Sunday, February 19, 2012

Rink Gossip

I'm not at my rink everyday, but there are people there I know from my old rink, and I've made new friends and new acquaintances. So, while I'm not the center of popularity, I'm a regular, and a lot of people (coaches, skaters, and staff) stop and talk to me. I'm interested in their skating, and sympathetic about their personal trials and tribulations.

There's a rule for this: Whatever someone tells you that's 'gossipy', don't repeat it (Skater Moms, this includes you).  The one exception is if it is something others could have witnessed: a passed test, or a new jump, or some other public event. Remember, you're an adult. This is real life, not high school. People's reputations and careers can be ruined by gossip.

Yeah, it can come back to you.
Let's move on to coach gossip.

Anyway,  here's the thing, some coaches I've had (I've had about 9) have told me stuff about other skaters and coaches. I mean I've heard more gossip about people I don't care about than it's possible to remember.  

Coaches have told me about coach scandals, problems with other students, problems with students' parents, their husbands, sons, daughters, neighbors, relatives, name it, I'm the repository. If you're a former coach of mine, don't worry, most of what I heard I don't remember past the end of the lesson, for the rest, my lips are sealed.

Why does this happen? Maybe I have a remarkably sincere and conspiratorial face, or maybe coaches have so many child students all day that the occasional adult is an opportunity for adult conversation and they slip up, or maybe, behind my back, they talk about me.

So is there a moral to this story? Yes. Pay your bills on time. Don't tell your coach about your love life. Don't expect anything you tell a coach to stay private. Maybe your coach is the soul of discretion, but they're not your BFF and they're not your priest. Zip it, sweetheart.


  1. Aw, come on, Babbette, tell us how you really feel about gossip! My coach doesn't tell me a damn thing. Either he thinks I'm too dull to grasp the essentials of rink gossip or I have the face of a weasel and he doesn't trust me...

    PS: I bought a pair of Katz straps. Try 'em out yesterday. No more lace bite on the right foot. Thanks for posting the tip.

    1. George, you'd be surprised how many people get caught up in gossip. And coaches seem to build trust with long term adult students and that leads to casual chatter. Coaches slip up just like anyone. Wait until you've been skating with the same coach for a year and then see if you can say 'my coach doesn't tell me a thing.' As for me, I always 'forget' the stuff I hear.

      And I'm glad you're having good luck with the Katz Strapz.

  2. This happens to us as well, and I agree about the reasons. It's partly because coach knows anything he tells us won't go any further, and partly that he likes being able to talk to adults! I probably wouldn't know anything that was going on otherwise, as I'm not usually around at times when regular rink gossip happens (and quite happy to keep things that way!).

  3. I would say that I never gossip, but my nose is already long enough. ;)