John Viola on Building World Champions

Nov. 19, 2008, 10 p.m. (ET)
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Coach, John Viola, took a moment between practices at the 2008 Senior World Roller Figure Skating Championship with his World Class Solo Dancer, Joseph Farias III, to talk about his current and past skating champions and the senior skaters produced by trainers in the United States and worldwide. In his lifetime of roller sports coaching, he has been responsible for more world team members than he can remember.

John feels that a champion is not built from a focus on winning medals. His skaters are taught to set goals, are trained to build a good work ethic, are encouraged to develop good sportsmanship and are given an arsenal of knowledge about their sport to help them understand events, options, requirements and results. Then Viola approaches each competition hoping his skaters will be able to produce their best personal performance based on their own skills and capabilities. A good or bad skate only is relative to the individual skater's ability.

His biggest real goal for each athlete is to make them a good person overall, with skills that will carry on in other aspects of life. John's reward comes when former skaters contact him to say thanks for helping to lay the foundation that built success in their other life achievements. John Viola's philosophy is a good one, because although his goal for each of his skaters is not a medal, often one of the ancillary results may be one.

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