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Figure skater tutors Parise on skating
July 4, 2012 - Burt Angeli
Zach Parise, one of the most sought-after free agents in the National Hockey League, turns to a former U.S. national women's figure skating champion for help.
Diane Ness, 60, of North St. Paul, Minn., according to Charley Walters of the Pioneer Press, has been Parise's skating coach for 10 years.
"I couldn't be happier for him because he's the hardest worker I've ever had," Ness said. "And he never stops. Never. Every year, he comes back and says, 'What can I do to take me to the next level?' He's so competitive.
"That's why he's going to make $100 million."
Ness said when working with Parise she makes “subtle changes that can make big differences. I can take him on a corner faster with a lower center of gravity with a deeper angle. I can get him out of a corner quicker.
"I do a lot with his quick start — the first 10 feet, from a dead start to acceleration. That's got a lot to do with body angles, part of the blade you land on, the lightness and quick feet.
Zach's got very light, quick feet, and he has a very low center of gravity. And that's 10 years in the making. He didn't start out like that. He really improved a lot on his skating."
She doesn’t take it easy on Parise and her other hockey players.
"This past Saturday, I was working with (a recent draft pick)," she said. "Twenty minutes into my workout, I lost him. He was puking. I push them really low (to the ice). The stuff I do burns your legs. Everything I do is below 90 degrees. Squat workout? No, my stuff's harder than a squat workout."
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