How to get the most out of group lessons as an adult skater

christy

Rinkside
Joined
Jun 17, 2014
Our club have decided to make the adult freestyle session group coaching only, so they have a large group of very mixed abilities who will be grouped together for 10 minute lessons with a coach. Now I'll admit that I don't view this as positive because everything I ever read recommends that skaters move from group lessons to privates to progress, but as I have no choice in the matter I'd really appreciate suggestions on how to get the most out of a 10 minute session with 2 or 3 other skaters who are at (hopefully) a similar level to me.
 

sandraskates

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 31, 2006
Country
United-States
Do you know how they are going to separate levels?

My old rink had a 2 hour coffee club. At one point, all skaters would break into groups for a 1/2 hour group lesson.
There were 4 groups: from rock bottom beginner to intermediates to high-level that would work on some very intricate footwork and edges. You were not assigned to a group; you went to what you felt was appropriate for you level or what you wanted to work on that day.
Hopefully you'll be able to do that too.

While it may not be what you want (and I totally understand), listen to the instruction and try whatever is being taught. You may end up being surprisingly challenged! I would not expect there to be any continuity from week-to-week though.
 

tinna

Spectator
Joined
Dec 15, 2018
Hi,
I don't know if my experience is of any relevance here... but I have only ever skated on group lessons. I am in France and here that is the norm. I skate with an adult group as well as an intermediate level group with kids and teenagers (myself being the only adult of the group).
So far I have progressed well. I am starting my third year next week and I am working on my axel and double-salchow, and combination spins. I am 42-years-old and started when I was forty.

What I find makes the difference is not to be afraid of asking questions. I ask very specific questions if I don't understand something. Also as I know what we will be working on, I try to make the most of the time that the coach has her eyes on me, and really prepare for it. I have had continuity with the coaching from week to week, but I am also requesting it by reminding my coach what problems I had last time and what we did.

But most of all, I find that I learn a LOT from watching other skaters being coached. I am learning just by watching and seeing their mistakes and listening to the corrections and advice and seeing the progress. This is a clear upside to group lessons.

And, I have made some really good friends. I hope it works out well for you.
 

christy

Rinkside
Joined
Jun 17, 2014
Do you know how they are going to separate levels?

My old rink had a 2 hour coffee club. At one point, all skaters would break into groups for a 1/2 hour group lesson.
There were 4 groups: from rock bottom beginner to intermediates to high-level that would work on some very intricate footwork and edges. You were not assigned to a group; you went to what you felt was appropriate for you level or what you wanted to work on that day.
Hopefully you'll be able to do that too.

While it may not be what you want (and I totally understand), listen to the instruction and try whatever is being taught. You may end up being surprisingly challenged! I would not expect there to be any continuity from week-to-week though.

That sounds like a really good way of organizing lessons, and would be really great, however that's not what will happen. There won't be any planned groups and we won't have any choice. The majority of the skaters are much higher level so they'll get the more experienced coach. From experience of a similar session at a different rink the lower level coach will skate up to one person, chat to them then invite a few other people to join them then ask what they want to work on then after some debate and with about 5 minutes left the coach will demo something and leave people to practice.
 

christy

Rinkside
Joined
Jun 17, 2014
Hi,
I don't know if my experience is of any relevance here... but I have only ever skated on group lessons. I am in France and here that is the norm. I skate with an adult group as well as an intermediate level group with kids and teenagers (myself being the only adult of the group).
So far I have progressed well. I am starting my third year next week and I am working on my axel and double-salchow, and combination spins. I am 42-years-old and started when I was forty.

What I find makes the difference is not to be afraid of asking questions. I ask very specific questions if I don't understand something. Also as I know what we will be working on, I try to make the most of the time that the coach has her eyes on me, and really prepare for it. I have had continuity with the coaching from week to week, but I am also requesting it by reminding my coach what problems I had last time and what we did.

But most of all, I find that I learn a LOT from watching other skaters being coached. I am learning just by watching and seeing their mistakes and listening to the corrections and advice and seeing the progress. This is a clear upside to group lessons.

And, I have made some really good friends. I hope it works out well for you.

Well done. You've made great progress. Can I ask how long do your lessons last, and how many people are in the groups? From what I've been told we'll have groups of 2-4 people and have 10 minutes at most but that will include time to get people together, then debate what they want to work on as there won't be a plan, so the opportunity to have the coach watch all of us and provide feedback will be very limited, as will the opportunity to ask questions.

Oh, and some weeks some people won't get a lesson because the coach will forgot to include them in a group. I know it sounds really negative, but I saw how it operated at the other rink, and heard a lot of complaints from people there.
 

gkelly

Record Breaker
Joined
Jul 26, 2003
Can you try to get together in advance to find skaters at your level who want to work on similar skills, so you can approach the coach together (or come together immediately when the coach is ready to teach) and get started immediately on the actual instruction?
 

christy

Rinkside
Joined
Jun 17, 2014
Can you try to get together in advance to find skaters at your level who want to work on similar skills, so you can approach the coach together (or come together immediately when the coach is ready to teach) and get started immediately on the actual instruction?

We won't have an allocated time slot within the session, as it will just be when the coach spots one person, and then they'll randomly pull a few similar level people together so the groups will vary by week too. We also may have different coaches and they don't know all of the skaters which means some people will be overlooked some weeks. There won't be any organization at all.
 

gkelly

Record Breaker
Joined
Jul 26, 2003
Before you give them any money beyond the cost of ice time, ask them specifically to have a plan and a schedule. Refuse to pay extra for something they cannot promise to provide, but let them know you will be happy to pay for something more organized.
 

christy

Rinkside
Joined
Jun 17, 2014
Before you give them any money beyond the cost of ice time, ask them specifically to have a plan and a schedule. Refuse to pay extra for something they cannot promise to provide, but let them know you will be happy to pay for something more organized.

There's no option to just pay for ice time. It's basically you pay for the session which supposedly includes coaching, or you don't do the session, and there are very few options for getting ice time. I'd really like to get some coaching as I develop bad habits when not coached, and I'd like to try to get the most out of the sessions but I'm thinking I'll just have to treat it as over-priced ice time and if I do get any coaching it's a bonus, and I'll try to make the most of the opportunities if they do happen.
 

sandraskates

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 31, 2006
Country
United-States
There's no option to just pay for ice time. It's basically you pay for the session which supposedly includes coaching, or you don't do the session, and there are very few options for getting ice time. I'd really like to get some coaching as I develop bad habits when not coached, and I'd like to try to get the most out of the sessions but I'm thinking I'll just have to treat it as over-priced ice time and if I do get any coaching it's a bonus, and I'll try to make the most of the opportunities if they do happen.


christy - I think you are taking a good attitude. Perhaps if it becomes organized enough you'll even get some extra coaching from a good coach that might normally not be available to you. I hope so.
Good luck and let us know how it turns out!
 

christy

Rinkside
Joined
Jun 17, 2014
christy - I think you are taking a good attitude. Perhaps if it becomes organized enough you'll even get some extra coaching from a good coach that might normally not be available to you. I hope so.
Good luck and let us know how it turns out!

Thank you. I feel like I'm moaning, but I'm just trying to set the scene as it seems very different to the set up in other areas. I really do appreciate that we can skate at the moment, and want to make the most of the limited ice time so appreciate all the information. I'm planning to try to ask questions but when time is so limited it feels wrong. Oh well, maybe I'll ask and hope the others don't complain. What's that saying about better to try and ask forgiveness than not try??
 

hanyuufan5

❅*:・。.✨
Medalist
Joined
May 19, 2018
Can you go to a non-adult session that's better suited for and more specific to your level?
 

christy

Rinkside
Joined
Jun 17, 2014
Can you go to a non-adult session that's better suited for and more specific to your level?

Currently it isn't an option as the non-adult sessions are oversubscribed / waitlisted. If the option was available I'd actually prefer it.
 

tinna

Spectator
Joined
Dec 15, 2018
Well done. You've made great progress. Can I ask how long do your lessons last, and how many people are in the groups? From what I've been told we'll have groups of 2-4 people and have 10 minutes at most but that will include time to get people together, then debate what they want to work on as there won't be a plan, so the opportunity to have the coach watch all of us and provide feedback will be very limited, as will the opportunity to ask questions.

Oh, and some weeks some people won't get a lesson because the coach will forgot to include them in a group. I know it sounds really negative, but I saw how it operated at the other rink, and heard a lot of complaints from people there.

My training session are 1h 45 minutes with the other adults per week, we are about 10 people there, and then two hours with the kids / teenagers, also about 10 to 12 people there.

I agree that 10 minutes sounds very very little time to have. I hope you find a way to make this work!

And definitely stay on the waiting list for the group lessons with the kids, I find those really helpful and preferable in so many ways and it only took a few weeks to get over the "I am too old to be here" vibe and now I am just totally enjoying myself.
 

christy

Rinkside
Joined
Jun 17, 2014
My training session are 1h 45 minutes with the other adults per week, we are about 10 people there, and then two hours with the kids / teenagers, also about 10 to 12 people there.

I agree that 10 minutes sounds very very little time to have. I hope you find a way to make this work!

And definitely stay on the waiting list for the group lessons with the kids, I find those really helpful and preferable in so many ways and it only took a few weeks to get over the "I am too old to be here" vibe and now I am just totally enjoying myself.

Oh wow, that would be amazing. I'm really hoping I can skate with the kids at some point as I think that would work so much better. I've done that in the past so I'm ok with being the oldest one there :)
 

Nimyue

On the Ice
Joined
May 15, 2018
Definitely get on the wait-list! You must have a very busy club, which is good.

If you're on the wait-list so you can get private lessons, you can at least use these sessions to test coaches. So while you're waiting, pay attention to which coach speaks to you best. There are many different ways to say the same thing, and if you find a coach that you understand and take direction from best, you can keep that in mind and try to book with them if your wait-list pops!
 

christy

Rinkside
Joined
Jun 17, 2014
Definitely get on the wait-list! You must have a very busy club, which is good.

If you're on the wait-list so you can get private lessons, you can at least use these sessions to test coaches. So while you're waiting, pay attention to which coach speaks to you best. There are many different ways to say the same thing, and if you find a coach that you understand and take direction from best, you can keep that in mind and try to book with them if your wait-list pops!

I'm not waitlisted for private lessons, just a kids session. I know all of the coach options and there are 2 I would like but they aren't options on either the adult or kids sessions. For the group adult sessions I know the coaches we'll get allocated and I've tried lessons with them before. I had real problems understanding them because they just show you something once then expect you to get it, no explanations :frown: and if you ask questions they don't seem to know how to explain. I've asked them about arms, H position, etc. and they just look blank.
 
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