Getting started in adult skating

Discussion in 'Moves In The Field' started by clairecloutier, Jan 29, 2014.

  1. clairecloutier

    clairecloutier Well-Known Member

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    Hi all, I am looking for some advice about getting started in adult skating.

    A few months ago, I started skating again after a 12-year break. My prior background is: Took private lessons for a couple years as a kid (when I was about 7-9 years old). Then took adult group lessons, on and off, for a couple years in the Boston area (when I was about 28-30 years old).

    Right now I'm just skating some weekday public sessions at a local rink. I'm going once a week and trying to increase to twice a week. As of now, I can do the following:

    --Forward/back crossovers both directions
    --Three turns/mohawks both feet
    --"Loop" turns on right foot (when you do a whole rotation on that foot--not sure the right term)
    --Forward twizzles on one foot (one revolution)
    --Can use edges to do spiral-like glides (although my flexibility to do a real spiral not quite there yet)
    --Single Salchow, toe loop, loop, flip, also waltz jump
    --Forward scratch spin--not very good
    --Back spin--can do only 2 revolutions so far, not good
    --Good speed in my strokes/crossovers, probably because I skated as a child; my basic skating is stronger than my skills right now


    My goal is to eventually be able to skate a program with music, footwork, jumps, and spins. I've always wanted to skate to music, and never have. I'm not necessarily thinking of competing. But I'd like to have a program, as if I were a competitor.

    What should I do to get to that point? I've searched online, but none of the rinks near me seem to offer adult group lessons. Should I try to find an individual instructor? How much does that usually cost? Should I, or will I need to, complete USFS tests before being able to do a program? And how much do those cost? (I am limited in both time and money, unfortunately.) Lastly, any advice on off-ice training? As an older adult (45), I realize I'm going to have be a little careful in what I do.

    I would really appreciate any suggestions/advice/etc. Thanks!
     
  2. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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    I never took adult group lessons - I started right off in privates, because that's what was available to me. And you sound advanced enough that you'd likely progress more quickly via privates than via group lessons at this point.

    The cost of a private lesson varies depending on your location and your coach. More junior/less experienced coaches tend to charge less than more senior coaches do. Most lessons are 30 minutes (although with one of my coaches, mine are 45; with the other, they are 30, and I've heard of people doing 20 or even 15, depending on their needs and what the coach offers.)

    What I might suggest is that you contact the rink that is most convenient to you in terms of key factors, such as distance from home/work and availability of ice time at times you can get there; and talk to the skating school director. That, or if you see any adult skaters on lessons at any local rink, you can talk to the skater once they're free and ask them about their coach, and other good coaches for adults in your area. I can also ask my coaches who they know up there who is good with adults, but that's going to take at least two weeks for me to get back to you, so no need to wait for me. Finally, if you want to go with some of the big names, you've got them up there in the Boston area. You can start with the coach's list at the SCOB website, if only just for fun.

    In terms of off-ice training, you should probably talk to your coach about that, once you have one, as they can evaluate what your strengths and weaknesses are on ice, and recommend things that can help you, specifically. And often, for adults, what you can do off-ice is dependent upon what you have near you, what you have for money, what you have for time, etc.

    BTW, at age 45, unless you're unfit or have some specific health issues, you shouldn't need to be overly concerned about being careful in what you do, other than being aware of your strengths and etc., and not, for example, doing 47 repetitions of some jump when you know you have a herniated disc in your back or bad knees or etc. I mean yes, you may not want to start running marathons; but then again, maybe you do. And yes, maybe if you take a yoga class, you aren't as pretzelly as those young ones; but maybe you are. You know your body and your health. Pick activities that suit you, and adapt them as needed. Beyond that, you shouldn't feel somehow constrained. I don't.
     
  3. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    You'll make more progress if you take private lessons. It might take some trial and error to find a coach you "click" with.
    Then you can work out how long the lesson time will be and how many lessons to take -- even every other week if you can't afford weekly, assuming that would work with the coach's schedule. Or maybe you can find another adult at a similar skill level to split a semi-private lesson.

    Check with the management of the rink(s) where you would be skating to find out what instructors are available.

    Your current skill level would fit well in pre-bronze or bronze competition. If you can find a nonqualifying competition that offers pre-bronze events, you should be able to "skate up" without having taken any tests yet.

    You can also make passing the pre-bronze moves and freestyle tests a priority. You already have most of the skills -- it's just a matter of learning the requirements.

    After you pass pre-bronze tests, then you can compete at your test level or you can skate up to bronze at club competitions, since not all that do offer adult events get pre-bronze entries.

    You'll probably need some more work, with a private coach, before you'd be ready to pass the bronze tests or be competitive at that level.
     
  4. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    For freestyle, I just took group lessons with the kids, there were no adult lessons (At our rink adult lessons tend to be for those who have never been near ice before). I got a lot more for my money than privates. (I took private lessons too- but only when I was working on testing/competing goals.)

    Around here, there are options to skate a program without testing: as others said you can skate up to Pre-bronze in a competition (some even have 'no test') as a category, and we often have exhibitions at our club where even adult skaters can participate. Being in Boston, it may be harder for a low level skater to be able to be part of an exhibition, it seems like it might be a small town thing for us.

    With your current skills, the pre-bronze tests should be no problem at all; though they do have costs associate with them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014
  5. ioana

    ioana Well-Known Member

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    As a Boston-based skater, as long as you're willing to do group numbers, that shouldn't be an issue. Most of them include break-outs where you'd get to do a spin or spiral or whatever element you're good at, so there is some room for personal expression, too.
     
  6. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    I forgot about group numbers some clubs do! Our club gave up on that since skaters all just wanted to do their own program. Glad to hear adults can get out there. Honestly, to me, I'd rather be in a group when I was no-test, so I never did an exhibition until I passed pre-bronze. It amazes me the basic skills adults who get out there and do their programs. I was not that brave. (Of course, the OP is not basic skills level- is likely better than me...)
     
  7. ioana

    ioana Well-Known Member

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    Group numbers feel 'safer' somehow, I agree. It's not just about skill-level, but being surrounded by other skaters somehow makes this feel less stressful. Plus, it's more fun if you get to complain about how cold it is, how uneven the outdoor ice feels or whatever else with your skating friends who are sitting right next to you. Not that I would ever complain, of course ;).
     
  8. clairecloutier

    clairecloutier Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the advice, everyone. I'll try to put some of this in practice over the next few months! :) It is so nice that there are lots of adult skaters on this forum.
     
  9. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    Glad you have joined the adult skating ranks. Have fun with it.
     
  10. treesprite

    treesprite Member

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    You could find out if your rink allows custom group classes, so then you would just have to find a couple other skaters with the same lesson goals as yours, then a coach willing to teach the group. Where I skate, there have to be at least 3 skaters to do it, and with only 3 it's basically a semi-private lesson for group lesson prices. Often times if there is enough interest in what the custom class topic is, the rink adds it to the regular course listings to open it up to everyone instead of by invitation only (such as custom classes are).
     
  11. clairecloutier

    clairecloutier Well-Known Member

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    So, just an update: I've found a coach! Today was my first lesson with her. We'll meet once every 2 weeks. She seems really nice and knowledgeable. She recommended that I try testing on the standard track, and demonstrated the steps for pre-preliminary MITF. So, I have that to practice. She says after a couple months, we'll talk about me getting a program! I'm really excited.

    I've been able to keep up practicing the last 2 months. Have made it to the rink 2 days a week, for most weeks. New things I've tried (some successful, some not): Mazurkas, pivots, some small leaps in back crossovers, spirals, waltz/toe loop combo, sit spins, a choctaw. It's been fun but a little frustrating at times, trying to figure things out on my own, so I'm excited about finding a coach.
     
  12. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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    Sounds good. Like you, I tested standard for a while. I eventually switched to adult. Someday, I hope to still be skating at an age when I can do masters. I actually hope to eventually win US Nationals for my age group when I'm 85. And one of the few left standing! Or... skating. ;)
     
  13. clairecloutier

    clairecloutier Well-Known Member

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    A worthy goal! :)
     
  14. ioana

    ioana Well-Known Member

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  15. clairecloutier

    clairecloutier Well-Known Member

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    That looks like fun!!
     
  16. ioana

    ioana Well-Known Member

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    Pairs is fun! Even the fake kind that only happen when you procrastinate from doing run-throughs :). If I ever get my axels back, I'd love to find someone to compete in gold pairs with. Hopefully this turns out to be a productive summer in that respect.
     
  17. J-Ro

    J-Ro Active Member

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    Excellent! I agree with your coach's standard track recommendation, especially at the beginning. The higher standard will serve you better in the long run because your skills will be better and you will have a more solid foundation before moving to the next level.
     
  18. J-Ro

    J-Ro Active Member

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    Think of skating as an exploration of movement. Sure, you'll find things awkward. It's helpful to not think of things in terms of "successful" and "unsuccessful." Some moves require more time, that's all.