Figure Skating Private Lessons
Your private coach is your skating instructor
Your relationship with skating instructors usually begins when you take your first group lesson in a Learn-to-Skate program. Learn to Skate lessons are generally taught by several of our instructors therefore during your time in these programs you will have the opportunity to meet and work with several different instructors. Use this time to observe them — their techniques, their personality, their teaching and interpersonal skills, their compatibility with your interests.
When you are ready to advance beyond the Learn to Skate environment, you will select a private coach to become your teacher. Do not make this decision lightly — skating costs a lot of money, takes a lot of your time, and you want this to be the best experience for you or your child. You can ask any coach for a trial lesson before you make your final choice of a coach.
Be aware that there is a limited amount of ice time and sometimes our coaches schedules will fill up. You may not be able to make arrangements with your first choice. We will help incoming students find the right match with a coach at our rink. However, the “business relationship” between a coach and student is a personal contract. You deal directly with the coach, not the club or rink to make your arrangements. You will pay for your lessons at the front desk and take the receipt to your coach.
What to expect from your coach
When you first contract with a coach, you should have a long talk about your goals and expectations in skating. Working together, you should build a general plan for how you will achieve those goals.
Your coach will help you to establish an appropriate lesson and practice schedule. The coach will help you to balance the appropriate amount of lesson time with practice time.
- A general guideline is that for each 15 minutes of lesson time, a skater should have at least 30 minutes of practice time to reinforce those lessons. Some skaters will need more, some will need less.
- Usually, coaches give lessons of about 15, 20, or 30 minutes duration.
- Your coach will help you to make decisions about testing and competing. They will prepare you appropriately for these events.
- When you test, your coach will usually be present at your test session to help you warm up, and to provide support and/or guidance as you need it. Similarly, when you compete, you should expect that the coach will go to the competition with you to guide your warmup and provide any last-minute support you need (they usually call it “putting you on the ice”).
Finally, expect to be billed for the coach’s time. Rates will vary according to the skill level of the coach. Expect a bill for time spent with you at a test session or competition. If the test/competition is not at your home rink, you should expect a fee for travel, and room/board if it is an overnight competition. All of this should be discussed with your coach.
What your coach expects from you
- Your coach will expect your attention and your best effort. No coach expects every student to do everything right the first time, but they do expect you to TRY, every time.
- Your coach will expect you to respect them, just as you expect them to respect you. Treat them with courtesy on and off the ice. Do not speak badly about them when they demand things of you. Do not give them “attitude” on the ice. Leave your personal troubles behind you when you step onto the ice and focus on the skating.
- When you are unable to attend a lesson, you must notify your coach in advance. If you are unable to attend a lesson, they may be able to fit in an extra lesson for someone else in the time you’re not there — but they need to know in advance to make those arrangements. Many coaches will charge you a regular lesson fee if you do not show without letting them know.
Finally, trust your coach. Sometimes they’ll ask you to learn things you can’t see any need for. Or they’ll want you to wait on some elements until after you’ve perfected other skills. As long as you’ve jointly set out your long-term goals, trust them to get you there…