Learn To Skate taught by hockey coaches?

Jozet

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Are any of your Learn To Skate classes taught by hockey coaches? Not Learn To Play Hockey or any kind of separate hockey skating clinics, but the USFSA or equivalent basic skills skating classes.

I'm only wondering because we have a LOT of little kids in our Learn To Skate program, but sometimes it's difficult to staff certain sessions. It seems like at least levels 1 and 2 of basic skills could be taught in any kind of skates.

Thoughts? Experience?
 

Aceon6

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Our rink had one guy who specialized in hockey but taught in the learn to skate track. I think he got some sort of blessing from USFS. He taught in hockey skates and had the kids who had never skated. I think he took them from Snowplow Sam through Basic 2.
 

Jozet

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Our rink had one guy who specialized in hockey but taught in the learn to skate track. I think he got some sort of blessing from USFS. He taught in hockey skates and had the kids who had never skated. I think he took them from Snowplow Sam through Basic 2.
Yes, I imagine they'd need to join a USFS and at least sign up as a Learn To Skate instructor. Thanks for the info!
 

GarrAargHrumph

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Yes, we've had hockey people teach Learn to Skate.

All people teaching LTS have to be registered with USFS through LTS, so he'll have to do that, but it's not a difficult process.
 

Willin

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@Jozet Yes! We go by an ISI system. After passing Pre-Alpha those interested in Hockey can go to hockey LTS classes. So all levels up to Pre-Alpha (Tots/Beginner and Pre-Alpha) can be taught by either figure skaters or hockey skaters. In fact, one of our Tots guys is hockey exclusive.

For whatever reason we've found that hockey coaches don't like to teach group lessons, even the hockey ones. I've seen that problem with other rinks as well. Hopefully the hockey coaches at your rink will be more willing.
 

Jozet

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@Jozet Yes! We go by an ISI system. After passing Pre-Alpha those interested in Hockey can go to hockey LTS classes. So all levels up to Pre-Alpha (Tots/Beginner and Pre-Alpha) can be taught by either figure skaters or hockey skaters. In fact, one of our Tots guys is hockey exclusive.

For whatever reason we've found that hockey coaches don't like to teach group lessons, even the hockey ones. I've seen that problem with other rinks as well. Hopefully the hockey coaches at your rink will be more willing.
I think it could be good early "name recognition" for the hockey program at our rink (there's a lot of competition for hockey players). As I've said elsewhere, I try to convince parents to keep their kids in LTS through level 5 at least, but I think parents think that because all the coaches have toepicks, they are teaching a different kind of skating.

And you're right, I'm not sure about the group lessons at the little kid levels. Skating skills during hockey practice are a bit limited, but really, if more kids had stuck it out through a few more LTS classes, they hockey skating would come more easily.
 

Willin

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@Jozet You could show them all of the articles about NHL players working with figure skating coaches to up their game and it working. ;) ITA that hockey kids should stay in learn to skate classes longer. We have some parents that keep in the normal LTS because the hockey LTS is on a weird night most kids can't make. Most of the private hockey coaches don't start working with kids until they go to hockey try-outs, so they're kinda stuck.

It actually works out that our private hockey coaches don't like doing group lessons since the hockey group lessons are taught by figure skaters that dabbled in hockey.
 

vesperholly

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No, but you certainly could teach the elements of Snowplow Sam and Basic 1-3 in hockey skates. My only concern with it would be a hockey player knowing the proper technique and standards for basic skills. In my experience, they don't focus on posture and I've seen some awfully weird crossovers taught in hockey practices.

However, I did appreciate having hockey skaters teach the higher level hockey basic skills classes, because they have all kinds of interesting drills for the kids to practice.
 

Aussie Willy

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I think as long as they are doing the curriculum then I don't see it as a problem. It is more a perception than anything else.

While getting basic skills, at that level it is probably more important to have someone who is great at engaging with the students and ensuring they are having a great time. The enjoyable aspect is what makes people keep coming back.
 

maatTheViking

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I had a LTS teacher who was a synchro skater/coach and a speed skating coach. She probably was a figure skater first, but some days she wore her speed skates! In the end its the same - swizzles and cross overs, it's basic skating.
There were lots of kids who wanted to play hockey.
 

Jozet

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Was going to start new thread, but thought I'd add here:

Are hockey players allowed to skate on your freestyle sessions -- no sticks/pucks, just to practice skating?

If so, are there any special rules for them being on freestyle ice besides the regular freestyle rules (don't hang out in the lutz corner, know the right of ways)?
 

Willin

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@Jozet At none of the rinks I've skated at have hockey players been allowed on the rink during freestyle sessions to practice hockey skills. I would imagine they'd be allowed on freestyles to practice skating skills as long as they didn't get in the way of freestyle skaters and observed the etiquette/right of way, but I haven't seen any try it.
 

Jozet

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@Jozet At none of the rinks I've skated at have hockey players been allowed on the rink during freestyle sessions to practice hockey skills. I would imagine they'd be allowed on freestyles to practice skating skills as long as they didn't get in the way of freestyle skaters and observed the etiquette/right of way, but I haven't seen any try it.
Thanks. And no, I definitely don't mean with hockey sticks, but just to practice skating skills.
 

vesperholly

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I've seen younger hockey skaters practicing on freestyles but it's not common. It's usually at the behest of a figure skating coach who is teaching them some skills and they tend to stick to the ends. Absolutely no sticks or pucks - way too dangerous.

They don't get in the way per se, but it's still fairly disruptive. They aren't familiar at all with how freestyle sessions move. Then again, neither are the little helmet heads that you encounter sometimes on all level sessions. I'm not a huge fan.
 

Jozet

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I've seen younger hockey skaters practicing on freestyles but it's not common. It's usually at the behest of a figure skating coach who is teaching them some skills and they tend to stick to the ends. Absolutely no sticks or pucks - way too dangerous.

They don't get in the way per se, but it's still fairly disruptive. They aren't familiar at all with how freestyle sessions move. Then again, neither are the little helmet heads that you encounter sometimes on all level sessions. I'm not a huge fan.
We have a few on our sessions -- well, usually end of day 5-6 session that is mostly lower-level anyway. No sticks or pucks. I think it's good for the coaches to get a bit more business, and there really isn't other ice for the hockey kids to practice skills.

But yes, I do think they really need to follow the freestyle ice rules -- and really, I think it's good for them to do so since skating head down in hockey is so dangerous, they need to practice it and freestyle sessions are a good place. As long as they ARE skating heads up and following the rules of the road.

I think the only thing that could be really disruptive is the speed drills. Those are things I think need to be done under a coach's eye, for a short period of time, and only on uncrowded sessions.

And yes, I hate to single them out because there are skaters of all skill levels who don't always follow the rules, some are learning, some out and out defying. Just curious if any rinks had different rules about what kinds of stuff the hockey kids are doing out there.

Thanks!
 

Aceon6

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A zillion years ago, one local rink had teen/adult learn to skate and the lower levels of basic skills at the same time, followed by the higher levels of basic skills, then an open session. The head coach controlled the ice for that 90 minutes. After a couple of accidents involving hockey kids and basic skills adults on the open session, the rule was “figure skates only”. I distinctly remember two teen hockey kids renting skates in order to practice on that session. IIRC, there was a hockey session right after us as we’d see them changing into hockey skates during the ice make.
 

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