Meet Your Area Representatives

February 1, 2013

   In The Loop Extended Articles

Anne Marie Filosa
Representing Area 2
Coaching since 1973
Currently coaching in Massachusetts Ratings/Rankings: MM, SFS, MG, RSS; Level II, Hockey Level II

As a triple gold medalist, Anne Marie Filosa was privileged to experience the best of both worlds from mentors with distinct coaching styles. One demanded the same technical accuracy from all his skaters, while others tailored technique based on each skater’s individuality.

“As a competitor, I was fortunate to train under three PSA Hall of Fame coaches,” Filosa said. “Two of these coaches, Gus Lussi and Tom McGinnis, continue to inspire me as a coach.” Filosa said Lussi was a great technician whose main goal was to create champions. He required all his students to master the same technique, perform identical footwork sequences, and use specific entrances and exits to jumps and spins.

McGinnis, on the other hand, worked to find the most successful technique for each skater based on their individual strengths and weaknesses. Filosa said a quote about McGinnis on the PSA Hall of Fame website describes perfectly his ability “to creatively bring out the best in every skater he works with.”

“From Gus Lussi, I learned the importance of having a strong technical foundation, but from Tom McGinnis, I learned that a coach must also be flexible, creatively adapt the technique for each skater, and identify and showcase each skater’s strengths,” she said.

This approach has helped Filosa coach skaters of all ages and abilities. She especially feels she has grown as a coach from the experience of teaching adult skaters.

“Adults tend to be auditory learners who require in-depth technical explanations and actively participate in discussions,” she said.

Her adult students have taught her to be a better communicator. She has tapped into the philosophy she learned from McGinnis to find new and varied ways of explaining technique. “My adults have inspired me to think outside the box and find creative solutions to get results,” she said.

In addition to her solid skating credentials, Filosa graduated Magna Cum Laude from Wellesley College in 1973 with a bachelor’s degree in French. She was also named a Wellesley Scholar.

She has coached all disciplines of figure skating except pairs, but hasn’t hung up her own skates just yet. Filosa is in her tenth season as a member of the Esprit de Corps synchronized skating team. She has competed in the Adult and Masters divisions, winning three National titles, nine National medals, seven Eastern Sectional titles, and 10 Eastern Sectional medals.

Josselyn Baumgartner
Area 16 Representative and ARC Chair
Coaching at Culver Ice Arena, Culver City, CA
Coaching since January 2000
Ratings/Rankings: BA, CM, RFS; Level II Ranking

As a competitor, Josselyn Baumgartner’s skating was nurtured by two coaches whose influences are still evident in her coaching today. When she started skating at age 5, it took her several years to find just the right coach to help her rise as far as she wanted to go. When she was 9, she found that coach in Derek James.

Baumgartner was scared at first because “he yelled a lot,” but she knew James would help her reach her full potential.
“He took me from being a little ankle-biter Pre-Preliminary skater through competing in the championship figure event at the 1999 U.S. Nationals,” Baumgartner said. That was to be the last figure event ever skated at a U.S. Nationals.

James showed he had faith in Baumgartner, helping her through the plateaus and rough years that are a part of competitive figure skating. She said his faith in her helped her to have faith in herself to keep going, even when the going got tough.

“It’s important for coaches to provide support and stability in a sport with so many factors that are out of the skaters’ control,” she said. “Because of Derek, I make a point of letting my students know that I believe in them, especially when they begin to doubt themselves.”

James also taught her how to analyze her own mistakes and to self-correct them, which not only helped her practice more efficiently, but gave her tools to use in her own coaching. Today, she tries to pass on those skills to her students, not just for skating but to be used as life skills, as well.

Baumgartner’s MIF, dance, and power coach, Kelly Witt, also had a huge impact on her coaching style. Witt taught her to find some fun in monotonous exercises, the importance of presentation and finesse, and that tests are performances, too.
“I found both Moves and ice dancing tedious and torturous, but somehow Kelly always made his lessons enjoyable,” Baumgartner said. “Now that I’m a Moves coach myself, I try to add a spark of fun to lessons filled with what can feel like endless pattern repetitions.”

James and Witt also taught her that a coach’s impact can last long after a lesson or coaching relationship has ended.
“So often, we coaches forget how much influence we have on our students – not just on skating technique but on their mental health, as well,” she said.