphere?
The importance of being one big family has always been a priority as it builds a strong unity which I believe makes everyone feel important, whether it be the youngest beginner to our most seasoned junior team member and everyone in between. We foster a sense of togetherness and encourage our older skaters to be role models and friends for our younger skaters. It’s never to early to start impressing the values of good sportsmanship, productive teamwork and commitment. Our teams share ice time, locker rooms and participate together in random acts of kindness (to name a few:)~ from our annual Toys for Tots event, 5 K for the Make a Wish foundation to our most recent support from our younger teams to host bake sales to help our Juniors offset expenses for their trip to Sweden.
How has this season been different from past seasons?
Each season brings new ideas to grow and develop our teams to become the best they can be. This season we added more on ice time and off ice training.
What were/are your goals and expectations for this season?
First and foremost to help each team and individual reach their potential. Clean skates at competitions, improvement from one competition to the next and a great positive experience for all teams and skaters. The medals are the icing on the cake.
What’s the energy like at practice leading up to your international competition in Sweden?
The energy level is beyond enthusiastic that is contagious! The intensity of practices with efforts to make each run thru and skill better shines through at each practice.
What was your experience like placing fourth at the Junior World Qualifier?
The JWQ experience was awesome ~ we are all so proud to have had 2 excellent performances.
What were you feeling when you first found out your team earned a spot on Team USA?
A dream had become a reality. And hard work, loyalty, perseverance, trust of one another and belief in themselves all paid off!!
What are your goals for next season and the future of the Synchroettes? Each season, to be better than the last. Build on what we have already accomplished as a team.
What advice do you have for skaters and coaches who dream of being a part of Team USA?
Dream Believe Achieve, work hard, learn from set backs and never give up.