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Thread: Competitive vs Recreational

  1. #1
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    Competitive vs Recreational

    It's for fun, people, geeze!:sheesh:
    Do any of you skate recreationally? It seems like on most of these boards the posters are all competitive skaters, (ie. take lessons, tests, compete.) I am in a kind of "strange" position because I am an adult "recreational" skater (do not take lessons, don't want to test or compete), who is too advanced to skate sessions (can land doubles) because it gets dangerous so I need to skate the freestyle practice sessions....however, I don't bother joining club, USFS or taking lessons. (I took plenty of lessons years ago on roller.) Anyways....because I skate for fun, I skate my way....that is, I wrap my jumps. I have flat landings. (Big deal. I do this for fun people.) Also, I don't bother with ice edges, MITF etc. Only need open mohawk and forward 3 for jump set ups so those are the only turns I am concerned with. Only interested in jumping and jump spins. No desire to practice anything else. Why should I? It's for fun. Yes, I only want to jump. Yes, I skate choppy and do not "flow" on the ice but WHO CARES??? It's for fun, and jumping is what I enjoy doing....
    I am very careful of the other skaters and always give right of way to anyone who competes....HOWEVER.....
    The competitive skaters/coaches make snarly remarks. (Sometimes to my face. Usually to my back.) And I hear them.
    Why does my having fun bother them? One adult skater (competitive) noted with a smile that if all I wanted to do was jump I could just buy a trampoline and put it in the backyard. It would be cheaper.....cute.....:sheesh: (No, she was not trying to "help.") Maybe the coaches are disappointed that I'm not paying for lessons....(probably)... ...But why do they have to do this? Do any other recreational skaters (if there are any on this board) have this problem?
    Last edited by bondgirl; 09-29-2009 at 07:51 AM.

  2. #2
    Custom Title antmanb's Avatar
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    To be honest the only piece of advice i would have is ignore any comments that those people make and continue to have fun doing your own thing.

    It is a waste of time and energy trying to reason with people who do not agree with what you do so short of ignoring them there is very little that you can achieve by engaging them and persuading them to not care about what you're doing.

    In all honesty i suspect a lot of the back chat you're hearing may well be coming from a good place, like perhaps the coaches longing to work with you to "clean up" your technique which might result in improvements like higher/longer jumps etc (maybe even squeaking out triples??). It's clear from what you say that you have a lot of raw talent from the roller experience you have so it is probably very likely tht the coaches would want to work with such a talented adult.

    If you were to have any interest in seeking more formal coaching then it might be worth talking hypothetically through with a prospective coach. The coach/student relationship is very different as an adult to the one you will have experienced as a child. As an adult paying for their own coaching you can dictate whatever it is you want from your coach. You could approach a coach and explain that you only wish to work on jumps/spin and nothing else and see where this takes you - it could be that one short lesson a week/fortnight might benefit the skills you enjoy doing. If not, then simply block out everyone else and just enjoy the fun you are clearly already having

    Ant

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    Thanks, Ant.

    I feel better now. Just got upset yesterday. Overheard a remark. Don't think the coach in question ment for me to hear it, but I did. It was kind of mean......

    Anyways, you are right. Best to ignore it. ("Sticks and stones"...) Probably just being oversensitive....:boohoo:

    Just seems sometimes the competitive skaters forget I am a "rec" skater since I am skating on "their turf" (freestyle practice session), so to speak.

  4. #4
    Rink Rat i love to skate's Avatar
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    Just a question - how is it that you are able to skate during a club's freestyle sessions without being a member of the club or the US Association? I would think this situation causes all lot of liability issues, or am I mistaken? I know here in Canada this would bring up a lot of liability issues. Just curious!

  5. #5
    At the rink. Again. mskater93's Avatar
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    In Illinois, most of the FS time is Open and run by the rinks not the club. If the OPs situation is similar, this would explain how they could skate on a FS session.

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    I couldn't have said it better than Antmanb. If you get tired of doing the same old thing and want to learn some new tricks or do your jumps better, you can always ask for a few lessons from one of the coaches there, but in the meantime, try to understand that these poor coaches probably just can't help themselves. . . Skating tends to attract obsessive, perfectionist, achiever types, and you aren't like that, even though you are good enough to land doubles. That makes you quite the anomaly on a freestyle session and I'm sure it confuses the coaches to no end!

  7. #7
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    Do any of you skate recreationally? It seems like on most of these boards the posters are all competitive skaters, (ie. take lessons, tests, compete.) I am in a kind of "strange" position because I am an adult "recreational" skater (do not take lessons, don't want to test or compete), who is too advanced to skate sessions (can land doubles) because it gets dangerous so I need to skate the freestyle practice sessions....however, I don't bother joining club, USFS or taking lessons. (I took plenty of lessons years ago on roller.) Anyways....because I skate for fun, I skate my way....that is, I wrap my jumps. I have flat landings. (Big deal. I do this for fun people.) Also, I don't bother with ice edges, MITF etc. Only need open mohawk and forward 3 for jump set ups so those are the only turns I am concerned with. Only interested in jumping and jump spins. No desire to practice anything else. Why should I? It's for fun. Yes, I only want to jump. Yes, I skate choppy and do not "flow" on the ice but WHO CARES??? It's for fun, and jumping is what I enjoy doing....

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    Actually, the rink I'm talking about is not really "club" ice. It is a complex with several rinks (main focus is hockey, but it runs figure skating sessions on one rink all day). Anyone who can pay is allowed on for figure skating. You don't have to have a club or a USFS card. (Think I might have filled out a sheet with my health insurance info, but that's it.)
    Do you usually have to have a culb/card to be allowed on freestyle ice? Was planning to take a trip up to Lake Placid sometime in the spring with hubby. (He is going fishing with friends up there.) Was hoping to stop by the Olympic rink and do a "walk on." Can't do that without a card? Would love to skate there!! (Even just once.)
    Was hoping to avoid joining a club. (Trying to avoid paying club dues/USFS card fee. Since I will never test/compete, it seems like a waste.) But if it is the only way to skate on practice ice.....Don't most clubs allow visitors to "walk on"? Do they have to show a USFS card or ISI card? Isn't a health insurance card good enough?

  9. #9
    Rink Rat i love to skate's Avatar
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    Well I get the impression that it is run differently than it is in the States but here the figure skating sessions are run by the club as the club is the one who books the ice. In order to skate with the club you must register with them through Skate Canada. Some clubs do allow you to do drop in sessions where you have to be registered with another club as you provide your Skate Canada number, your personal info (health number, emergency contact, etc), and you provide them with a cheque or cash.

    If the ice is run by the complex who are the coaches employed by? In order to coach don't you need to be registered through the National Federation and hired by a club?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by i love to skate View Post
    If the ice is run by the complex who are the coaches employed by? In order to coach don't you need to be registered through the National Federation and hired by a club?
    It varies.

    Around here, rinks hire coaches directly to teach group lessons.
    Coaches who teach private lessons on rink-run freestyle sessions are independent contractors who pay a fee to each rink where they teach for the privilege of teaching on those sessions.
    To teach on club sessions (of which there are few), they need to be approved to do so by the club's board of directors.

    I'm not sure how the insurance works for each of those situations, but pretty much all the coaches would be members of the PSA and have insurance through that membership. Most rinks run some sort of independent background check.

    To teach on club sessions, our club requires coaches to be US Figure Skating members and to have gone through the "greenlighting" process (background check). This greenlighting is also required for coaches to be credentialed at USFS events.

    There are some lower-level coaches who teach only group classes and lower-level private lessons on public sessions and rink freestyles. They might be members of ISI and prepare their private students for ISI testing and competition but have nothing to do with the USFS. They don't teach on club sessions or bring their skaters to club test sessions and competitions. When and if those skaters want to move up to participate in USFS programs, they would probably need to switch coaches.

    Different clubs may handle things differently, especially in areas where the rinks don't offer freestyle or dance sessions directly to the public and all figure skating ice time is contracted through the local club.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    It varies.

    Around here, rinks hire coaches directly to teach group lessons.
    Coaches who teach private lessons on rink-run freestyle sessions are independent contractors who pay a fee to each rink where they teach for the privilege of teaching on those sessions.
    To teach on club sessions (of which there are few), they need to be approved to do so by the club's board of directors.

    I'm not sure how the insurance works for each of those situations, but pretty much all the coaches would be members of the PSA and have insurance through that membership. Most rinks run some sort of independent background check.

    To teach on club sessions, our club requires coaches to be US Figure Skating members and to have gone through the "greenlighting" process (background check). This greenlighting is also required for coaches to be credentialed at USFS events.

    There are some lower-level coaches who teach only group classes and lower-level private lessons on public sessions and rink freestyles. They might be members of ISI and prepare their private students for ISI testing and competition but have nothing to do with the USFS. They don't teach on club sessions or bring their skaters to club test sessions and competitions. When and if those skaters want to move up to participate in USFS programs, they would probably need to switch coaches.

    Different clubs may handle things differently, especially in areas where the rinks don't offer freestyle or dance sessions directly to the public and all figure skating ice time is contracted through the local club.
    Thanks for the reply! I had no idea that there were such differences between Canada and the US in this regard. Here there are a few learn to skate programs that are run by the city governments or independent organizations who hire their own coaches. The majority are for kids who wish to learn to skate before participating in hockey. These programs do not teach figure skating though.

    Most kids who are learning to skate do go through CanSkate and the coaches have to take accredited courses through the NCCP to get certified and be able to teach this. I assume green lighting is a Criminal Check and Child Abuse Check? Also, forgive my ignorance but what is ISI? I have never heard of it before. It's very interesting to learn how other countries are run!
    Last edited by i love to skate; 09-30-2009 at 01:30 PM. Reason: spelling

  12. #12
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    I assume green lighting is a Criminal Check and Child Abuse Check?
    Yes: Coaches' registration process


    Also, forgive my ignorance but what is ISI? I have never heard of it before.
    ISI
    As I understand it, this started in the US as a professional association of rink owners/operators. They offered learn-to-skate group classes before the USFSA started doing so. Among other activities they have developed an extensive recreational competition program for skaters who are not interested in as much formal testing and cutthroat competition as is found in USFSA. There are comparatively few skaters who stick with ISI up to the higher freestyle levels, at least not exclusively, but they do require some fairly difficult skills at the higher levels (e.g., axels and double jumps in both directions).

    They are now an international organization for recreational skating and as I understand it have had a large influence in places like mall rinks in small Asian countries that (perhaps until recently) were not members of the ISU.

  13. #13
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    I have seen coaches from all the clubs (3) in the area teaching on the ice, so yes, I think they are "independant contractors" as gkelly said.

    When I used to ice skate (2years ago) I did belong to the ISI. It was a lot easier to test since they don't have MITF but only a footwork sequence (it is already made up and is found in the back of the ISI book.) I tested up to level 5 but didn't bother going any higher because I didn't want to compete and there is an opposite direction jump (flip, loop or lutz) on level 7. (Didn't want to mess with that!) ISI seems to have some "cooler" stuff in their competitions, (ie. rhythmic skating with ball, hoop or ribbon prop, artistic events that don't count technical difficulty of items etc.) Very cool!http://www.skateisi.com/site/

    One of my friends (adult competitive skater) told me that I could get USFSA card without a club ("unattached"). Then, there wouldn't be a problem visiting other rinks. Guess card is not that expensive as joining club would be. Maybe it is worth it if I can use the card to skate practice sessions with.
    Last edited by bondgirl; 10-01-2009 at 06:26 AM.

  14. #14
    At the rink. Again. mskater93's Avatar
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    My club is only $5 more to join than a individual membership, so I don't know where you are. You can shop clubs as well as be an individual member.

    I believe LP requires club membership to be on the their FS sessions. From the people I know who skate there (some not regularly), most FS ice is on the USA rink/32 rink, so I suspect you'd be disappointed because you wouldn't be on the 80 rink.

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    Cards and Clubs and Stuff

    Bummer!
    Oh well, will write LP directly to see what the deal is. Could get USFSA card (unattached) if necessary.
    Would like to skate at LP.

    Wonder why freestyle ice requires club membership/USFSA cards? Injury insurance? Don't want "the public" taking over the ice (beginners/hockey players etc. like in sessions)? Would think clubs would love to charge a (much higher) "walk on" fee and get the extra $$$.

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