Skating and coaching costs across the globe

theblade

Rinkside
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Family with an American child (with option for second country citizenship), training in a Southern U.S. state. (All costs in USD.)

Cheapest coach: university student, former national competitor, $60/hr, going up to $70.

Older coach: semi-retired, lots of skating and coaching experience, excellent classic technique, $100/hr.

Some current coaches: former international competitors at Sr. level (some you'd know, some you wouldn't) $110 - $120 an hour.

We are in one of the most expensive areas to train in - perhaps the world - if you measure it by families paying for practically everything themselves. Few families that aren't rich or sponsored can do this long term in this area, without some sort of magic factor (kid who is so good they excel with limited lessons, work/trade of some sort, a break on coaching fees).
 

colormyworld240

Medalist
Joined
Dec 9, 2017
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.

Even if you didn't have any accomplishments, you can charge whatever you wanted to (in a non state-funded system) provided you can actually teach what you're advertising. That's your right. No one is forcing anyone to have them as a coach, that's the skater's choice.

I'm confused - are we discussing whether it's fair for Brian to charge $110 or whatever hourly or Eteri to take a percentage of their pupils' earnings? I don't see how this can be unfair. Surely a skater agrees with these terms beforehand and are not forced to skate with them....
 

el henry

Fangirl of men’s spirals and split jumps
Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 3, 2014
One of the best explanations I've read about the expenses for an elite skater came from Alex Krasnozhon in this July interview, originally in Russian.

Executive summary $40 to 50K a year (all costs).

https://translate.google.com/transl...ttp://sport.business-gazeta.ru/article/241703
(Google translate)

"Can you calculate the expenses for a year?
- I would forward this question to my dad. Still, I'm more focused on sports and learning. But I can calculate approximately.
Ice rental - conditional $ 600 per month.
The work of the trainer is 100 - 120 dollars per hour. I train twice a day.
Put the program - 2000 - 3000 dollars. This is for beginner choreographers.
Costume - 1500 - 2000 dollars on average.
Cutting music - 300 - 400 dollars.
OFP in the hall - $ 150 per week. More flights and hotels. International competitions are paid in full, but not domestic. As a result, about 40 - 50 thousand dollars per year runs. It happens a little more, it happens less.
- $ 400 for cutting music?
- Of course. Professional work costs money. Both in America and in Russia. It is difficult to find a professional in their field. You can’t just select a song, download it from the Internet and bring it to the judges on the disc."

I am assuming "trainers" are coaches. Alex trains in Dallas, so he is not with "big name" coaches, and presumably as with any other endeavor, you can negotiate a discount for more hours.

It's not cheap:drama:
 

NoviceFan

Triple Something-Triple Looping
Medalist
Joined
Sep 21, 2018
Even if you didn't have any accomplishments, you can charge whatever you wanted to (in a non state-funded system) provided you can actually teach what you're advertising. That's your right. No one is forcing anyone to have them as a coach, that's the skater's choice.

I'm confused - are we discussing whether it's fair for Brian to charge $110 or whatever hourly or Eteri to take a percentage of their pupils' earnings? I don't see how this can be unfair. Surely a skater agrees with these terms beforehand and are not forced to skate with them....

The discussion sort of evolved from whether Brian’s rate per hour was making up for what he has been foregoing in terms of not taking a cut from Zhenya’s commercial income, to a general discussion about the going rate for coaches.

I don’t think the propriety of certain coaches taking a percentage of their students commercial income was ever in question. There was a Frank C. interview, where he discussed this in passing (and how he didn’t put such a clause in Denis Ten’s training agreement, apparently because he didn’t foresee at that time that he was going be as successful as he became (something like that; it was a TLS interview, I think). So, that arrangement exists. Everyone’s free to sign up for an arrangement they think is appropriate for them (except in certain cases, obviously).
 

medoroa

On the Ice
Joined
Dec 30, 2017
Jumping off from your post, who knows what Brian charges? who knows how Eteri is paid? Who cares?

I think we should care in a general sense, or at least that American fans of American skaters should probably care, since this is a major factor in where US skating is today.

I don't know if Tutberidze gets a cut for shows, but as far as I'm aware Tutberidze is a public servant who receives a salary from her employer, which is the state. I assume since fewer and fewer Russian/former USSR coaches are relocating to North America in pursuit of better conditions, Tutberidze and other Russian coaches of her level get paid quite enough. And yet, students attend Sambo 70 for free. This might seem like paradise, but there is pressure there, since they need to perform well both athletically and academically to even be given this opportunity. In North America, if a parent is rich (or obsessed...) enough, anyone can get coached by the likes of Orser. In a sense, it's very easy for certain types of people to get top coaches; they just need to pay for it, rather that proving themselves good enough. This was probably quite okay at a time when the US had a large upper middle class and competitions could be won with a 3Lz+2T or 3A as the most difficult jump, but probably not today. I'm not saying not-that-well-off people could never make it, since we've seen time and time again that they have, but the chances are skewed. The US skaters are also working very hard, obviously, and I'm not going to diminish that, but the playing field is not level.

Japan is probably somewhere in the middle, since they don't have state-supported skating as such, but as a country it has a tradition of companies "hiring" athletes to play sport, and corporate sponsorships are not reserved only for the upper echelons. Also, Japanese skaters have been established as potential TV personalities in the last few decades.
 

medoroa

On the Ice
Joined
Dec 30, 2017
Everyone’s free to sign up for an arrangement they think is appropriate for them (except in certain cases, obviously).

This is a very American stance to take, but just because you signed a contract of your own volition doesn't mean the contract can't be exploitative.

Timothy Goebel talked a bit about Frank Carroll's terms in his TSL interview too. He wasn't satisfied with Carroll's contract (although obviously he signed it!) mostly because skating is such a small sport that if you ever want to have a dream of making it big, your hand is forced to sign contracts even if they might be exploitative. I don't actually think you can argue that effective (free) competition exists in elite skating in North America. The choices are too narrow, it's an oligopoly.
 

el henry

Fangirl of men’s spirals and split jumps
Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 3, 2014
I think we should care in a general sense, or at least that American fans of American skaters should probably care, since this is a major factor in where US skating is today.

I don't know if Tutberidze gets a cut for shows, but as far as I'm aware Tutberidze is a public servant who receives a salary from her employer, which is the state. I assume since fewer and fewer Russian/former USSR coaches are relocating to North America in pursuit of better conditions, Tutberidze and other Russian coaches of her level get paid quite enough. And yet, students attend Sambo 70 for free. This might seem like paradise, but there is pressure there, since they need to perform well both athletically and academically to even be given this opportunity. In North America, if a parent is rich (or obsessed...) enough, anyone can get coached by the likes of Orser. In a sense, it's very easy for certain types of people to get top coaches; they just need to pay for it, rather that proving themselves good enough. This was probably quite okay at a time when the US had a large upper middle class and competitions could be won with a 3Lz+2T or 3A as the most difficult jump, but probably not today. I'm not saying not-that-well-off people could never make it, since we've seen time and time again that they have, but the chances are skewed. The US skaters are also working very hard, obviously, and I'm not going to diminish that, but the playing field is not level.

Japan is probably somewhere in the middle, since they don't have state-supported skating as such, but as a country it has a tradition of companies "hiring" athletes to play sport, and corporate sponsorships are not reserved only for the upper echelons. Also, Japanese skaters have been established as potential TV personalities in the last few decades.

I absolutely agree that the method of paying coaches in the US limits the field of students available to those who can afford it or those willing to make great sacrifices. And some folks do not even have the means for sacrifices: you can’t cash out the IRA if you don’t have one, you can’t mortgage a house you don’t have, you can’t work overtime if you don’t have a job.

This affects US success in figure skating, IMHO, because some families simply won’t make those sacrifices and who can blame them? That is yet another thread:biggrin:

The original “who cares” was not directed to that broad issue, but to Eteri and Brian personally. It’s not our business, IMHO, exactly how much they make. It says nothing about either coach as a coach.
 

nussnacker

one and only
Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 16, 2019
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.

100%! He should and I'm sure he does just that. :agree:
So I don't see why some try to insist that his income "isn't that big in NA/Canada for a coach" and he doesn't charge "as much" as if he only charges 100$ from all his students, c'mon people.
I'm sure he knows his worth and even if he doesn't take the cut of earnings, he's earning the amount a star top coach of his level would earn anyways.
Why there's this idea of not taking the cut being better for the student costs wise and somehow being an act of kindness from the coach's side? Brian's not some good samaritan that refuses taking a cut of earnings out of sheer humbleness, I'm sure it's compensated well enough by his per hour rate.
 
Joined
Mar 7, 2015
I have not read all the posts but wanted to share that my coach in upstate New York, who is not a nationally known coach, charges $40 per 15 minutes. In comparison, Brian charging $100 per hour is unbelievably cheap.
 

NoviceFan

Triple Something-Triple Looping
Medalist
Joined
Sep 21, 2018
... just because you signed a contract of your own volition doesn't mean the contract can't be exploitative.

:agree: 100%

I don't know of any contract that does not have the potential to be exploitative. (I generally think about this every time I pay for a plane ticket :disapp:)
 

moonvine

Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 14, 2007
In North America, if a parent is rich (or obsessed...) enough, anyone can get coached by the likes of Orser. In a sense, it's very easy for certain types of people to get top coaches; they just need to pay for it, rather that proving themselves good enough.

I thought one had to try out for Orser; that he would not take just anyone. I recall something about Jason having to audition.
 

el henry

Fangirl of men’s spirals and split jumps
Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 3, 2014
I thought one had to try out for Orser; that he would not take just anyone. I recall something about Jason having to audition.

I missed this part of the OP, you are absolutely right. Money alone will not get you coached by “the likes of Orser”, Jason did try out and in fact was accepted at Tracy’s insistence.

I would think (but have no knowledge) that the same is true for other “big name” North American coaches, such as Raf or in the past, Frank Carroll.

Kind of like an expensive selective college: first you get in, then you figure out how to pay for it:biggrin:
 

nussnacker

one and only
Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 16, 2019
I have not read all the posts but wanted to share that my coach in upstate New York, who is not a nationally known coach, charges $40 per 15 minutes. In comparison, Brian charging $100 per hour is unbelievably cheap.

It was like that 10 years ago. I'm sure it's not the same now. Yannow, inflation and stuff ;)
 

DanseMacabre

Final Flight
Joined
May 27, 2018
Country
Iceland
I have not read all the posts but wanted to share that my coach in upstate New York, who is not a nationally known coach, charges $40 per 15 minutes. In comparison, Brian charging $100 per hour is unbelievably cheap.

Yup. My current coach in New York City charges $60 for 30 minutes and that's average around here. He's a wonderful coach but he personally never came close to the Olympics or to sending any of his students to the Olympics. Orser's rate, even considering inflation, is a downright bargain when you factor in his own pedigree and the success he's had with his students.

It costs me $10-15 just to get on the ice during a public skate at most of the rinks near me. Freestyle sessions at the rink I skate at most are $35 for 80 minutes and that's just to get on the ice. It doesn't include any kind of coaching fees.

This sport is often prohibitively expensive around here.
 

Harriet

Record Breaker
Joined
Oct 23, 2017
Country
Australia
In the case of Orser specifically, it might be worth remembering that he's also the director of the TCS&CC's skating program, which may mean he's a salaried employee of the Club. That might be a factor enabling him to keep his hourly rates lower than they might otherwise be.

Here in the driest state of the driest continent, an hour of ice time and skate hire if needed at the only rink in the entire skate costs $20 for an adult. Factor in the costs of transport (it's a large city in a very, very large state, public transport is poorly laid out and petrol costs an arm and a leg most of the time) and coaching, which is separate from just ice access, and before you've even got on the ice that one hour could end up costing closer to $120 than $20, depending on where you come from. Even student/concession ice time is $18 per hour, and under 15s pay $13 if they have their own skates. If you want to travel even interstate to compete you're looking at several hundred dollars, and overseas? A good few thousand per trip, plus, as Tilly Friend just pointed out, you need to factor a roughly forty-hour travel period each way into each trip, which is time you can't spend on earning money to support your or your kid's skating.
 

eaglehelang

Final Flight
Joined
Sep 15, 2017
For purposes of this discussion, I think this is the most recent info out there on Brian's rate

"In 2010, Orser told me his rate was $110 per hour; he declined to reveal the current rate, saying, it “has gone up, but not much.”

5/9/2018 - http://www.globetrottingbyphilipher...kating-olympics-russia-canada-orser-medvedeva
Yes, it was USD110/hour when Orser was training Yuna Kim in 2010.
It is reported Rafael's fees were/are USD50 for 20 min, which comes to USD150/hr.
Frank Carroll was USD180/hr?

Orser's standard rate can be anything from USD150/hr to USD200/hr for one on one.
 

eaglehelang

Final Flight
Joined
Sep 15, 2017
In North America, if a parent is rich (or obsessed...) enough, anyone can get coached by the likes of Orser. In a sense, it's very easy for certain types of people to get top coaches; they just need to pay for it, rather that proving themselves good enough.
Orser does not take in any Tom, Dick, Harry, Jane Doe who can pay. I've heard one or 2 interviews on TSL with a coach who is a friend of Orser.

Many students apply, Brian Orser & Tracy Wilson pick the cream of the crop. They have the luxury to do so.
Orser normally doesnt take in students who 1) dont have a quad(unless young junior) 2) too old, as in above 21 cos then it's harder to unlearn the old stuff.
Both Javier & Yuzuru already had quads when they switched to TCC. Boyang Jin, another multiple quadster was supposed to go too.

Hence the surprise when Jason Brown went to TCC. True enuf, at first Orser didnt want to take on Jason. It was Tracy who insisted.
 

Ic3Rabbit

Le professionnel d'élite
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Canada
Orser does not take in any Tom, Dick, Harry, Jane Doe who can pay. I've heard one or 2 interviews on TSL with a coach who is a friend of Orser.

Many students apply, Brian Orser & Tracy Wilson pick the cream of the crop. They have the luxury to do so.
Orser normally doesnt take in students who 1) dont have a quad(unless young junior) 2) too old, as in above 21 cos then it's harder to unlearn the old stuff.
Both Javier & Yuzuru already had quads when they switched to TCC. Boyang Jin, another multiple quadster was supposed to go too.

Hence the surprise when Jason Brown went to TCC. True enuf, at first Orser didnt want to take on Jason. It was Tracy who insisted.

Exactly. Frank Carroll was the same way, he did not want to take on Evan Lysacek at first. Evan convinced him he would work hard, and Frank said okay, but had him working with a co-coach (Ken Congemi) on his team from 2003-2006/07.

Top coaches do not just take anyone on because they can pay. You have to earn it in this sport.
 

nussnacker

one and only
Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 16, 2019
Orser does not take in any Tom, Dick, Harry, Jane Doe who can pay. I've heard one or 2 interviews on TSL with a coach who is a friend of Orser.

Many students apply, Brian Orser & Tracy Wilson pick the cream of the crop. They have the luxury to do so.
Orser normally doesnt take in students who 1) dont have a quad(unless young junior) 2) too old, as in above 21 cos then it's harder to unlearn the old stuff.
Both Javier & Yuzuru already had quads when they switched to TCC. Boyang Jin, another multiple quadster was supposed to go too.

Hence the surprise when Jason Brown went to TCC. True enuf, at first Orser didnt want to take on Jason. It was Tracy who insisted.

Would he take a junior who doesn’t have all triples at 13 and only 3t-2t as her best combo?
 
Top