Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Adult Nationals Weekly Series #4: Meet Becky & Renee

About Becky

Rebecca Hamlin is a Yarmouth Ice Club figure skater and coach, born and raised in Brewster, MA.  The oldest of 4 kids, Becky started out in gymnastics and ballet before her cousin introduced her to figure skating.  After one session of Learn to Skate, Becky fell in love and was in private lessons at 9 years old.

Becky found her passion in figure skating and competed for almost 8 years.  Her career ended abruptly when she had to choose between figure skating and college.

About Renee

When Becky began private lessons, she was coached by Renee Roos.  A former figure skater, Renee came from a big skating family as her sister Nicole moved away at age 14 to train with Olympic and World Skating coaches Evy and Mary Scotvold.

Renee began coaching in 1990 and has been involved with the Yarmouth Ice Club since 1992.  This was around the time she met Briana Lackenby, who was finishing up her career as an amateur and eventually started coaching.

Becky with her coach of 18 years.

The Relationship between Becky, Renee, and Briana

Renee coached Becky throughout her career.  When Becky pulled away from the sport, she was not ready to quit.  She attended New England College but never lost touch with her coach.  In September 2012, Becky still missed being out there on the ice.  She thought about it for about a year and decided to make her comeback.

When Becky returned, the Yarmouth Ice Club was in need of coaches.  She spent the summer as a mentor and started taking on her own students.  Reconnecting with the rink felt right and Becky knew it was meant to be.  She missed competing and knew she had unfinished business.

The relationship between a coach and student is special.  Renee began coaching Becky again as an adult and Becky also linked up with Briana for help with choreography.  Becky looks at Renee and Briana as a coach, mentor, and a friend.  According to Becky, Renee is “tough when she needs to be and always there for me” while Briana is like a big sister to her.  “I am inspired by Bree’s strength every day.  She has helped me tremendously and really built up my confidence over the last couple of months.”

“When you take on a new student, you are not just a coach.  You become much more involved in a student’s life,” says Renee.  The relationship is built around trust.

Trust is also a big part of why Briana fits right into the team.  According to Renee, “Bree is a miracle worker.”  Anytime Renee or her students faces a setback, Renee always sends her students to see Briana for physical therapy.  She is a huge referrer of Cape Cod Rehab, especially because of the pool.

Becky: Then vs. Now

Becky is the only student Renee has ever coached as both a kid and an adult.  As an adult figure skater, Renee had to really slow Becky down.  She had to face reality that she was no longer 8 years old and it’s a completely different ballgame as an adult.

“As a kid, it’s all about jumping.  We tried to take what she did as a kid and make it even better now,” said Renee.  Becky began to think about the process and understand what her coach was telling her.  The former “gym rat,” Becky used to be in the gym 7 days a week and on the ice for 2 hours per day.  As an adult, she training 3-4 days per week on the ice and has been leaning the importance of recovery.

Becky’s mindset as an adult has also changed.  She is skating for the sheer joy and self-satisfaction.  Her training mindset is “You just gotta do it.  You need to be here.”  Becky quit her other job to focus on her own students.  When she competed in middle school and high school, she gave up a lot and her mom sacrificed a lot for her.  “These kids are counting on me.  My mom used to do it for me and I just want to give these kids the opportunity to be the best that they can be.”

Renee added, “Becky uses figure skating as therapy to escape.  She leaves everything at the door and she comes on the ice to do what she loves.”  Becky agreed.  She can’t imagine her life without it.

Adult Nationals

At Adult Nationals, Becky will be competing with her first competition as an adult and her first program in 10 years.  She will be skating in the Intermediate Novice Master’s Free Skate.  Her music: Romeo and Juliet.

“Becky struggled a lot.  She never had closure.  This competition is about coming back to finish what she started.  It didn’t work as a kid and she’s back to make it work in her 20s,” said Briana.

With two weeks to go until competition, Becky is feeling confident and excited.  “I still have it in me.  I’m ready.”

Blog post by Jen Skiba.

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