U.S. Team Envelope criteria revised for 2014-15 season + ISP updates

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by Sylvia, Sep 24, 2013.

  1. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

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    These costs make it all the more remarkable that the skaters always look so tiffed at international events. I can't even imagine the pressure on the parents to keep paying for things, especially the parents of 'normal' means.
     
  2. pairskatingfan

    pairskatingfan New Member

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    Some coaches do not charge for lost lessons from what I hear. Just doesn't make sense, the skaters train for competitions, why would they be charged exorbitant amounts for the competitions they're taking lessons for? I understand general expenses such as meals, and perhaps a charge to put them on, but to expect them to pay for every lesson lost is over the top, imo.
     
  3. dr.frog

    dr.frog Well-Known Member

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    Yes, in addition to the coaching fees, it costs money to look "tiffed" -- e.g., a lot of the skaters want to get new outfits to wear to the banquet and other official functions, and I've heard of cases where the USFSA has suggested that the skater get new practice clothes (or even a new competition costume). Plus the skaters probably want some spending money for souvenirs and incidental expenses.

    Re the coaching fees, from my discussion with both coaches and parents, I think in many/most cases the fees do *not* cover the coach's full expenses, especially when you consider the personal costs of being away from home (child care, etc) as well as lost income from their other students. Coaches are willing to subsidize their elite competitors in this way because it's good for their reputation and the publicity helps to bring in other students, but the ones who make more money are the ones who just stay home and coach a whole lot of lower-level skaters rather than the ones who are travelling all the time with elite competitors.
     
  4. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    Not just at international events, but in their everyday (public) life. I've never seen so many high brands as I see on skaters in the photos they post on social media. I really feel less sympathy towards training expenses when I see someone in this sort of styling.


    I think it makes a bit of sense when competitions require coaches to be away for a week or more for a single skater. If we were talking some local competition (or even regionals) where every skater they coach is there, then it seems like cost of doing business. But to go with one skater, you lose A LOT of income when you think about the fact that many coaches have their days filled with lessons at $100 an hour or more.
     
  5. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    The skaters from smaller federations, particularly in Europe, are able to compete more often, as they are able to sign up for events on their own; this allows lower-level skaters to get much more experience in international competition. (If they're Eurozone or GBP/Nordic currency skaters, their buying power is much greater at competitions in Eastern Europe.) That's one trade-off for having USFS or Skate Canada pay for transport for a limited number of mostly elite skaters (at their level) to attend a limited number of competitions.

    It depends on the Fed, and whether, for example, the coach is on salary, in which case lost wages wouldn't be an issue.
     
  6. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    How about skaters from Australia? It costs them a bundle to fly anywhere - so they can't do it that frequently AND their fed doesn't pay for it for them!
     
  7. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    Does the Australian Fed prevent them from signing up at competitions and only allows them to compete if the Australian Fed assigns them? If not, that is the trade-off I described.

    Skaters from Australia (and New Zealand and southeast Asia) are screwed financially, unless they are training in the US, where transportation costs to Europe tends to be cheaper. Australia, New Zealand, and Philippines, though are a very small percentage of smaller Federations, most of which are concentrated in Europe.
     
  8. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    I think this costs more than the transportation does. (Assuming they are not just Americans representing another country)

    My point being: skating is insanely expensive, and USFS does not fund their athletes very highly; but there are federations where it is much worse.
     
  9. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    Of course there are Federations where it is much worse: look at Michael Martinez. That doesn't negate that skaters from smaller Federations from Europe have lower travel costs in general to the many, many competitions in Europe and are not restricted by their Federations from competing.

    Also, the AUD is about $.94 to the USD. US skaters are paying 5% less of the substantial costs for training in the US, but they're still paying through the nose. To an Australian skater, though, USFS envelope and USOC money likely looks very generous. On the other hand, it's likely that US (or Canadian) elite athlete's early expense training in the US before he or she gets a dime of envelope money is a lot more expensive, because the competition is so steep. To be competitive at an early age and make it through the ranks in the US requires a lot of money not only for training, but also for the costumes, the tiffing, and the music required to show seriousness (and for USFS and Skate Canada to detect that they've got marks for parents who are going to be willing to foot the bill in the long-term at the amounts needed.)
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2014
  10. stjeaskategym

    stjeaskategym Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but I can't see how the costs associated with one coach would approach $5000.

    Absolutely. But certain skaters/families are willing to spend money more freely than others on non-skating expenses like sightseeing. Sometimes there are ways to keep costs down, but not every skater wants to take them (for example, some will pay a taxi fare when others choose to walk, or some will buy a lot of additional food on a trip whereas others will bring some snacks from home). I just figure that if a skater is spending as much as $5000 on a JGP, then they must either have family members/additional people accompanying them on the trip, or they're not trying all that hard to keep non-skating related expenses down (sightseeing, souvenirs, etc). Trips can definitely get a lot more expensive when you aren't looking for little ways to save a bit of money.
     
  11. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    7 day trip, missing 7, 1 hour lessons per day; billing $100 an hour: $4900 (more likely, 12 hours of lessons some days, 3 hours others, etc)
    Charge $120 an hour, and you only need to miss 40 hours of lessons; which means for a coach working full time hours, a 5 day trip is still $5000 missed billings.

    Not saying it actually happens, but if a coach is a full time coach, I can see how it could.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2014
  12. stjeaskategym

    stjeaskategym Well-Known Member

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    Coaches can make that much money in a week? Wow.

    Trips generally don't run for 7 days though. For GPs, you get one day of practice before the event begins, so it might be a Wed-Sun type of trip unless the event requires extensive travel. And coaches will go home after their skater's event is over, whereas the skaters will stay for the exhibition. So a coach usually isn't missing a full week's worth of work.
     
  13. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    There are coaches who make really impressive full time salaries. I'd think the vast majority of coaches in the US do not; but I know a local coach who says he makes six figures, and we are a pretty small area. He works his butt off to ensure full time hours, over a 7 day week (so he isn't working 8 hours a day). However, he also says he only reports $30k of income to the IRS, so I think tax evasion is part of what makes his take home pay so good.

    Remember, even if a coach pulled in $5,000 a week, self employment taxes (since you have to pay both sides of SS and Medicare) are generally 50%ish. That isn't their take home pay.
     
  14. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    $5000 is easy to rack up if by "coaching and other expenses," the "other expenses" include travel expenses for even only one family member, as many JGP competitors are minors and require chaperones, and for coaches' travel, accommodation, and meals. Before Skype, cheap minutes, and free internet access -- dr. frog said 10 years ago -- I'm sure that coaches' calls home and internet were also paid for by the skaters/parents, which could be hundreds of dollars over a five-day trip.

    The GP and GPF announcements only say that the Organizing Member must pay airfare to the GPF/JGPF for competitors, judges, officials. (Accommodations and foods are covered, too, but the announcement only talks about reimbursing these costs if the skaters doesn't finish the event.) Nothing is mentioned about paying for coaches' anything. If the JGP was in Tallinn or Bulgaria, North American skaters could be frugal without trying in terms of accommodation and meals, given the exchange rates, although travel might be more expensive, but if the JGP were in France, Italy, Germany, local costs for food and accommodation would be in Euros, or 30% higher.
     
  15. dr.frog

    dr.frog Well-Known Member

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    Although coaches may charge $100/hour, in reality they don't make that much because they can't work continuously all day long.

    E.g., many rinks run 50 minute freestyle sessions with 10-minute zamboni breaks, and coaches typically give 20-minute lessons. So, realistically, they can only give 2 lessons/hour unless they work in a multi-rink facility with staggered sessions. One coach I know is usually fully booked during the early-morning and after-school sessions, but has few students both qualified and available to skate on the mid-day sessions reserved for high-level competitors, and he doesn't regularly teach pairs or dance either so those sessions are usually a blank for him too. (Some rinks also have ice set aside at mid-day for parent-and-tot sessions, recreational hockey practice, etc.) At least some days he fills in his schedule by teaching at one of the other rinks in the area, other times he uses the breaks to do scheduling, billing, etc. Altogether he is "at work" 12+ hours/day weekdays and half a day on Saturdays to make his living, which sounds exhausting to me! :yawn:
     
  16. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

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    As someone who was formerly self-employed, it is expensive! If you aren't working, there is no money coming in - AT ALL! So between holdiays, sick days, skaters going on vacation, etc., a coach might only working 11 months of the year when you add it all up. Ideally you will have lost income insurance, your own health insurance, your own SEP IRA, etc. The limits on the SEP IRA are quite high, so you could legally avoid taxes on quite a bit of income. But god help you if you get hurt!
     
  17. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    I believe Team USA skaters get these expenses paid for for their primary coach. But skaters who travel with a team will have additional expenses.
     
  18. clairecloutier

    clairecloutier Well-Known Member

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    US envelopes announced: http://usfigureskating.org/Story.asp...269&type=media

    I have to say . . . I wish the USFSA had set different criteria for pairs than the other disciplines. It's kind of crazy that no pairs are getting Tier A envelopes when pairs is our weakest discipline and needs the most help by far. I realize the envelope criteria are meant to reward performance, and it's not that I want to reward mediocrity. But, at the same time, I feel like the federation needs to be actively looking for ways to support the pairs program. Just my 2 cents.
     
  19. Sylvia

    Sylvia On to Nationals!

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    AFAIK, all Team A & B athletes also receive additional USOC funding in addition to the envelope funding.

    While $$$ is vital, there are other ways pairs can be supported by USFS.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2014
  20. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Get off my lawn

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    I'm disappointed that the Reynolds didn't qualify for any money. They could use it.
     
  21. mgobluegirl

    mgobluegirl Well-Known Member

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    Where is Hannah Miller? Did she not do well enough internationally last year to be listed?
     
  22. Sylvia

    Sylvia On to Nationals!

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    She was dealing with injury last summer and wasn't in form at her one JGP. Her 9th in Senior at Nationals just missed meeting the Team C criterion, unfortunately. :(

    "Consideration to place the athletes in Team C - Tier 2 will be given for senior level skaters placing lower at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships where the event was very strong or the results were very close."

    ETA 2014 Nationals results:
    7 Barbie Long, Illinois Valley FSC 10 55.55 7 108.24 163.79
    8 Christina Gao, SC Of Boston 6 60.91 10 102.12 163.03
    9 Hannah Miller, Lansing SC 7 57.49 8 103.92 161.41
    10 Leah Keiser, All Year FSC 8 57.41 9 102.92 160.33
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2014
  23. Jeschke

    Jeschke Well-Known Member

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    caroline zhang not even on the reserve team? :(
    do we have any news about her?
     
  24. Sylvia

    Sylvia On to Nationals!

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    Zhang is still skating, that's all I know at the moment.
     
  25. peibeck

    peibeck Letting Poje be on top

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    Do you know if she ever got a new coach?
     
  26. Jeschke

    Jeschke Well-Known Member

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    that's at least something and enough for me right now :D
    thanks sylvia
     
  27. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    How could USFS have justified that? She finished 19th at Nationals (after qualifying in the 4th position from her sectional) and 10th at Skate America. Last season was sadly awful, and the previous one wasn't much better.
     
  28. Jammers

    Jammers Well-Known Member

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    Well Vanessa Lam got a GP event finishing almost dead last at nationals this year. :lol: Has any US Lady finished that badly and still been on the GP the next season?
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2014
  29. peibeck

    peibeck Letting Poje be on top

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    :violin: U.S. Nationals placement do not determine GP assignments. And it's not like the USFS picked Lam for the Skate America slot. Like other lower ranked skaters, she benefitted from the added slots on the GP circuit again. Give it a rest already.
     
  30. jlai

    jlai Title-less

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    If Lam refused the spot, it would go back to the pool and possibly gone to a skater from another country.