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  1. #1
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    Taking coaches to tests

    I'm testing pre-bronze moves and FS soon and I'm just wondering how much do you pay your coach to take her/him to a test session? Is it the usual lesson fee? She will be arriving there earlier since she has other students testing in the same session as well. Just wanted to see what other skaters have done in the past. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Mine charges his usual 1/2 hour lesson fee for a dance test, but he's also taking my though the test. Unfortunately, I can't remember what he charges for a regular test. Guess that wasn't very helpful, was it?

  3. #3

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    Many coaches have a set fee for coaching time for a skating test (be it MIF or freestyle). Often it is based on the level of the test and/or the location of the test session (if it's not at your home rink).

    I would recommend you ask your coach ahead of time what his/her fee will be for putting you out at the test session.

  4. #4

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    Yes, you have to ask your coach. Normally the coach makes that decision not the student. Good luck on your tests!

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    To answer your question -my first coach charged his 30-minute lesson fee.

    However, I felt it was a waste of money. He spent just a few minutes with me (not the length of a lesson- and most of which was him just watching me take the test) and had many many other students at the session, so if everyone was charged that amount- coaches really bank at these sessions.

    After the first experience I chose to not bring a coach to tests again.

    As an adult, I don't need a calming presence that will seperate me from my parents (which seems to be the main purpose of coaches at these things- keeping kids away from parents). Money is tight, and this isn't a place I feel I need to spend it. If I'm ready to take the test, the coach won't be able to change much in the time before it or during it- I can tell myself to breathe and bend my knees. We discuss the proper warm up ahead of time. I've done a freestyle and a moves test this way and it's worked out great for me. Both times I had a friend with me, and while they can't be "at the boards"- they offer essentially the same support as a coach.

  6. #6

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    My coach charges her usual 20-min lesson fee. If she gives me a lesson (as in the full 20 min) on a practice FS session at the rink before the test, she charges me for that, too. I only had that once. Other times, she's come into the rink area and watches me and her other students testing and calls us over to the boards if she sees us doing something wrong (which hopefully, we don't do too much of right before the test, lol). I don't get charged extra for that.

    I would recommend the OP have his/her coach with them, b/c (I assume) this is their first test. Your coach can steer you through testing procedures and logistics, not to mention the advantages to having a reassuring presence the first time you step on the ice in a testing situation - even if you've competed, testing is different.

    For future tests, you may want to do what Skittl did and just bring a friend, depending on your preference. I like having my coach with me, b/c she can help me decipher judges' comments and if I get a retry, she can see what I did wrong and work with me on what needs to be improved. Coaches like to be at test sessions with their students for that very reason. But it's up to you.

  7. #7
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    In my past experiences, my coach charged a 20 or 30 minute lesson fee to be present at the test. Since the test session usually takes about 30 minutes from beginning to end (pre-ice warmup, on-ice warm-up, test session, review scores, etc), the amount to pay makes sense, IMO.

    Ever skater has his/her personal preference, but I prefer to have a coach present at test sessions. There was one instance where I was doing my Intermediate MITF test, and the judge made me stop twice on one particular section because she thought I was doing an extra step on the sequence. I literally fought with her for about 5+ minutes proving I was correct, even pulling out the rulebook with the moves diagram. My coach then intervened and walked said judge through the diagrams, to which she finally allowed me to restart (no apology from her btw....but she was very OLD and was very strict haha).

    I also prefer my coach to be there in the event something needs to be redone so I can know what needs to be fixed. While I usually know what needs to be done, I like to hear from a coach what to do in case anything extra "registers" in my mind lol. I also like that a coach can offer better advice than a parent or friend because of all the technicalities involved. That's not to say a friend/parent doesn't have good skating advice, but oftentimes they aren't fully equipped to offer correct advice.

    Anyway, each coach is different, but the consensus here seems to be a 1/2 hour or 20 minute rate.

    ETA: I'm sure the rate might be doubled if the skater is doing multiple tests (i.e. MITF then freeskate).

  8. #8
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    Thanks guys. The tests will be my first two ever. I asked her and she said she charges $30 per test so it will be $60 for me. I was kind of disappointed because I was expecting it to be just the normal half hour fee. But I will bite the bullet and pay. Since it is my first time I am sure it can only help me.

  9. #9
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    That sounds fair. Two test sessions could easily keep your coach there for over an hour. Plus, if your coach would normally be coaching during the test session time, then it makes sense that you'll be covering the money she'd make in that time.

    Since these are your first two tests, I think the coach will come in handy. Plus, I'm sure you'll see how much time the testing process can take.

    Let us know how you do, and what you think about the price vs. help from the coach

    Good Luck!!

  10. #10

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    I think you have made a good choice for your first tests. Your coach will offer you lots of good advice and input before and b/w your tests. See how it goes. You may feel okay to fly solo on your nx tests. Good luck!

    Kay
    www.skatejournal.com

  11. #11

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    I like having my coach there, because if I *don't* pass the test, or if a judge notes something on my sheet, she can interpret.
    Use Yah Blinkah!

  12. #12
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    Depends on the coach, some charge for a 1/2 hr or hour lesson plus travel time and gas. Coaches charge for competitions too.

    Its always helpful to have your coach with you even for tests, part of teaching and coaching is successfully getting you through your tests!
    Without fear you cannot find courage

  13. #13

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    I agree having your coach there will only help. If the judges want a reskate of an element, you have the right to ask them what they want improved. Then skate back to your coach and tell them what the judges asked for. You have the right to warm up the element and reskate it. If the judges ask you if you want a warm up or just reskate ALWAYS request the warm up. I've seen many a test when the warm up was good, the judges say they'll take that one. Also seen many a test without the warm up and the skater falls/touches down again and they don't get a second try and fail. How do I know this? I'm a coach!
    "awwww....shades of Janet Lynn" - Dick Button on anyone who makes more than one mistake in their program.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by skatemommy View Post
    If the judges want a reskate of an element, you have the right to ask them what they want improved. Then skate back to your coach and tell them what the judges asked for. You have the right to warm up the element and reskate it.
    This is relevant to freestyle tests, if you need to reskate a jump or spin (or, at higher levels, a whole step sequence).

    On Moves in the Field tests, you can't warm up a whole move before you reskate it. You could try out, say, an isolated three turn before reskating the whole move requested.

    If the judges ask you if you want a warm up or just reskate ALWAYS request the warm up. I've seen many a test when the warm up was good, the judges say they'll take that one.
    The rules have changed so that they're not supposed to do that any more. Which isn't to say it might not still happen sometimes.

    But as to the general point, yes, if you need to reskate something, by all means confer with your coach before doing the reskate. That also gives you a chance to catch your breath after the test, if necessary.

  15. #15
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    Thanks everyone for the tips! I will definitely do a warmup before a reskate, it can't hurt at all.

    Also have my $60 check ready for my coach's test fees, LOL. She didn't mention anything about the gas and stuff but the rink that is hosting the test (which is not our home rink) is only about 20 mins away from us so I guess that's ok.

    Will I be able to take a breather in between elements? Like a sip of water? I'm an adult so I don't have the same stamina as the kids Although I just got back from a freestyle session an hour ago and I did 2 whole run throughs of both the Moves and Freestyle tests almost continuously (only pausing to step out of the way of this couple practicing a dance and waiting for others to start their own pattern) and I was fine. But just in case....

  16. #16

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    For Moves tests, you can talk to your coach in between moves; just not during (but I usually mumble under my breath "STRETCH" or stick my arms out if I don't think you have yours up enough). You can get a drink of water; inhayler if needed, kleenex; just don't make the judges wait after they have been writing their comments. Good luck, relax and let us know how it goes! Last weekend I had a Junior MIF pass; they laughed when my student narrowly missed the boards on the pulls. Good sign!
    "awwww....shades of Janet Lynn" - Dick Button on anyone who makes more than one mistake in their program.

  17. #17
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    Just chiming in--I'm a coach so this is from that point of view.

    I charge the equivalent of a 1/2 hour lesson fee for tests. As it happens we just had a test session last night. So here's how that broke down:

    Skater was scheduled for warmup at 8:30. I have my skaters come 1 hour early as this rink is notorious for running very early.

    Naturally, I was there early too--7:30. This rink is 30 minutes away, so I left the house at a little before 7:00.

    I got there just as my skater did, and the mom went to check her in, came back and said, "they're running ahead, & someone else isn't here yet, so they want to put her on the next warmup." The last skater in the previous group was on the ice & was almost finished with her test. I didn't feel that was fair to my skater, who was there way earlier than should have been necessary and had literally just walked through the door. AND they wanted to put her on an earlier warmup group just to fill a hole which wasn't when she was really scheduled to skate.

    So I went to talk to the test chair (carefully, diplomatically!), and said something to the effect of, 'she just got here, she isn't in a frame of mind yet to just dive out onto the ice, she hasn't had her off-ice warmup yet, and is there any way she could be kept in her originally scheduled warmup group? PLEASE??" They agreed, so instead of whipping her skates on & jumping onto the ice with no prep, she was able to warm up, put her skates on, walk around in them & then re-lace before getting on the ice.

    So--warm-up, then test skate. Then we wait for results. Got her sheets back (she passed!), and went through them with her, pointing out certain comments / praises / critiques so she understood everything.

    Then, headed for home, by which time it was about 9:30. Got home a little after 10:00.

    So the time I put in on it was over 3 hours, and got paid for 1/2 hour of that. Which is fine with me, I consider test sessions just one of those things you do for your skaters w/o getting a lot out of in monetarily. But if I hadn't been there, she would have been thrown onto an earlier warmup when she wasn't really ready to go. Who knows how that would have affected her, it may have been fine, it may not.

    My point, I guess, is this: please try to understand that your coach isn't just raking in the dough on a test session--and that there's more to it than just the 5 or so minutes at the door.
    Last edited by backspin; 06-16-2010 at 05:58 PM.

  18. #18
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    +1 ^ It is much more then just standing at the door. Coaches fees are well justified if you choose to have one. You may go without coach if you handle your nerves well. Don't do it on your first test though.

  19. #19
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    My daughters coach charges for a 15 min lesson fee. He does get her through the warm up and puts her on the ice! Well worth 15 minutes on test day! lol

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