You have to know your skaters.
Andrea Dohány has been coaching Team Surprise (Sweden 1) since she first formed the team in 1985.
“In the beginning, the team was formed by former ice dancers and figure skaters. A book of rules was sent to me from Canada and I started to study how it was done.”
Three years later, the team traveled to Canada for their first international competition. Certain they would come in last, it turned out that Andrea’s studying paid off and Team Surprise won.
“We were very surprised, and for the next 15 years, we won everything. And then, when the first official World Championships were arranged back in 2000, we won that too.”
You also coach several successful singles skaters. How does coaching a singles skater differ from coaching a synchro team?
“Synchronized skating is without a doubt the most difficult discipline of all, requiring one have a grasp on what all 16 skaters do and keeping them in sync.”
Many of the skaters you coach describe you as a coach even when off the ice. Why is that?
“To make all this work, in both synchro and singles, one must know their skaters. They work so hard to hold it all together with school, work and skating. They train on the same level as athletes who make a living off of sport, yet are unpaid for their work. So, you have to have to be there for them when they need it. I admire my skaters for being able to cope with it all, and therefore I try to always provide them with what they need. But they understand that they must be disciplined on the ice. There is one world on the ice, and another off of it.”