- Parent Category: Coaching
Get the right coach - kid fit
Picking a figure skating coach is really personal and is going to really depend on what you're trying to get out of figure skating as a sport. With young kids, I think you need a coach that is going to help build the sense of fun in the sport as well as helping them develop their skating skills. As they get a bit older, you want the best skating coach you can get but you can't ignore the coach/athlete rapport.
Try to be objective about your daughter's personality and try to match up with the coach that is going to work with that personality best. We've chosen different coaches for our two girls because their personalities and approaches to the sport are very different so they have very different coaches. Hopefully, your kid will have had the opportunity to work with several different coaches during the first couple of years in a skating program like CanSkate.
Who's auditioning who?
Depending on the number of kids at the skating club and the number of coaches and the popularity of some coaches, your choice of coaches may also be limited by the coaches that have time in their schedules. Some coaches only coach kids at certain performance levels and your kid might not be up to that level yet. And the cold hard truth is that some coaches are only going to want to coach your kid if he or she shows a lot of promise. You may find that your kid is auditioning for the coach rather than the other way around.
Try before you buy
Most figure skating coaches will allow you to try them out. Ask if you can try a month of lessons to see how they connect. If things don't work out, there shouldn't be any hard feelings because the expectations were set at the start. You can always change coaches later on as well, but you're treading into political territory so it's best to try to get it right at the start. If you're new to a club and don't know any of the coaches, try talking to an administrator at the club to see if they can help you narrow down the list to 2 or 3 coaches and then try a few lessons with all of them. If you get a chance to talk to some other parents at the club, ask them if they have any opinions on each of the coaches strengths and weaknesses. I find that opinions aren't hard to find in the figure skating world. And different opinions aren't hard to find either, so good luck and have fun!