How to Choose a Coach
Skaters in the Preliminary, Junior, Intermediate and Senior levels will need a professional coach to oversee their development and testing, and guide them through participating in local competitions.
The Role of the Coach
The role of the coach is to give your skater the one-on-one attention that is necessary to teach specific disciplines of the sport. All Silver Blades coaches are certified through the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) of the Coaching Association of Canada, however their personal achievements and teaching experience vary, and not all coaches teach all the disciplines of figure skating.
Where to Start
The first step is to find out what each coach is qualified to coach or is interesting in coaching. This information can be found on the coaches’ list included in your registration package, online, or on the Coaches’ Board at the arena. Each coach will have his or her respective areas of expertise. Most coaches typically coach students at all four figure skating levels: Preliminary, Junior, Intermediate and Senior. If you can, it's a good idea to observe the coaches during a session. This will give you a sense of their techniques/methods and their rapport with skaters. Coaches are as unique as the individuals they teach. Involve your skater in the decision. Shortlist your choices to one or two coaches, and then meet with them individually to assess their style/philosophy and also to understand their rates. It is important to find the right combination of expertise and personality in order for your young skater to enjoy his or her instruction and to work cooperatively with the coach to achieve goals. There are also practical considerations, such as coach availability and rates, that will impact your decision.
Typically, coaches teach 15-minute lessons, but this could vary depending on the needs of particular skaters or the length of time available for private coaching on a session. The coach, parent and skater should determine the frequency of lessons per week. Lessons start at about $14 for a 15-minute lesson and vary depending on the coaches’ qualifications and achievements. Some coaches offer semi-private lessons, a shared-cost arrangement that can help parents manage the price of coaching. It is important to acknowledge that the Silver Blades Board of Directors has no role in the private coaching arrangements or dealings between skaters, parents and coaches. This is a private matter between families and the coach of their choice.