Coaches in Southern California?
I grew up skating in So Cal, but I've been living in New York for a few years and the skating world out here is so different now. I'm hoping someone can help clue me in to the various coaches in the area.
The closest rinks to me are Ice Palace in Artesia and Anaheim Ice (formerly Disney Ice). Although, for the right class or coach I'd be willing to go to Glacial Gardens in Lakewood or Paramount... or another rink within a 20 minute drive!
Even though I started skating in junior high, it's been more off than on in the last 10 years. Right now I can do all my singles except the axel, though my lutz isn't at all consistent. I've also got my scratch and sit spin, but I'm working on the camel and back scratch/sit. Footwork is probably the area I want to improve in the most, because it was neglected by my coaches all those years back when I used to skate a lot. (I started skating just as figures were being phased out and MITF was forming, so I didn't get any of it.)
However, I'm old (for the skating world) and I'm not looking to win any gold medals! My goal for skating is just to have fun, improve personally, and maybe skate a few programs here and there.
The other problem is that I'm broke! I'd prefer to take group lessons, but I've noticed the rinks around here don't provide adult group classes at my level. (The rink I was most recently at in NY had the most awesome class for adults at my level.)
Eek, this is getting long. So basically, I'm looking for help finding a new coach. I want someone who's good at technique, both in jump/spin and in footwork. If they're good at choreography too, that'd be an awesome plus. Since I don't plan on ever landing a double axel, I'd really like to work on my on-ice presence.
I Would probably advise that you visit the rinks that are more accessible to you and try to get on some of the patch sessions for skaters of your level and see which coaches are teaching and maybe spend some time observing them and/or asking their students what they think of their coaches teaching style and such things.
The other thing is, if you like the look of a coach then go and ask them some questions so that you are better informed. Don't forget that since you are the paying customer it's up to you to make the right decision. You could have a couple of try-out lessons with the coach and make it clear that you would like to pay for a couple of lessons to try out and with no obligations to continue past the try out time. That way you can try out a few different coaches and see who's style of teaching you prefer.
Always remember that there are different skills involved in coaching children and adults. Some coaches can do both very well and others are more suited to one or the other, therefore a coach who is used to teaching young talented children may not be the right kind of teacher for an adult.
Thanks for the reply!
I should have mentioned that I'm not looking for a coach online, because I know that's not possible. But I'd love to get referrals or observations of good (and not so good) coaches in the area. It would really help me narrow things down.
I've already been out to the three rinks closest to me and talked to people at the skating school. I have plans to skate at each of them so I can observe the different coaches, but it would be a really big help to get some first-hand info from other people. Since I've been gone for so long (and I'd stopped skating for a few years before leaving LA) I'm out of the loop on the different rinks, coaches and programs in the area. I'd appreciate any help people can give!