If you don’t watch hockey, then you probably don’t watch Hockey Night in Canada every Saturday night. And if you don’t watch Hockey Night in Canada, then you probably don’t know who Don Cherry is. And if you don’t know who Don Cherry is, then you are really missing out.
Jack Zimmermann thought he learned everything about leading a team through his time in the Q. However, he realized he was very wrong when he first met a rag tag group of kids who were eager to call him Coach Z.
He never had to learn to be patient around players of his own age. If they were being a shitty player, he could just call them out on it. This was not the case with his team. Most of the kids were 10 or 11 years old. Half of them had never played before. Some hadn’t even been on ice before he started coaching. It was hard for him to be stern, yet gentle with them at the beginning. Eventually, he’d found a good balance. Those who he saw half-assing on the ice, regardless of whatever skill, were scolded. But those who were giving it the Coach Z 110%, were always praised. There may or may not have been candy for good playing.
Jack had never felt prouder when he taught Hoots, an 11 year old, how to skate backwards. The way his face lit up when he said “I’m doing it!” is still one of Jack’s favorite memories. The next practice, Hoots had sprinted over to Jack and said that he had been practicing his backward skating all weekend.
Jack’s hockey heart grew three sizes that day.
Working with team inspired Jack to be better. If these kids were working hard, why couldn’t he? There were many times when Jack would be practicing before the kids showed up, only to not keep track of the time. There were lots of wolf whistles and cheers when he forgot to keep track of the time.
When he decided to go to Samwell, he had been with his team for 2 years. He’d seen a lot of them change a lot on and off the ice. He promised he would keep in touch, but it was pretty infrequent. He heard from Lotter, an aggressive 9 year old, the most. In middle school, her shinnies had turned into something of an unofficial fight club. Zoomer stopped hockey in high school to join theatre, apparently he’s quite the good actor. He made sure to go to one of his musicals when he was on spring break. He got letters from at least half of the kids at least once or twice a year. Some of them were facebook friends. But again, it’s hard to keep in touch with 20 tweens.
That didn’t stop them from all showing up in Falconers gear the first time he played in Montreal. Jack swore they cheered the loudest out of anyone in the arena. He couldn’t stop thinking about how they’d all grown so much. Most of them were in high school right now. Some were even in university. It was crazy. Once the game ended, he met with all of them. Of COURSE it ended in a big ass dog pile.
After that, he didn’t expect to really interact with them ever again. That is, until Eric Bittle’s senior year. He is giving his official Welcome Tour of the Haus when one of the Frogs (or…as Bitty calls them, eggs. Seriously, Bitty.) asks if Jack Zimmermann really lived here.
“Of course he did! He lived right across the hall from me”
“Cool!” the frog starts “I really hope I get to meet him again”
“Yeah. He coached my team in Montreal when I was 11. He taught me how to skate and everything!”
Bitty’s whole expression changed. “You wouldn’t happen to be called Hoots, would you?”
what i mean:
viktor has canonically been proven to have a bad memory when it comes to things that involved other people such as forgetting that he was going to choreograph a routine for yuri. but the one thing he didn't forget was yuuri asking him to be his coach an entire year ago. in that moment, viktor nikiforov fell in love with katsuki yuuri. i'm sure he planned out approximately 10 scenarios about exactly how to go about becoming yuuri's coach.
Yuri and Victor look so good together. Too bad Yuri can’t remember that night. It surprised me when we see Yuri a year ago asking Victor to be his coach. All of these episodes we thought it was just because Victor saw that video of Yuri skating to Victor’s program. As long as it got them together, I guess it really doesn’t matter. ;)
I had my own worries: Coaches have been portrayed ad nauseam; originality seemed impossible. But confirming Pete’s instinct, Kyle’s combination of authentic toughness and authentic compassion hauled you in. His unique performance showed that sensitivity is a form of strength. Which is why, if he won’t marry me, Kyle can at least give me some lessons on how to be a better man.
my brain: hey remember that yuri katsuki fucking poledanced half naked with the skater who doesn’t stop ejaculating on the ice and he also drunkenly asked his hero, who has most likely not had this much fun or has felt this alive in 20 years, to become his coach only to have said hero hang onto that question a year later and jump on the CLOSEST FUCKING PLANE TO JAPAN AFTER SEEING A VIDEO OF YURI SKATE
imagine bitty skyping with Alicia and Bob on a regular basis…and by regular basis I mean every single day because the Zimmermanns love Bitty so much. I want Bitty to be in the Providence apartment and they’re making out and suddenly Bitty pushes Jack off like, “Wait, I just remembered I have to do something first hold on sweetheart” and he literally slides off, pulls his laptop over, and calls Bob to tell him that he passed his French quiz.
(Bob is ecstatic: “ALICIA GUESS WHO PASSED THEIR FRENCH QUIZ, I told you I was helping–oh, hello son!! I heard Eric made pot roast today, you’re lucky–oh right, your mom wants the recipe–”
And then Alicia comes over and she and Bitty talk for forty five minutes, with Bob popping in and out with commentary. Jack passes out on the couch after the first thirty minutes.)