Anna Sharbatov knew almost from the first time she tried coaching young girls it just wasn’t what the former Russian figure skater wanted to do.
Hockey was her calling.
The Laval hockey mom quickly became a leading power skating coach in and around the Montreal area who now makes a difference world-wide.
“The first time I coached skating to girls I didn’t know what to say or what to do. I remember coming off the ice crying,” said Sherbatov, who grew up competing in the Russian figure skating world. “Now I coach hockey players; I think it’s my favourite sport.
“With the boys it’s good, they play hockey and it’s easier than coaching girls.”
Sherbatov skated in Russia until she was 13 years old, where she was coached as a possible national level competitior. When she retired from figure skating, she remained close to the sport by becoming an instructor herself.
She did that for five years and knew she was destined for something greater.
Sherbatov’s power skating coaching career really took off because of her youngest son, Eliezer. He wanted to play hockey so she taught him how to skate at two years old.
When he got older his friends all wanted to learn how to skate the way he did.
The skating coach phenom took time to help Eliezer’s friends skate with powerful glides. When the Sherbatov’s realized no one in Quebec back in the early 1990s taught hockey players how to skate properly she knew she had to start a school.
Boris Sherbatov, her older son, really encouraged her to start giving lessons and knew she would be successful.
“At first it was hard, I didn’t have many things developed for hockey.” said Sherbatov. “When time passed, I studied the sport and got my coaching levels in hockey then I really adapted the skills for hockey.”
When the Sherbatov Academy took off it began growing exponentially. She began coaching hundreds of kids around the Montreal areas. When players traveled for games, Anna Sherbatov’s skating style would be recognized by other coaches and players.
She has now worked with several NHL players such as Anthony Duclair, Simon Després, and Michael Chaput. Sherbatov has also worked with professional players and coaches all over the world.
A recent trip to Russia where she coached other head coaches, was a proud moment.
It’s The Basic Skills
Her mission is to teach everyone how to properly skate. It’s a basic skill for hockey and wishes to reach out to as many hockey players and coaches as possible.
“I’m really happy to see coaches here coaching my technique to players. I can reach out and coach everyone and that makes me happy,” said Sherbatov. “Not a long time ago a man came with his son and said ‘Anna do you remember me, before it was me now this is my son?’ I was so happy.”
Philip Zielonka, a Harvard graduate and former left winger for the Crimson, devotes a lot of his success to her.
“Anna’a classes weren’t the easiest but they certainly taught you perseverance, step by step and with the necessary effort you could achieve the result you were looking for,” said Zielonka.
“I continue to carry these lessons in my career off the ice today.”
It is not for nothing that Anna Sherbatov has been named by Le Journal de Montreal one of the 13 most influential women who has an important role in hockey.
William J. Morris III was a boarding parent to two native Montreal players who played for the Vermont Lumberjacks.
His eight year old son, William Morris V, plays for the Bruins National Elite team. Both Montreal boys told Morris III if they were serious about hockey they needed to get their son to skate with Sherbatov.
“She has this awareness on the ice unlike any coach we have seen”, said William J. Morris III “I like to tell people I love my wife, and I may love Anna Sherbatov more.”