1-23-19

The Questions with Team USA Manager - Tony Cabral

 

Coach, Speed Committee Member, and current Team USA Manager, Tony Cabral  sat down with us to answer The Questions! Thank goodness, skating legend, Larry Pep, got Tony hooked on our great sport!

 

How long have you been involved with speed skating?

 

I’ve been involved since the late 70s - from rink rat, to competing, to coaching.  Most people in the sport know Larry Pep -- he is the one who got me hooked as a kid.  I grew up with Pep’s sons Johnny and Joey (I was his third son).

 

What keeps you in the sport?

 

The personal satisfaction I feel from mentoring young athletes, and seeing them succeed not only in skating, but in life.

 

What are some accomplishments you have had in the sport?

 

The little accomplishments are the best ones.  When you have one of your skaters flawlessly demonstrate a skill to a new skate, and it dawns on you that they were once that new skater.

 

Did you race?

 

I competed on quads for about 10 years.  My first coach was Earl Boynton of Tampa Skating Center.

 

Do you get more nervous as a coach or a competitor?

 

I think I was more nervous as a competitor… but only until after the start.

 

What is your favorite competition?

 

The World Championships! Over the years I’ve been blessed to make great friends from all over the world, and it’s at the World Championships that I usually get to meet up with them all in one place.

 

What areas of roller sports have you been involved in?

I’ve been a rink rat session skater, athlete, coach, Assistant Team Coach 3-pistes World Tour, USA Roller Sports Media Representative, Southern Region Coaches Assoc. Vice-President, Southern Region Speed Executive Committee Member, USA Roller Sports Speed Committee member, 2015 and  2018 World Team Manager, and most importantly… a Team USA fan!

 

What is the best thing about the sport?

 

The kids – I love watching Tiny Tots race.  They love to skate.

 

What is it missing?

 

I think for the longest time the sport was missing good positive people wanting to get involved, but more recently I’ve noticed that is changing.  There are a lot of passionate people out there.

 

What do you like to do outside of skating?

 

Spend time with my family. My family’s support means the world to me.

 

What is your favorite meal? My mom’s lasagna

Song? “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica

Movie? Aliens

Color? Royal Blue

Book? Any technical manual

Podcast? “S-Town”

 

Sprinkles or no sprinkles? No sprinkles – they’re just weird

Ketchup or Mustard? Heinz Ketchup

Coke or Pepsi? Spring water

McDonald's or Burger King? Chick-fil-A (Duh)

 

What advice do you have for a new coach?

 

Always be positive and set the tone that you want people to follow.  Listen first.  Educate yourself.  Utilize the knowledge of your peers.

 

Can sport psychology make or break an athlete?

 

It is, without a doubt, beneficial to an athletes growth and success.

 

How do you manage nerves?

 

I used positive visualization and deep controlled breathing. Oh… and a good music playlist!

 

Everyone is busy, how do you fit it all in?

 

Being organized is critical when you’re tasked with managing something as important as Team USA.  I sometimes feel like there is not enough time in a day to tackle all the things I’ve committed to in my life, but having good organizational skills will make the difference. I love technology, and thankfully, that love has given me those tools to help stay organized. 

 

Do you like the smell of Roll-on?

 

Almost as much as my morning cup of coffee!  The smell of fresh Roll-on will always trigger nostalgia from those old race days – guaranteed to make me smile.

 

What motivates you?

 

A genuine smile and a thank you.

 

What do you wish I would have asked you? 

 

Mac or PC?... I’m an Apple fan boy. lol

 

 

 

1-16-19

The Questions with Team USA Coach - Gypsy Lucas

 

Hall of Fame Athlete, and current Team USA Coach, Gypsy Lucas sat down with us to answer The Questions! Take a few minutes to give this a read - it’s definitely worth your time.

 

How long have you been involved with speed skating?

My family has been in skating since before I was born. My mother, Linda Lucas, competed in speed and figure, and then taught figure growing up. My dad, Charlie Lucas, competed in speed, figure, and hockey then went on to teach speed. He still teaches for Inside Edge Racing today. Very soon after I was born I was in the rink that my parents managed. I actually learned how to stand up on skates before I could walk. My first competition -  I was 18 months old and continued competing through my 20s. I retired from competition in 1998 after my last World Championships and began coaching.

 

What keeps you in the sport?

My passion is really teaching new skaters how to skate and sharing things I have learned along my journey with veteran skaters. I like seeing the light bulb go on for something new to them. It is always about learning new ways to communicate with skaters to help them be the best they can be.

 

What are some accomplishments you have had in the sport?

I was able to compete on the World level in sprints and come away with several World Championship titles, Pan Am Games titles, Pan Pacific Games titles, and two X Games titles. It was amazing to compete at that level  against the best skaters in the world and be successful. I was also inducted into the Athlete Hall of Fame in 2005 which was a great honor.

 

Do you get more nervous as a coach or a competitor?

I get more nervous as a coach than I did as a competitor. As a skater, I knew I had done everything I could up to that point to be the best I could be. As a coach you can only sit and watch during the race and hope that the knowledge and training kicks in for the athlete on the track. It is much more nerve racking for me to watch than it ever was as a skater.

 

What is your favorite competition? Why?

Internationally my favorite event is the Trois Piste over Easter in Southern France. One reason it’s my favorite, is the track at Gujan-Mestras. It was the first track I won a gold medal on at Worlds. The event itself is over three days and three tracks. For USA skaters it is a great opportunity to race against a ton of skaters on different tracks to increase international experience. It is a hard event because of the traveling, but also very rewarding. The event caps out at 1000 skaters and it is amazing to watch.

 

What areas have you been involved in?

 

  • ●Rink Operator - My family has owned and operated skating rinks my whole life. My first job was at a rink as a teenager. My family still owns rinks in Waco, Texas. Even though I am not on site I still stay up to date on all the goings-on

 

  • ●Speed Committee - I was elected on to the Committee in October 2017

 

  • ●Board Member - I was the athlete rep from 2002 to 2006 on the Board, elected into the Grassroots Seat in October 2017

 

  • ●Team Staff - Team USA Coach 2003 - 2005, 2014, 2017-2018

 

  • ●Skate Business Owner - Opened The Skate Truck NYC in 2012. It is a rental roller skating company that works out of a mobile truck. There weren’t any rinks in NYC when I was living there so I opened a business to bring skates to the people. Fiveyears later there are now two Park Skating rinks open and more skating is available to the city residents

 

  • ●Skate Industry - I work for Atom Skates, a skating equipment manufacturer. I get to travel all over the world and share the knowledge about skates for both speed and quad skates. It helps me see the big picture of the sports and rink industry and what I can do to help it thrive

 

What is the best thing about the sport?

Racing is amazing. It is exhilarating, and watching the skaters grow and learn is always rewarding.

 

What is it missing?

It would be a major boost for our sport to have outside industry resources. We have a ton of people that are tied to speed skating with skills that could be utilized more - i.e. a Marketing guru to assist in fundraising, a grant writer to assist in fundraising, school teachers to assist in getting skating in schools more solid. If we all came together and worked toward a common goal we could accomplish many more things.

 

What do you like to do outside of skating?

This isn’t  outside of skating, but I Play roller derby when not doing speed things. I do like to travel and eat! My husband is in the restaurant industry so we get to try new places all the time.

 

What is your favorite meal? Song? Movie? Color? Book? Podcast?

  • ●Favorite Meal....Too many, but the main staples - BBQ and Mexican
  • ●Movie...Goonies
  • ●Book.....I read a ton of Sci-Fi/fantasy, especially when travelling

 

Sprinkles or no sprinkles?

No Sprinkles

 

Ketchup or Mustard?

Both

 

Coke or Pepsi?

Coke - is this even a real question?

 

McDonald’s or Burger King

P. Terrys (it’s an Austin original and you are missing out if you have not had it!)

 

What advice do you have for a new coach?

Be patient. Learn as much as you can - - both within the sport and outside. I feel in the last eight years I have learned more about body mechanics than ever before, and it did not come from within speed skating.

 

Can sport psychology make or break an athlete?

Absolutely! Being calm and focusing on the positive will help an athlete in all situations. When negative thoughts (they are faster than me, I didn't skate the last practice, the floor is bad, etc.) creep in they fester and get louder until they are all you can hear. Controlling those thoughts and putting them in a place to address later will help the athlete in the moment.

 

How do you manage nerves?

Focus on the now and the positive.

 

Everyone is busy, how do you fit it all in?

Magic! It is a challenge, but late nights and weekends are the norm.

 

Do you like the smell of Roll On?

The. Best. Smell. Ever!!!

 

What motivates you?

More skaters skating! By increasing the total number of skaters in the world the different sports will improve as well. A larger base to draw from means that racing times get faster, skating skills are better, more people watching and participating, then the industry grows. I am a skater first and foremost, and I want everyone to enjoy skating in their life the same way I have.