Moving Coaches

Melissa CHristensen

New Member
Messages
2
Hi, I'm a mom of a figure skater. We recently switched coaches and I'm trying to make sure we made the right choice. How do you know if someone is a good coach or not? Seems someone always has something negative to say about either one.
 

Xsktrx

Active Member
Messages
133
Hi, I'm a mom of a figure skater. We recently switched coaches and I'm trying to make sure we made the right choice. How do you know if someone is a good coach or not? Seems someone always has something negative to say about either one.
Also important to determine what your skater is looking for. Some coaches are good but keep it fun amd relaxed. Others run a more disciplined program which works really well for highly driven skaters. Really depends on the age and attitude of your skater. Some of the really big name coaches don’t actually develop young skaters, but take already talented skaters and further those skills.
 

overedge

G.O.A.T.
Messages
29,819
When you say "we", who made the decision? Was it you or your skater, or both of you?

Different coaches have different coaching styles, and different goals. Some only want to coach elite skaters, and will only work with skaters at that level or who want to be at that level. Some will work with any skater, and if one of their skaters makes it to Nationals or Worlds, that's a happy bonus for everyone. But it's not their primary focus.

There are always going to be parents and skaters who don't like specific coaches. Sometimes it's because the skater learns in a different way than the coach teaches. Sometimes it's because the coach has been realistic about what they think the skater can achieve, and it's not what the parents want to hear. That doesn't mean the coach is a bad coach - it's more that the coach is not a good fit for that skater.

The important thing is that your skater is happy and is getting what they want from participating in skating. Their coach should be supportive of the skater's goals, and willing to work with them to help them achieve that goal.
 
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MacMadame

Staying at home
Messages
40,638
I picked my coach after watching him work with a young dance team on a session where I was practicing. I liked how positive he was even when they made mistakes and how he could adapt what he was saying if they didn't get it the first time.
 

syzygy

Active Member
Messages
167
It's very important to also consult with your children and be open to hearing their real experience. They will know best if something is off because they are the one working with the coach. This is especially important to remember during the ********* because parents are often unable to watch sessions. If your rink has that rule, you don't really know what is going on on the ice. Make sure your children know that they can be open and honest and that you will listen to what they actually say, not just what you want to hear. Even something as small as a certain word that the coach uses often can feel like a big deal to someone and hurt them. If the coach is right for you, they will be able to listen to your concerns and adapt to make you and your children feel as comfortable as possible working with them. If they can't, that doesn't mean they're a bad coach, they just aren't right for you.

In a month or so you'll be able to see if there is much improvement and you can use that too when deciding whether to stay with new coach or find another. As others have said, you also have to evaluate the goal. I personally want to achieve all triple jumps except axel. If this is something that your child wants to achieve, then you have to find a coach with not only the skill to make it happen, but also the time and drive. If recreational is your goal, then find a coach who will make it as fun as possible.
 

Melissa CHristensen

New Member
Messages
2
When you say "we", who made the decision? Was it you or your skater, or both of you?

Different coaches have different coaching styles, and different goals. Some only want to coach elite skaters, and will only work with skaters at that level or who want to be at that level. Some will work with any skater, and if one of their skaters makes it to Nationals or Worlds, that's a happy bonus for everyone. But it's not their primary focus.

There are always going to be parents and skaters who don't like specific coaches. Sometimes it's because the skater learns in a different way than the coach teaches. Sometimes it's because the coach has been realistic about what they think the skater can achieve, and it's not what the parents want to hear. That doesn't mean the coach is a bad coach - it's more that the coach is not a good fit for that skater.

The important thing is that your skater is happy and is getting what they want from participating in skating. Their coach should be supportive of the skater's goals, and willing to work with them to help them achieve that goal.
It was both of us, but more my daughter. She wanted to try something different.
 

Viktoria

Active Member
Messages
54
All of the above, and I'll add "good communication."

Especially with a new coach who is a primary coach (at one point my skater had several coaches with different focuses), I like to be able to schedule a chat or get an email once or twice a month to hear from the coach how things are going, what they are working on and what the long and short term goals are. As my child got older, much of that conversation was turned over to the child. But especially in the beginning, I like to know that we're all on the same page.

I like a coach that is honest and realistic -- if my kid is saying they want to go to Nationals, but is not really gung-ho on putting in the work, that's fine -- a good coach will be able to help my skater adjust goals and change focus while also keeping the activity enjoyable, even on the tough days (even rec skaters have tough days).
 

Sk8yDad

Rinkrat Parent
Messages
23
Hi, I'm a mom of a figure skater. We recently switched coaches and I'm trying to make sure we made the right choice. How do you know if someone is a good coach or not? Seems someone always has something negative to say about either one.
I think "good" varies depending on what are your child's goals in skating.
There are plenty of coaches that are nice and caring but don't have the technical knowledge to teach high level jumps or even understand the IJS judging system. Many rinks don't have skaters that ever get to double axel or triples, so it's not a coaches fault if they are not good at teaching beyond the level of the best skater in the rink. I believe that you need to find a coach that has demonstrated the ability to teach high level skating if that is your child's goal because it's not best for your child to be the student where the coach is learning.
 

MacMadame

Staying at home
Messages
40,638
I believe that you need to find a coach that has demonstrated the ability to teach high level skating if that is your child's goal because it's not best for your child to be the student where the coach is learning.
You also want your coach to be able to impart the basics well so that if your skater gets to a higher level, they don't have to unlearn a bunch of bad habits even if they do have to leave the area to find a higher level coach.

Also, you might want to change your user name @Melissa CHristensen to something that is more anonymous so it won't get back to your coach that you have doubts. (I assume that is your real name. If it's not, then ignore this suggestion.)
 

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