Daughter new to skating and expense

Discussion in 'Moves In The Field' started by grinnell, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. minx

    minx New Member

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    You and your daughter are going to be influenced by the rink culture. if everyone skates singles and has three lessons a week with StarCoach and a solo and also skates on the synchro team, and they're all bff's, it's hard to say no. We went with a coach who didn't push synchro, who gave semi and group lessons and also skated seasonally. -->outcast section of the viewing room. But if I had to give advice, I'd say do the contract ice for a while but with a goal in mind, like tests attempted. Synchro can wait.
     
  2. mathgirl

    mathgirl New Member

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    It's great that your daughter can handle all the different activities, but still, it's good to be prepared for the inevitable conflicts. When my daughter was doing skating, dance, piano and violin, she was able to manage the regular lessons but the problems arose with the extra activities. She frequently missed lessons to appear in performances. One year, she had to choose between her strings school's end-of-year concert and her dance studio's end-of-year performance which occurred on the same day. The teachers were generally understanding, but I felt it was unfair to them and the other students, and we weren't getting our money's worth if she was continually missing lessons and passing up performance opportunities. That was the main reason she eventually quit skating and then dance.

    If your daughter wants to do all these activities (which is entirely possible if she's organized and focussed), it would be a good idea to decide how they rank in importance, so you'll know how to deal with conflicts and warn the instructors ahead of time. For example, we made it clear to my daughter's piano teacher that piano is her second instrument, and she would not be able to practice or perform as much as the teacher's other students. Fortunately, the teacher was fine with that and we've been with her six years. Her expectations are in line with what my daughter can commit. As long as your daughter and her instructors are realistic about what she can manage schedule-wise, then it's not a problem to do multiple activities. Good luck to you!
     
  3. grinnell

    grinnell New Member

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    Hi Miss Karne -- I would almost be willing to pay any amount of money if the skating could teach her some persistence and stick-to-it-ness. Maybe because things have typically come easy to her she tends to whine when she actually has to exert herself. She is doing her homework right now and whining about having to do it. She says she does not like math so I told her I don't like paying for skating for someone who makes it a struggle to take care of their responsibilities.
     
  4. grinnell

    grinnell New Member

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  5. grinnell

    grinnell New Member

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    minx -- Thanks for the comments. Yes, the peer pressure if that's what it's called in this case, is on top of everything else. I dropped the skate club manager a note to inquire about details for the contract ice costs. I guess the best way is going to say we will spend $x per year on skating and then the question will be how that will be most effectively spent. Not the first time we set a budget for something.
     
  6. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    You might want to point out to her that in synchro she will be sharing the ice with 10-20 other skaters dressed identically to her, and doing the same moves. Synchro is not the sport for anyone who wants to be the center of attention.
     
  7. Stormy

    Stormy Well-Known Member

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    This may in fact be the case if she does, in fact, really love skating. I was similar to your daughter at her age. I wanted to start skating at 15 years old after seeing on TV. Really, to this day, I have no idea why I wanted to start since the couple times I'd been skating I was awful at it. It was probably the best thing that's ever happened to me. Almost 20 years later, I'm still skating and competing. It's taught me invaluable life lessons and brought me so much happiness. I've met my very best friends from skating. I hope your daughter finds the same love of it that I did.

    That said, my parents paid for my first set of 6 week group lessons and that was IT. Skating is the reason I don't have a lot of money (and I am not complaining when I say this, it is what it is) There is no reason your daughter can't work and help pay for her lessons, skates, ice time, etc. But if she really loves it and works hard at it, if you can afford it, don't put the entire financial burden on her. My parents could have afforded the little skating I wanted to do when I was young, but they chose not to support me, and they weren't very emotionally supportive either. I knew I was doing it for myself, so it was ok, but it still would have been nice to have had support for the one thing in my life I'd found that I loved to do. I wasn't talented at it, but I enjoyed the challenge and the process of skating, and still do.
     
  8. leafygreens

    leafygreens Well-Known Member

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    Just my opinion, but have her pick one activity and stick with it. Kids "want" to do all kinds of things but it's up to the parent to lay down boundaries. She wants to skate, ok. But say no to synchro if the family can't afford it.

    I personally spend $300 a month on my own skating, and it's only a couple hours and one lesson a week. It's the sport I have chosen so sacrifices are made in other areas, driving an old car, etc.

    I agree with Stormy as I also started skating "late" as a teenager, and I had to beg my parents for months. If a child wants it more than anything, the money will be well spent.

    Good luck.
     
  9. misskarne

    misskarne #408

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    This doesn't sound very promising. She will only learn persistence and discipline from skating if she is the kind of person who is susceptible to it in the first place. Whining about her maths homework isn't a good portent, IMO.

    Okay, I have to say it: has it occurred to you that the reason she has no money sense is likely because whatever she wants Mummy and Daddy will get for her?

    There's nothing dirty or wrong about the words, "No, we can't afford it." Or even just the word "No".

    This is another good point.

    Perhaps it should also be pointed out to her that not everything needs to be done at once. She can still skate when she's older.
     
  10. treesprite

    treesprite Member

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    Perhaps you could tie her school work/progress somehow, given that she seems to have issues with school work. That way, the cost of the skating is an investment in her education. For example, whatever her GPA is for a marking period, that dictates how many private lessons she can do during the next marking period when her new grades come up. Then you just budget out the lessons so they are spread evenly over the next period, so you can let the coach know in advance rather than going week by week.
     
  11. jp1andonly

    jp1andonly Well-Known Member

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    As a musician with a university degree who was considered very good and won some awards for it...I don't play anymore except for fun. My parents paid 8000 for my flute alone not to mention lessons and what have you. My brother was a competitive skater who cost them 30-50 thousand a year. He is no longer doing it. We didnt go on holidays, we didnt have new cars, we didntgo out for dinner. I fact the reason why my mom got a Job was to pay for our very expensive hobbies.... I too skated and wasn't very talents. I stopped at around 15 but as an adult I skate and pay for it myself. I highly doubt my mom even thought that much about the cost because she knew I enjoyed it. They gave up a lot for us and I'm eternally grateful to them for it...
     
  12. Jozet

    Jozet Active Member

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    Here's something I wrote a while ago (and already posted here somewhere) about "serious" skating and what it takes to be even a middle-of-the-pack competitor: Figure Skating, The Olympics, And Not Knowing Anything Anymore

    My kiddo at 14yo is an "older" Intermediate skater. She works hard, but would need to work harder and win the literal lottery to support a break through at this point.

    We live in an area where rink time is pretty cheap and abundant. Still, balancing school, music and the off ice necessary to continue to improve (and stay healthy) even at this level is tough. Yes, even the teens who are committed have bad days and whiny days and days where they need a push out of bed, but the majority of the time, they aren't fooling around or dragging their feet. The weeks where my kiddo did drag her feet, I stopped pushing and stopped driving her to the rink. It's just too expensive to pay for a level of skating she's not willing to commit to that week.

    All that said, I honestly think my kiddo would have a tougher time in school if she didn't skate. Waking up early to skate before school means we enforce a rule of getting to bed early, and that means being well-rested and wide-awake by the time she hits Algebra class at 8:00 AM. Spending time at the rink practicing has made her "unavailable" for a lot of the middle school girl goofiness that goes on, and keeping her active means that there is less time for the "hobby" of middle school drama. (Even the occasional rink drama never gets as bad because no matter what, the girls are there for the most part to work.) So all that in and of itself has been worth the cost for us.

    We're pulling back on competitions this year, but local competitions can be inexpensive (no travel and 6.0 singles competition is generally less expensive) and are good motivators. Even kids who are a little lazy will get a fire lit under them when they have to work toward a goal, i.e. competition deadline. It's a good way to learn to work under pressure, and the weeks before competition where practice is getting ramped up and coach isn't letting laziness slide is a perfect example of cause-and-effect on competition day: hard work is generally rewarded, and slacking shows up in the scores. Not always foolproof, but after a few competitions, there is an A-HA moment between "I really worked and it paid off" and "I didn't work hard and there's my name near the bottom." Generally, that's how it goes, and this is why I like any competitive sport for kids: the concrete example of "hard work will beat talent when talent doesn't work hard."

    As far as your daughter's Dreaming Big, I say let her. But also work with a coach who is going to set daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals. That way, if she's not working on the daily goals, she'll see pretty quickly that it's not going to add up to weekly goals, and good-bye monthly goals, etc. As for expensive costumes, we spend about $250 total on two costumes for our Intermediate skater. Our rule is "you earn your crystals." It's fun to play dress up, but for lower level competitions, I'd just buy a cheaper practice outfit and let my daughter glam it up herself. Or buy used on eBay or skate club flea markets. But this is the same with all her clothes: I'll pay $30-40 toward sneakers. If she wants something more, she can go pull weeds and walk dogs. I have three kids, and none has iPhones/iPads/computers/cable TV. They'll say they can't live without it, but if you really don't want the expense, I guarantee, they can live without it. I've seen it done. ;-)

    If my daughter wants to stop competing, I'll *strongly* suggest she at least test through in moves and free skate. On one hand, she's 14 and knows her own mind. On the other hand, she's 14 and can't see the big picture. She won't easily get this time back, and I'm going to err on the side of "I'm glad my mom made me do it" as far as finishing testing goes.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
  13. ioana

    ioana Well-Known Member

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    :respec: One of the coaches at my rink stopped competing after narrowly missing out on Nationals as a Junior about 10 years ago. She's working on her Senior moves now and mentioned she wished her parents pushed her to finish her tests several times. It's a lot easier to finish out your tests when you're young and maxing out the test level will come in handy if you want to go into coaching later on in life.
     
  14. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    When I played piano, I never tested. People ask me what level I am and I don't know, but I'll play you some Rachmaninoff and show you. :p

    Though, I can definitely see how having passed the tests can come in handy for skating, if you want to coach to make some money. People like seeing that on your resume. My mother said putting me in piano was to give me something to do when I was old and retired. :p We never had aims for me to teach piano.
     
  15. ioana

    ioana Well-Known Member

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    I didn't even know there is testing available for people who play musical instruments...learn something new every day.
     
  16. TheGirlCanSkate

    TheGirlCanSkate Active Member

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    yes, testing, festivals, competitions, camps, master classes...upgrading instruments...upgrading teachers.... it's all there with music. :D
     
  17. mathgirl

    mathgirl New Member

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    In Canada, it's common for serious music students to do the Royal Conservatory of Music tests. In fact, passing a certain level of tests is equivalent to earning a high-school credit. The benefits of doing these tests are much the same as those for skating -- clearly defined and structured goals, credentials for teaching, etc.
     
  18. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    I went through testing with cello and theory when I was a kid. The benefit of it was it gave you something to work towards. That is one reason I like about competitions and tests in skating. Competitions and tests are not always about winning or passing but the process of getting there.
     
  19. TheGirlCanSkate

    TheGirlCanSkate Active Member

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    I agree. The nice thing about the music tests my daughter can take, is she does not have to start at test 1. So as long as she has good progress we can skip them. Then when she is in high school she can take the later tests if she wants to prove her level/study music in college.

    My son did not take any music tests but was accepted as a music major based on his audition. Music is a little more flexible as a system than skating.

    My daughter enjoys taking the USFS tests though.
     
  20. misskarne

    misskarne #408

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    I always wish my parents had been able to afford piano lessons. but I don't know how good I would have been, I have rather stupid clumsy fingers. My extremely musical and extraordinarily talented friend patiently taught me how to tap out "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and "Mary Had A Little Lamb" one-handed on the piano. I still can't master the latter, which should tell you everything about my musical talent...
     
  21. maatTheViking

    maatTheViking Now ubering Machida's hair

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    I did piano ('jazz' - all chords and play by ear, no notes) for a few years, and my teacher had the greatest musicality and very stumpy fingers. You wouldn't think piano player looking at his fingers :p
     
  22. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    My fingers are short and skinny. Because they are so thin, people immediately assume I play piano but my hands are TINY. Playing Rach for me is WORK. :mad:

    My college piano teacher (who performed professionally) had short and stumpy fingers too and could feel my pain. :lol: Damn you Rachmaninoff and your "I can play a 12th" hands. :soapbox:
     
  23. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    Try being a short fingered cello player. One of the reasons I never took up the double bass.
     
  24. Jozet

    Jozet Active Member

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    From now on whenever my kids complain about anything, this is going to be my response. I may even have a T-shirt made. :D
     
  25. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    Boy I just realised that could have a number of meanings.
     
  26. Jozet

    Jozet Active Member

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    Yeah. I'd place a dash between "short" and "fingered", for one thing. And leave out any commas. ;)
     
  27. Doubletoe

    Doubletoe Well-Known Member

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    Back to the original subject for a bit. . . LOL. . . Grinnell, did you say at some point that your daughter's friends' parents were mostly doctors, with money? It can be hard growing up surrounded by kids whose families have more money than yours, especially if you are a girl who wants to be popular and have what her friends have. I experienced that myself, and had a hard time accepting that I couldn't have things my friends had.

    Having said that, I agree with those who say she should be asked to choose just one or two extracurricular activities to focus on and then commit to a certain number of hours of practice per week. If she wants to do both piano and violin, well, that's her two activities right there, and skating is out. If she wants to do violin and skating, she'll need to commit to a certain number of hours of practice per week, including whatever off-ice exercises her coach wants her to do. And no synchro, just singles (since that builds the skills she would need for synchro and she can always do synchro later). Her level of commitment needs to equal your level of cost. If she wants to dress up and be the center of an audience's attention, she could do it much cheaper in the drama club or a dance class (they have recitals)!
     
  28. treesprite

    treesprite Member

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    I'm glad someone brought up the idea of at least completing the tests. Coaching is something skaters can do even if they start way too late to take on the qualifying competitions ladder, as long as they have credentials showing that they know the skills needing to be taught. People can teach basic skills group lessons at a lot of rinks without having learned advanced skills, and it's very personally rewarding to share one's love of skating with others.

    That said, maybe your daughter could think about skating in terms of eventually teaching it, rather than about becoming the center of the skating world.
     
  29. AndyWarhol

    AndyWarhol Well-Known Member

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    I definitely agree with her picking one activity. my parents would have laughed at me if i wanted to do something as well as skating!
     
  30. singerskates

    singerskates Guest

    I once was a Royal Conservatory of Music student and passed upto my Level 3 guitar before leaving because I was tired of having my Mom pay for lessons that I was teaching the class after the teacher left the classroom for an all class coffee. I then bought all the guitar music books they had on hand, never went back and learned on my own. Presently, I have no idea at what level my guitar is at. I play guitar, flute and recorder. I dabble in violin and keyboard (play right hand melody with left hand 3 or 4 note guitar chords). Yesterday, I was paying on the keyboard by site reading "Sing Your Praise To The Lord" in 4 sharps fooling around after practice with my bandmate. Wish skating was as easy as music.