- Rep Power
Synchronized skating- starting teams
Hi! What are everyone's experiences with a beginning synchro team? Have you joined a synchro team right as it was being started up? How did that go? Were you involved with
I joined a synchro team after it had been going for a year or so, and then that team dissolved about 2 1/2 years ago. I'm currently on an adult team, but I'm 14 (almost 15) and there's a 15-year-old also on the team. So two of us who are very capable of doing much higher level synchro than what the team is doing...
Anyways, I'd really like to start a synchro team. I love synchro, I love being on a team, synchro practice is one of the highlights of my week.
My coach and a few others with my club and other clubs in my area were on synchro teams when they were skating, but I'm not sure if any of them have PSA ratings in synchro coaching or not. I know for sure of one coach who does, because she coaches and skates on our adult team.
So since I'm on this adult team now, I can't just say to the coach 'oh, i want to quit this team and start a youth team', because they're depending on me for this season and everything. Any advice on how to get a team started? I think I'd be able to get at least 10 of my friends in multiple skating clubs in my city to join a synchro team, at least for awhile. Just thinking about it, I'm going through probably 20-30 skaters who would probably try synchro.
So to summarize- I want your experiences with and advice on starting a synchronized skating team. Thanks everyone!
- Rep Power
I can tell you it's hard.
The team I skate on started about 6 years ago when a friend decided to start a team. So I've been involved with the team from the beginning.
First off find a coach who is fairly flexible for ice time and easy going should the team not take off.
Find some ice, source dresses, team jackets, t-shirts, etc. and do up a simple budget. Do up a budget for the minimum number of skaters needed and the number you actually want to have on the team.
Next figure out how many skaters want to skate and get them to commit by giving a deposit or something so you can cover off the first few weeks of ice time. We have found outselves with a full team in April and then come September to start up in earnest and half the team isn't interested anymore.
Make sure to set out goals and expectations at the beginning too. Also get at least 1 other person to help out with planning and organizing. It's a lot of work for 1 or even 2 people.
Other than that have fun. It is a lot of work getting a team going. We are in our 6th year and are still having problems getting skaters. But it's fun and we continue to do it. We have about 4 skaters who have been a part of the team since it's beginning.
Agreed, it can be tough. We started a combined teen/adult team (already had a number of people doing formation in a couple different age groups) a few years back, and it's had its ups and downs. First and foremost is, as Synchkat said, having people who are committed, can show up on time, and whose heads can be in the game during the practice. I have little patience with flakey people who don't show up (illness, major crises, sure I understand that, but "oh gee I forgot" or "oh, I really wanted to go to this party so I skipped practice" etc really drive me nuts). Also, some skaters may be great skaters, but they're a bit spacey or they love to chat with their neighbor, or they love to improvise, or they have a tough time remembering exact moves. Those are real challenges and aren't a huge deal for a singles skater but can really affect a team negatively.
Bigger challenges with all our teams (and we've had pure formation, synchro dance, and full synchro, ages teeny tiny to 80s) have been a HUGE range of abilities--from "young (15-20s) and good (juv-int-nov-jr)" to "older with amazing skating skills (gold medals in FS, figures, and dance) 25 years ago but the bod ain't the same now" or "adult-onset skater who's working through the testing track." And no matter how great a skater you are, as you'll already know, there are synchro concepts that have little to do with what you'd usually do for technique and such (you'd NEVER fake push or do steppy crossovers without power usually, but sometimes that's what must be done in synchro), and this is hard for some of our younger skaters especially to grasp--sometimes it's really, really crucial that you don't push so that everyone can keep their shoulder sockets intact!!
One thing you'll want to find out is details re: THE RULES. Don't know if you're doing ISI or USFS, but there can be restrictions with age, testing levels, and of course with the way the moves/requirements go in programs, and they change from time to time, so it's a really, really good idea to be very clear on all the rules.
Figuring out costs is also a good thing. Getting an estimate for ice time, coaching, entry or membership fees, and costumes can give you an idea of how much everyone needs to chip in and/or how many people you need to cover your expenses.