Skating and coaching costs across the globe

NoviceFan

Triple Something-Triple Looping
Medalist
Joined
Sep 21, 2018
I'm not fighting against anything and for anything, just presenting facts, that for a country like Russia the system I've described is logical (and has undeniable results) and there is nothing to wonder about. Also, I'm not an American and never been there, so maybe my view is not correct, but from the general info about family and personal incomes (and maybe it is different particularly "where you are" from the rest) I would be very hesitant to say that charge 100 $ per hour for a kid is something that "in general terms, is not really a lot for lessons", at least when it comes to an "average family".

I am not wondering, ruminating, questioning or brooding about how Russian coaches get paid or whether they get a percentage of their students' income. As I stated earlier, coaches should command the kind of arrangement they deem fair and it is up to their students to agree or not. I only responded to your post, quoted below, which was in response to another poster who said that Brian does not get a percentage of Zhenya's [commercial] income.

On the other hand he collects 100+ bucks per hour.

The import being, and correct me if I misunderstood you, that though he does not get a percentage of Zhenya's [commercial] income, he is charging such a high rate that it sort of evens it out (meaning, it makes up for what he does not take from Zhenya's [commercial] income).
 

ramed

On the Ice
Joined
Dec 2, 2016
I live in the US, and can say that $100 is not a lot for lessons, kind of. I skate at a decent club and am a decent skater and my coaches charge about $60 an hour. I think this is typical for the average skater... by average I mean regional level, can do doubles/triples. Where I live, once a skater starts to get their doubles, they usually move to the top club to try to become an above average skater. This doesn't work out for 95% of these skaters, they always think they're better than they are and that with these top coaches and training facilities that they will become better overnight. Personally, I would've loved to have the opportunity to skate there, but my family couldn't afford it, in both the time and money sense. The coaches at these rinks are much more experienced and charge more because of it, as they should. I can't speak to exactly what they charge per hour, but I would put it between $60-$100 depending on the coach. When you look at it this way, if these pretty good coaches charge close to Orser and only teach average skaters, then it probably seems like what he is charging is cheap. But on the other hand, how much can he really charge and still have skaters at the end of the day. I know some discussion took place about skater's income, but long story short, these are middle class families who would not be able to afford him if he had a higher rate. He probably knows that. I think he probably enjoys his job and wants to continue to coach top level skaters, and I'm also sure that he make plenty of money. Think about how many hours he is coaching and do the math, $100 an hour is not unconscionable, it adds up to more than you think, especially when there's a lot more expenses invloved in skating then just lessons.
I think it was already discussed many times that FS in Russia is organized quite differently. The athletes who are considered promising get a kind of athletic scholarship, they don't pay for coaching. Same for those who have already established themselves as national team-worthy. Others usually have to pay more or less same way as the US or Canadian skaters. In this system, it's kind of natural that the athletes who don't pay for coaching are expected to share some part of their prize money with their coaches.
 

nussnacker

one and only
Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 16, 2019
Brain talked about 100$ per hour rate almost 10 years ago. Sure it’s different now.
Not that I care how much his students pay him, just wanted to make a correction.
And all of that’s off topic anyways.
 

colormyworld240

Medalist
Joined
Dec 9, 2017
While true the government doesn’t pay him anything and a salary of $208000 before taxes, likely closer to $150000 after taxes is not huge for a Canadian salary.

:eek:topic: I'm not sure where you even get this from. As a Canadian, 150k USD so ~200k CAD is huge for a Canadian salary after tax. The average income is 50k, with the top 5% making 180k (CAD) before tax. Everyone I went to school with who has an undergrad, masters, and PhD or some kind of professional degree don't make that much. I don't even know anyone personally who makes that much even before taxes. I've heard wages are much higher in the states, maybe that's true or maybe it's not. But that salary is certainly not attainable for most of the very educated Canadians.

As for whether $100 USD is a lot for lessons, I would say it is more than what the average family can support for their child. Things like music and dance lessons are on average $40 CAD/h. With more known teachers, the prices are higher. But if it's your passion, there are other ways to support yourselves and many teenagers get part-time jobs to help out.

That being said, it is a coaches' right to decide what price they charge for their services. There's nothing wrong with a high price tag; no one is forcing an athlete to pay that much. If an athlete wants a particular coach, it's not unfair that they have to pay the price, however much it is. At least in non state-funded sports, I'm not sure how it works in funded ones.
 

Ziotic

Medalist
Joined
Dec 23, 2016
:eek:topic: I'm not sure where you even get this from. As a Canadian, 150k USD so ~200k CAD is huge for a Canadian salary after tax. The average income is 50k, with the top 5% making 180k (CAD) before tax. Everyone I went to school with who has an undergrad, masters, and PhD or some kind of professional degree don't make that much. I don't even know anyone personally who makes that much even before taxes. I've heard wages are much higher in the states, maybe that's true or maybe it's not. But that salary is certainly not attainable for most of the very educated Canadians.

As for whether $100 USD is a lot for lessons, I would say it is more than what the average family can support for their child. Things like music and dance lessons are on average $40 CAD/h. With more known teachers, the prices are higher. But if it's your passion, there are other ways to support yourselves and many teenagers get part-time jobs to help out.

That being said, it is a coaches' right to decide what price they charge for their services. There's nothing wrong with a high price tag; no one is forcing an athlete to pay that much. If an athlete wants a particular coach, it's not unfair that they have to pay the price, however much it is. At least in non state-funded sports, I'm not sure how it works in funded ones.

I was using CAD to begin with. So it was $150K Canadian after taxes.

And while the average income is $50k that also include a lot of areas where the wage is just lower due to rural setting. I live and work in Ontario and myself and most of my friends, some with BA, Master, PhD and such make between 60k-100k.

Orser is an elite level coach and can absolutely demand a premium for his time so to me at least that salary seems reasonable.
 

Ziotic

Medalist
Joined
Dec 23, 2016
It's interesting how it works in Cricket Club, namely with Orser. If Zhenya pays him 100 dollars per hour, does it mean that during this hour he would work exclusively with her? I understand that Eteri works with groups, not like 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. Zagitova, 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. Trusova, 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. Kostornaya. If Medvedeva shares this hour with others than we are not talking about just 100 dollars as others have to pay as well.

In Canada you get private lessons. There are also group sessions and those are typically included in your rink fees! Others are on the ice during your private lesson, but you have the sole attention of your coach.
 

Finley

Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 19, 2014
Rafael Arutunian is a bargain at $50 an hour. Although he might have raised his rates to &60 by now.

Surprised that magazines like Forbes wouldn’t have their fact checkers making sure their figures were at least in the ballpark of accuracy.

Frank Carroll’s contract with Tim Goebel entitled him to a percentage of Tim Goebels earnings from shows etc. Tim was pretty pissed off abput this after a while.

Back to Russian ladies - let the season begin! Wishing health to all of them. And all of us.
 

macy

you should see her in a crown
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2011
Rafael Arutunian is a bargain at $50 an hour. Although he might have raised his rates to &60 by now.

Surprised that magazines like Forbes wouldn’t have their fact checkers making sure their figures were at least in the ballpark of accuracy.

Frank Carroll’s contract with Tim Goebel entitled him to a percentage of Tim Goebels earnings from shows etc. Tim was pretty pissed off abput this after a while.

Back to Russian ladies - let the season begin! Wishing health to all of them. And all of us.

are you serious? how do you know this? this is less than many low and average level coaches...
 

ruga

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 20, 2017
Rafael Arutunian is a bargain at $50 an hour. Although he might have raised his rates to &60 by now.
Is it for group lessons or individual time? If it's the latter, then it's truly strange. Many lower level coaches charge more than this for half an hour.

Russian ladies are indeed lucky to have almost all of their coaching expenses paid. I like the system of giving coaches percentage of winning. Not only it doesn't take away money from less talented students who barely have any achievements, but also motvates coaches to prepare their students and get better results.
 

Sugar Coated

Final Flight
Joined
Apr 20, 2018
I don’t think that $100 per hour is that unheard of for private lessons in general. Tutors, personal trainers, coaches, etc do charge in this range at least in my area. But in this case, people are usually only paying for 1 or 2 sessions per week. However, if you are someone who is buying multiple sessions per week they start to drop the price for package deals. The idea being its hard to find 40 people to consistently attend and pay and fit your schedule for a 40 hour work week. But having a guaranteed, reliable client for 5 hours a week is worth dropping the price considerably.

While it’s outrageous to pay 40-50k for a regular person to pay per year for training, I expect this is a reasonable cost for training elite athletes.
 

Ykai

On the Ice
Joined
Feb 6, 2019
Is it for group lessons or individual time? If it's the latter, then it's truly strange. Many lower level coaches charge more than this for half an hour.

Russian ladies are indeed lucky to have almost all of their coaching expenses paid. I like the system of giving coaches percentage of winning. Not only it doesn't take away money from less talented students who barely have any achievements, but also motvates coaches to prepare their students and get better results.

I also couldn't believe Rafael charge only $50 for an hour private lesson. The coaches at our rink charges between 60-90 per hour. In this case, we should move to Irvine :yes2:
 

Finley

Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 19, 2014
are you serious? how do you know this? this is less than many low and average level coaches...

I was wrong. It's per 20 minutes. Sorry for the misinformation. :( Obviously this is a lesson for me to do my own fact checking.

Yet another Rafael Arutyunyan interview: https://www.sportsdaily.ru/articles...a-ya-ne-gotovlyu-konkurentov-svoim-figuristam
Q: At the Pyeongchang Olympics, where Nathan Chen had an unsuccesful short program, he needed to take risks and include six jumps in the free program. Why was it necessary to do in Milan, where Nathan was comfortably leading after the first competitive day?
A: We do not look at the standings after the short! You need to make a progress no matter what. The coach's job is not to count the points needed for the victory. You need to teach your skater, watch him growing up and maturing.
Q: Do your athletes train to the point when they do difficult jumps automatically?
A: That’s the way it is now with Chen. With the exception of quad Salchow which is about 80% ready. Sometimes there are problems with the axel. All other jumps are 100% ready.
Q: Is the current generation of skaters doing multiple quads more talented than Evgeni Plushenko, Alexei Yagudin, your pupil Alexander Abt?
A: No. It’s just that now they are taught right technique from the young age. This is a very interesting point. Sometimes there are reports that there is a brand new wonder kid in this or that coach’s group. And I know that three months ago, he was skating in another coach’s group who taught him the necessary basics! I've been coaching Chen for seven years and I taught him every element.
Q: Is it a lucky chance to find a talented student?
A: In America, skaters usually find me. In Chen’s case, I even offered his first coach a collaboration, but she did not like that Nathan listened to me more. Although if we stayed in a tandem, then today we could share the joy for him winning the Worlds.
Q: In Russia, most coaches are dictatorial, and in America it is more of a partnership...
A: Partnership with an athlete is much more difficult. That’s what caused the situation with Chen at the Olympics (5th place finish). He himself spontaneously decided which elements to do in the short program and it led to the mistakes. I had a completely different plan, but Nathan insisted and finished 17th in the short program. I gave him the opportunity to make a mistake at the main competition of the season, but now Chen listens carefully to my recommendations.
Q: Today you are in high demand in America as a coach...
A: Not only in America. I had skaters from South Korea spending up to three months in California.
Q: Have you ever refused anyone who wanted to work with you?
A: Of course. Now I will have to say no to even more people. I believe that many skaters are going to want to train with me. At the same time, I teach them, then they go home and start competing with my skaters. Only Alexei Nikolayevich Mishin can coach skaters and then compete with them while he himself often has more talented skaters. And one word from Alexei Nikolayevich during the practice costs more than two thousand words from any other coach.
I want to reach the level when the skaters will sign contracts with me. Unfortunately, it does not happen often in our sport. People come, get something and leave any time without explaining the reason. We live in the Stone Age of sports management.
Q: Some Russian coaches working in America have built relationships with students on a contract basis...
A: I do not have such authority yet. Although I cannot say that the skaters fire me often . More often I had fired them.
Q: Maria Sotskova used to come to you to practice. Has she ever considered training in your group on a regular basis?
A: It will be difficult for Maria to change something in her training now, although she was satisfied with the results of our work together. She trained with Svetlana Panova then, and my wife and I are friends with her. I would never poach skaters from my friends. Back in Moscow, when Russian skaters asked me, I always said no in such cases.
Q: Have you ever regretted the decision to move from Moscow to California?
A: Never. In Moscow, I earned $200, and I needed at least a thousand to live. I went to America only because I needed money and I immediately started making decent money.
Q: In Russia, Olympic medalists get a bonus from the government. How does the US encourage champions?
A: There is no need for such things. Athletes and coaches in the US are self-sufficient and can monetize their victories skating in shows and getting endorsement deals and sponsor contracts. I'm paid $40 for a 20 minute lesson. Now, perhaps, I will start charging $50.
Q: In America, as well as in Russia, there are test skates, but the experts’ opinion is not shared publicly, only told to skaters and coaches.
A: In Russia, there are lots of comments after the test skates. In America, everyone likes everything. I even have to say: "Stop it!" The American specialists were shocked when I told the World silver medalist the truth about her program and performance. I just ask my students: do you want compliments or to skate well? They all take it normally.
 

jlmart

On the Ice
Joined
Jan 20, 2008
Country
Canada
Just wanted to point out that Canadian dollars and US dollars are not interchangeable. Can $100 is worth $75 US.
 

colormyworld240

Medalist
Joined
Dec 9, 2017
Is it for group lessons or individual time? If it's the latter, then it's truly strange. Many lower level coaches charge more than this for half an hour.

Russian ladies are indeed lucky to have almost all of their coaching expenses paid. I like the system of giving coaches percentage of winning. Not only it doesn't take away money from less talented students who barely have any achievements, but also motvates coaches to prepare their students and get better results.

I think this certainly contributes to why Russia has this huge talent pool of skaters where as other countries do not. It's nice that kids can pursue an elite skating career if they are hard working, without being limited by their family's financial backgrounds. At least to a certain extent; I do understand that it was quite difficult for Alina and Sima but in the end it was an option for both of them. But it seems the fed does not cover everything as Tarakanova was speaking publicly about how difficult it was for her family and that she has a lot more expenses that they cannot afford? Of course having the sport accessible to so many ups the internal competition and makes it near impossible to qualify for the national team.

Here, I believe it's much rarer to have children pursue a sport to that level. The expenses are huge and generally families, if they have that kind of money, would put it aside for a formal education that ensures a more financially stable future for their children. That's quite the mindset where I grew up.

I wonder which is better: giving everyone the opportunity to participate if they wish and thus increasing the competition so much that an individual has very little chance to make it out of the country, or having sports reserved for those who are willing to make the sacrifices financially (and have the means to do so) and nurturing the talent because they are less replaceable?
 

fabienne1996

Medalist
Joined
Nov 24, 2018
Country
Germany
I think Evgenia mostly has ice time with others and then some individually. I have seen her skating among others in Instagram videos. 100 dollars per hour for group skating seems bit insane so it is (was, because this price was mentioned 10 years ago) probably for individual lessons.
Read the i fo above. Apparently in Canada you get private lessons, while others may be on the ice with you,the coach works with you for that time.
 

moonvine

Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 14, 2007
Brian charges per hour and does not take a cut from Zhenya's income. Zhenya's former coaches were paid by the RusFed (same as everyone in Russia) and then takes a cut (I may be wrong, but was it around 30%? There was an Averbukh interview earlier this year, I think, where that was mentioned.). I do not see anything controversial about stating those things as they are.

In general terms, $100 per hour is not really a lot for lessons. Maybe there's someone here who takes lessons in Canada or in the U.S., who can shed light on the going rate. I pay for lessons (not figure skating) per hour, and its even more than that (the teacher (in his field) is not even of Brian Orser's caliber). Maybe in Europe, where you are in particular, $100 is exorbitant. In North America, at least where I am, that's not unconscionable.

Gracie charges $90 per hour. I am sure she does not keep it all and some goes to Iceworks. How much I don't know.
 

TallyT

Here for the High Lord of Extra
Record Breaker
Joined
Apr 23, 2018
Country
Australia
Brain talked about 100$ per hour rate almost 10 years ago. Sure it’s different now.
Not that I care how much his students pay him, just wanted to make a correction.

Given that Brian has 3 Olympic golds and a bronze, Javi's shiny European streak and a whole bunch of Worlds gold and silver on his training resume, I would think he could pretty much charge whatever he wanted to... we also don't know what the Chinese are paying him and Tracey for their work.
 

NoviceFan

Triple Something-Triple Looping
Medalist
Joined
Sep 21, 2018
Given that Brian has 3 Olympic golds and a bronze, Javi's shiny European streak and a whole bunch of Worlds gold and silver on his training resume, I would think he could pretty much charge whatever he wanted to... we also don't know what the Chinese are paying him and Tracey for their work.

And add to those, his very own Olympic, world and national medals, among others.
 

el henry

Fangirl of men’s spirals and split jumps
Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 3, 2014
Gracie charges $90 per hour. I am sure she does not keep it all and some goes to Iceworks. How much I don't know.

And Gracie, although an accomplished skater, is relatively new at coaching. One would think, under the North American system, coaches at the highest levels-- Brian, Rafael A., Frank Carroll when he was working -- would charge considerably more.
 
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