Adult beginner starting private lessons

adultskater18

Rinkside
Joined
Jan 15, 2019
Hi all!

I am a brand new adult skater (32 years old). I started skating about 2 months ago and took an adult learn to skate class. I would say I'm at about the adult 5/6 level of the USFS learn to skate curriculum. Anyway, I can't attend the next learn to skate class session because of my schedule, so I am going to start taking private lessons a few times a month with a coach at my rink who works primarily with adults.

I'm excited but a bit nervous and I guess I don't really know the protocol of how it all works! I will only be able to take a lesson 2-3x a month - is that still enough to learn and make progress? Am I too much of a beginner to be wasting my money on this?

Will the coach have sort of a "plan" of skills to teach me, or will she expect me to tell her what to work on? Like should I prepare a list of things I want to work on?

Payment - I know I pay the coach directly for the lesson (which seems so awkward). Is there some kind of...protocol for this?!

My first lesson is tomorrow and I'm getting more nervous! Worried I won't be able to do anything because someone will be "watching" me the whole time, if that makes sense!

Thanks for any suggestions!
 

gkelly

Record Breaker
Joined
Jul 26, 2003
I'm excited but a bit nervous and I guess I don't really know the protocol of how it all works! I will only be able to take a lesson 2-3x a month - is that still enough to learn and make progress?

Yes, if you can practice in between. Say at least an hour a week of practice, including the weeks you do have lessons and the weeks you don't.

Am I too much of a beginner to be wasting my money on this?

Probably not. Give it a try and see how it goes.

Will the coach have sort of a "plan" of skills to teach me, or will she expect me to tell her what to work on?

Probably. Some coaches are more planners than others.

Like should I prepare a list of things I want to work on?

It will be good to let your coach know at the beginning what your goals are. And she'll want to assess what you can already do. But if you say you want to learn X and she knows you need to master some other skills first before you'll be ready to work on X, she may have you working on those skills for a while before she mentions X specifically.

After you have a repertoire of skills in progress and know how they have each been going in practice, you might come to a lesson with specific questions or requests about how to fix a problem you're having. Or let the coach know if you're not feeling well one day and want a less strenuous lesson. Etc. If you get to a point when you believe you have enough skills to start thinking about testing or competing, and you would like to do so, let your coach know that's what you want to aim for.

Payment - I know I pay the coach directly for the lesson (which seems so awkward). Is there some kind of...protocol for this?!

I just bring a check to each lesson. If your coach prefers a different method she'll let you know.

My first lesson is tomorrow and I'm getting more nervous! Worried I won't be able to do anything because someone will be "watching" me the whole time, if that makes sense!

You should be fine. Have fun!

Thanks for any suggestions![/QUOTE]
 

adultskater18

Rinkside
Joined
Jan 15, 2019
@gkelly thanks so much, that is super helpful!

I skate about 3-4 hours a week, so I have some practice time. I wish I could do more, but with work and two kids, I'm lucky to squeeze in what I can!
 

gkelly

Record Breaker
Joined
Jul 26, 2003
3-4 hours a week should be plenty at this point.

If you hit a plateau in your progress after a year or more, then see if you can add more time.
 

Nimyue

On the Ice
Joined
May 15, 2018
@gkelly thanks so much, that is super helpful!

I skate about 3-4 hours a week, so I have some practice time. I wish I could do more, but with work and two kids, I'm lucky to squeeze in what I can!

My secret from getting more ice time in with work and two kids is to get one of them addicted also! More ice time, but of course it's a lot more expensive with 2! Have fun and good luck!
 

jf12

Final Flight
Joined
Dec 8, 2016
Will the coach have sort of a "plan" of skills to teach me, or will she expect me to tell her what to work on? Like should I prepare a list of things I want to work on?

Payment - I know I pay the coach directly for the lesson (which seems so awkward). Is there some kind of...protocol for this?!

Most coaches who take adults or kids who've just finished up LTS will focus on the first moves in the field test, and the first freestyle test. If you're doing USFSA adult track that'll be Pre-Bronze for both. Feel free to take a look at those tests online, and tell your coach whether testing is a goal for you. If it is, tell them, then it'll be very standard for your coach to devise a plan for you to get to those tests. If you're not interested in testing, then you'll probably have to get involved, discuss with your coach, and figure something out that's more individualized for you.

A previous poster mentioned a check to pay your coach, I use either cash or Venmo. I always pay directly after the lesson, not before, so I can adjust if they had to give me 10m less or can give me 10m more. Don't worry, it isn't at all awkward, everyone else does it!
 
Joined
Mar 2, 2018
Just as my two cents on being 'too much of a beginner' for lessons... I started private lessons after only a month of LTS. I was the only one in my Adult 1 class and thus should have gotten a lot of individual attention.... But my teacher was much younger than me, disorganized, had 0 idea of how to teach skills beyond "just do it like I did it". I was frustrated and struggling with practicing the next level up skills and not making progress. I got a private coach who I'd seen at LTS teaching the more advanced adults and doing a good job. On the first lesson he gave me one single tip and suddenly I could do forward one foot glides (which I had been struggling with on my own for weeks). A lot of his tips were like that--he'd put a new perspective on doing something and a move that wasn't clicking before suddenly clicked. So, personally, I don't think there's a point at which you can be too much of a beginner for lessons. I'm in Basic 4/5/6ish now (our class is a bit of a mishmash of levels), and my progress has been much much slower than yours... but it would have been even worse without private coaching!
 

adultskater18

Rinkside
Joined
Jan 15, 2019
My secret from getting more ice time in with work and two kids is to get one of them addicted also! More ice time, but of course it's a lot more expensive with 2! Have fun and good luck!

Maybe someday! Mine are still too little. A baby and a toddler.

Most coaches who take adults or kids who've just finished up LTS will focus on the first moves in the field test, and the first freestyle test. If you're doing USFSA adult track that'll be Pre-Bronze for both. Feel free to take a look at those tests online, and tell your coach whether testing is a goal for you. If it is, tell them, then it'll be very standard for your coach to devise a plan for you to get to those tests. If you're not interested in testing, then you'll probably have to get involved, discuss with your coach, and figure something out that's more individualized for you.

A previous poster mentioned a check to pay your coach, I use either cash or Venmo. I always pay directly after the lesson, not before, so I can adjust if they had to give me 10m less or can give me 10m more. Don't worry, it isn't at all awkward, everyone else does it!

Thanks so much! We talked for a few minutes before the lesson about various options - testing, adult competition, just learning for the fun of it, was there anything I want to focus on, etc. and it was super helpful. I paid her after the lesson and it was no big deal.

Just as my two cents on being 'too much of a beginner' for lessons... I started private lessons after only a month of LTS. I was the only one in my Adult 1 class and thus should have gotten a lot of individual attention.... But my teacher was much younger than me, disorganized, had 0 idea of how to teach skills beyond "just do it like I did it". I was frustrated and struggling with practicing the next level up skills and not making progress. I got a private coach who I'd seen at LTS teaching the more advanced adults and doing a good job. On the first lesson he gave me one single tip and suddenly I could do forward one foot glides (which I had been struggling with on my own for weeks). A lot of his tips were like that--he'd put a new perspective on doing something and a move that wasn't clicking before suddenly clicked. So, personally, I don't think there's a point at which you can be too much of a beginner for lessons. I'm in Basic 4/5/6ish now (our class is a bit of a mishmash of levels), and my progress has been much much slower than yours... but it would have been even worse without private coaching!

Thanks for the feedback! When I started the LTS class, our first few sessions were like what you described. Super young guy, oobviously a great skater, he wasn't a great teacher. The rest of the class, my new coach taught and it made such a huge difference. I have been lucky that I have run into some other more advanced adult skaters when I am practicing, and I learned a lot of skills that way (waltz jump, backward crossovers for instance).

Okay, so I had my lesson today and it was great! My coach talked to me for a while about various options I may want to pursue and I talked to her about my eventual interests/goals (ice dance). I am not at a testing level quite yet if I want to test, so for a while we are going to work on making sure my basic skills are up to snuff and working on some new stuff. She basically walked me through all my basic skills to assess where I was and she made some super helpful corrections/suggestions. We worked mostly on 3 turns and outside edges (so hard for me for some reason, ugh). And she taught me how to do a mohawk, which I still can't quite do, but I have something new to practice.
 

mskater93

Record Breaker
Joined
Oct 22, 2005
My coach and I do an annual planning and strategy session where we talk about goals for the next season and generally how we plan to approach programs, training, etc. I highly recommend to revisit your goals and plan annually at minimum as it keeps you focused if you are a goal oriented individual and you can see how far you’ve come
 

RoaringMice

On the Ice
Joined
Aug 1, 2003
I never took a group class at the beginning - I signed up for private lessons right from the start. No such thing as being too much of a beginner for private lessons.
 
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