Why does my skater need a private coach?
Like most other Canadian figure skating clubs, the Prescott Figure Skating Club offers group lessons at the CanSkate and Future Star levels with coaching provided by the club.
Once a skater reaches the STAR Skate level, instruction is provided by Skate Canada NCCP accredited professional coaches. On the STAR Skate sessions, parents will need to choose a coach to provide their skater with individual or semi-private instruction.
Private coaching will help speed progress by increasing focus on each skater’s individual goals and challenges, including the exciting experience of going to competitions or working through Skate Canada test levels. If your skater wants to try competing or testing, Skate Canada requires that you have a coach.
Future Star skaters receive a club-provided group lesson for half of their ice time. The remainder of the session is for independent skating. During this freeskate portion of the session, Future Stars may receive a private or semi-private lesson, booked and paid directly to a coach. This is completely optional.
How do I choose a coach?
Anyone involved with the day-to-day operation or governance of a Skate Canada Club must remain impartial and cannot recommend a specific coach for you. Recommendations of one coach over another are considered unethical, and nobody is permitted to interfere with a coach-skater (or parent) relationship once established.
Nobody knows your skater’s personality and communication style better than you, so the choice is yours.
Private coaches must be hired directly by you, and lesson fees, scheduling and so on are to be arranged directly with your coach. Private coaching fees are not included in skating session fees, and cannot be paid through the club.
Your private coach should be someone the skater is comfortable with. You might want to observe the coaches on sessions or ask other parents for their opinions. Watching the coaches from the stands might help to give you a feel for how each coach works. Personal fit is important. Your child will be spending time one-on-one with this person at least a couple times per week.
Your skater may take lessons from more than one coach.
How many lessons a week does a STAR Skater need?
The number of private lessons per week will depend on the skater’s goals. Naturally, the more lessons a skater has the faster they will progress. However, skaters also need to learn to work independently. A lesson is typically 10-15 minutes long, and may be individual or small group format.
What are some things to consider when hiring a coach?
Does the coach’s teaching credentials meet the needs of my skater?
All Skate Canada professional coaches are trained and accredited through Skate Canada and the National Coaching Certification Program. Coaches are trained in proper technique, training regimes, and ethical issues related to coaching in general. Regional level coaches are trained to coach the Skate Canada STAR Program. Provincial and National level coaches have additional training in the competitive skating stream.
Is the coach available during the sessions that my skater chose?
Some of coaches may be fully booked on some sessions. Some flexibility on both sides may be required to fit lessons in. Availability of a coach to meet your own schedule may ultimately determine which coach you select.
How many lessons per week can they provide and are they within my budget?
Discuss with them what your expectations are for your skater in terms of lessons and advancement. The coach will be able to guide you as to what is an appropriate number based on the level of your skater and your budget. Do their suggestions and rates meet with yours? What is their invoicing method?
If the coach is quite full, are they willing to work with other coaches?
Team coaching is not uncommon and has many benefits. Some skaters learn one aspect of their skating from one coach and another from the second coach. Each coach can often compliment the other well.
Once you have found a coach that your skater likes and meets your financial and goal requirements, book them!
Once you have a Coach…
How do I ensure a good relationship with my skater’s coach?
As in any relationship, communication is key! Make sure that the arrangement you have set up continues to work for your skater, your coach and you. If you have any questions about your skater’s progress or lessons then speak with your coach. After all, you are paying them to work with your child. This is a business arrangement and must be treated as such. If things aren’t working as well as you believe they should; you need to talk.
How should coaching changes be managed?
As your skater progresses, you may find a need to change coaches or add a new coach to gain specific skills. When, and if, the decision to change/add coaches has been made, certain common sense and ethical procedures should be followed. Notify your current coach of your decision privately. Pay any outstanding account balances. Be discreet and courteous throughout. Inform any new coach that all matters have been settled with the former coach.