Can we talk about how far Viktor has come as a coach?
We go from this in Episode 7
To this in Episode 10
Two similar scenarios with totally different results. This time around when Viktor senses Yuri’s nerves he doesn’t flounder with how to handle it, he does exactly what Yuri asked him to do. He stands by him, trusts that Yuri will figure it out, and provides his support by just being there.
He’s still not perfect, but instead of it being a negative thing, and it being a sign of how much Viktor has to learn about being a coach as Yakov suggests Yuri relies on it. Yuri knows his faults as a coach and embraces them.
Instead of bottling it all up inside until it boils over like he has in the past (last year’s GPF, episode 7′s carpark scene), after sitting alone in his room thinking about what he has to overcome to win, and the challengers he’s about to face, his first instinct is to call out to Viktor for help (at least in his head) for help.
And later that day basically tells Viktor to distract him from the upcoming competition.
Yuri is the one directing Viktor in how to handle his nerves, he’s the one who figures out what he needs and drags Viktor along. He’s the one gets the idea to buy Viktor a “good luck” ring so that he can do his best in the finals.
(Even though this is his face when he spots the jewelry store.)
He’s the one who prompts Viktor for some words of encouragement
And Viktor keeps it in mind that Yuri flubs his jumps when he overthinks things
Instead of saying something that would cause Yuri to lose focus, or worry too hard about medaling, or nailing his jumps, he tells him to skate the way he likes the best. What he knows Yuri needs to hear.
Viktor isn’t a perfect coach, but he’s come such a long way thanks to Yuri. And yeah, he still has a long way to go. But he’s doing exactly what Yuri needs from him.