Coach’s Name: Patti Walsh
Athlete’s Name: Samantha Schmidtke
Sport: Short Track Speed Skating
Location: Waterloo, ON
What does your coach do that makes him/her a great coach?
Patti is really patient with us on and off the ice. She’s good at encouraging us to do our best even when we are having a tough meet or a tough season.
Write a memory/story about your coach.
I remember when we were at a meet years ago when Claudia Heeney and I were having a bad meet and she made us visualize putting our bad skating memories in a box and tying a ribbon around it and throwing it away. That helped us to let go of the feelings that were discouraging us during the meet and we were able to focus on our next race and do our best.
What lesson(s) has your coach instilled in you?
Do your best always, even if you have a bad meet you can still have a good race and feel good about something you did.
Pick 3 words that describe your coach. Explain why you chose each word.
Dedicated: Patti always comes to practice and is always at our meets.
Encouraging: Patti teaches us to put our bad feelings to the side and to focus on the positive things we’ve done at a meet or practice.
Patient: Patti is good with young skaters and teenagers. She can show younger skaters how to have fun while learning how to speed skate, and she can show older skaters how to move into higher levels of training with dry land and cardio exercises.
What is an important skill your coach has that makes them a good coach?
Patti is good at explaining skating techniques in different ways so I understand how to adapt my technique.
Why do you want to say “thanks, coach”?
For all the reasons I’ve given I want to thank Patti for being there and for sticking with us no matter if we have a good or a bad season. She would say, ‘there are no bad seasons, just learnings’.