Skating and coaching costs across the globe

WednesdayMarch

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Country
United-Kingdom
I'm in the UK, but in my experience, it's usually the most talented and dedicated skaters who can't actually pay for the coaching they need. Back when I was started coaching (late 1990s), it quickly became apparent to me that as a career, I'd chosen the fastest, most exhausting way to the workhouse. Aside from the crippling skating association fees for membership and "continuing professional development" (which seemed to involve photocopying pages from a folder containing the same things you'd learned at the start, however many years ago and just paying hundreds of pounds more per year for pretty much nothing), I soon realised that the most talented skaters simply couldn't pay for all the coaching and ice time they needed. Even if they found a way to pay for the ice time, I would literally have to give them hours of my own time for free in order to do justice to their talent and dedication. I was working ridiculous hours - including other, off-ice jobs - in order to pay my mortgage and living expenses. Back then, the only way to earn a living wage through coaching was to take on pretty much every skater who could pay and simply coach as many private lessons as you could fit in. Talented skaters had to be able to pay for every minute of that. Had there been an option to sign contracts for an attachment of future earnings, I think plenty of coaches would have been very interested but it would have taken a fair period of semi-starvation before any money came through from it! And it's also dicey, when you consider the risk factors, ie injury, total disillusionment on the part of the skater leading to them giving up skating, etc.

Having returned to the sport after nearly 20 years out post catastrophic injury, I now find that coaching at my local rink costs £52 an hour, which is paid directly to the rink rather than the coach. Of this, the coach receives half; £26 an hour. They also have to pay all their own insurance and association fees. There is only one coach who actually coaches as her full-time occupation and she says she can only do that because she is single and lives very, very frugally. All the others - ex-national champions included - have other careers in order to support themselves. I don't know any with contracts dealing with future earnings of their students but I can certainly see why it happens in the case of the top level skaters and coaches. I wouldn't begrudge the coaches a penny of it, either!
 

eaglehelang

Final Flight
Joined
Sep 15, 2017
Would he take a junior who doesn’t have all triples at 13 and only 3t-2t as her best combo?
Female is different cos now only they are starting the quad craze.
Orser only really had Yuna Kim. To a lesser extent Elizabet from Kazakhstan.
The new girl who switched country from Russia to Poland have jumped quads in training I think.

Word is Ensoo Lim wanted to go to TCC 1st(from Ensoo's fan fest) but Orser said no. So, she ended up with Rafael. Now back in Korea.

Anyway, the TSL interview with Orser's friend(found his name : Doug Haw) focuses on male skaters cos the hosts were discussing new students after 2018 Olympics and possibility of Jason going TCC.
 

Arwen17

On the Ice
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Ah man, all of these high prices terrify me and make me never want to move anywhere else. I live in a small town, but which happens to have a very nice ice rink, just because we have a ton of hockey activity. Despite the size of the town, we have 2 great sheets of ice open year-round.
Other cities nearby of similar size only have 1 sheet of ice in a crappy facility, so I know we’ve got something better than our city size would suggest.

Our coaching rate is $40/hr. We have plenty of girls who do doubles, but usually only one girl ever good enough who is working on double axel and triple salchow in the harness. Our coaches certainly have the knowledge to teach triples, but if we have the rare student who wants to go to that level, they always move away to a more competitive environment in a big city.

Our coaching rate has been as low as $30/hr in the past, probably due to the recession. But other that than, it has maintained very, very steady at $40/hr for 20 years, ever since the first ice rink was built here.
Our junior coaches, who only teach basics, usually charge around $25-$30/hr and then the LTS kid moves to a $40/hr coach when they’re ready to work on more than just LTS stuff.
Of course, the LTS kid can choose to go directly to a $40/hr coach from Day One of skating, but we have that “discount” path for parents looking to save money in the early days of training.
The median income of this town is around 35k at best, so if you make 50k or higher, you’re “well off”’ in this place. From talking to the parents about what jobs they do, most of those paying for private lessons are definitely making about 50k-80k in their jobs. If you want to make more than 80k, then you would either have to be at the top of a very successful company in this area, or move to a big city for a better job.

Even though I know income is higher in big cities, rent and food etc is also higher. So I’m kinda terrified how I would ever afford lessons if I ever moved, even if I did have a higher income from a big city job. Plus all of the traffic. Currently, I’m only 20min from work, and only 15min from the ice rink, whether I’m coming from home or work. The ballet studio is only 5min from the ice rink. I can’t imagine a better setup in a big city where jobs and rinks are far away with lots of traffic.

Because lesson prices are so low here, many kids have almost daily 20min lessons.
And our coaches aren’t even coaching full time. They just do it for a few hours in the afternoon after working their full time real job.
 

el henry

Fangirl of men’s spirals and split jumps
Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 3, 2014
Would he take a junior who doesn’t have all triples at 13 and only 3t-2t as her best combo?

Impossible to answer about any coach in the abstract:biggrin:

The point is, as with any “top” coach, Brian can pick and choose, and he does. :) But it’s simply not a matter of checking pre-determined boxes, or else Jason would not be at TCC. Any coach presumably evaluates skaters as individuals, and proceeds accordingly.

However they get paid. :biggrin:
 

theblade

Rinkside
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
The "skating training culture gap" in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. (post #62), versus some other countries is real. Things I've noted: lack of separate ice for singles/pairs/dance during critical mass training periods like hockey tournaments and summer; lack of in-rink off-ice facilities; and the privatization of every bit of on-or-off ice training, (ie. every on-or-off-ice instructor is a separate group or private lesson fee).

This works against skating families trying to get their Juvenile-to-Novice skaters over the skills acquisition hump needed to compete as Juniors and Seniors. The technical bar is so much higher now that this issue can't be ignored - but is, unless you have money or sponsorship. So many families drop out once they get a real understanding of the economic reality.
 

TallyT

Here for the High Lord of Extra
Record Breaker
Joined
Apr 23, 2018
Country
Australia
The technical bar is so much higher now that this issue can't be ignored - but is, unless you have money or sponsorship.

Which is another question. Leaving aside the very very top few who we know make decent to good to amazing money from sponsorship (of the active skaters, Shoma, Nathan, Alina, Evgenia, Virtue/Moir, and of course Yuzuru would be the biggest draws I assume) how hard is it to get even at a high level, let alone as you work your way up? Especially if, as Yuzuru, Javier, Eunsoo and quite a few others did and do, they travel not only to skate, but halfway round the world to train?

You not only have to be talented these days, you need to be marketable and able to market yourself (Javi always seemed to me to be very good at that, and also - as Spain's face of skating - could and does create/control his ice shows as I read somewhere. And I really honestly think had Gracie, the perfect US ice princess in the making, managed to deliver she well might have surpassed all but Yuzu, Mao and Yuna.)

One of the reasons they are nearly all ubiquitous on social media is that it is a way to do this if you are ambitious and charismatic and not very flush with funds.

If it's not being too nosy, who apart from the above superstars, do we know has sizeable sponsorships? What do you think - apart from medals or the promise of medals - gets companies interested and makes a rising/top skater appealing to customers? How could skaters, the Federations and the ISU drum up more interest in sponsorship/advertising?
 

elliana

Rinkside
Joined
Jul 31, 2019
Do you also have to pay for your coach to attend all of the competitions? (hotel & air & additional coaching fees)? Seems really expensive!
 

Ykai

On the Ice
Joined
Feb 6, 2019
Do you also have to pay for your coach to attend all of the competitions? (hotel & air & additional coaching fees)? Seems really expensive!

Yes, but usually these expenses are split between the number of skaters under the same coach(es). It’s very expensive even from the very beginning.
 

bunnybarista

If I risk it all, could you break my fall?~
On the Ice
Joined
May 27, 2018
Just chiming in to say that at my rink in the Midwest, the cheapest coach is $60/hour and it only goes up from there. None of them are "big names" on the level of Brian Orser, though one of them is a former Olympian! He is actually one of the cheaper coaches. Skating is an expensive sport, but I think the prices are justified for the hard work that coaches put in!
 

Ziotic

Medalist
Joined
Dec 23, 2016
Which is another question. Leaving aside the very very top few who we know make decent to good to amazing money from sponsorship (of the active skaters, Shoma, Nathan, Alina, Evgenia, Virtue/Moir, and of course Yuzuru would be the biggest draws I assume) how hard is it to get even at a high level, let alone as you work your way up? Especially if, as Yuzuru, Javier, Eunsoo and quite a few others did and do, they travel not only to skate, but halfway round the world to train?

You not only have to be talented these days, you need to be marketable and able to market yourself (Javi always seemed to me to be very good at that, and also - as Spain's face of skating - could and does create/control his ice shows as I read somewhere. And I really honestly think had Gracie, the perfect US ice princess in the making, managed to deliver she well might have surpassed all but Yuzu, Mao and Yuna.)

One of the reasons they are nearly all ubiquitous on social media is that it is a way to do this if you are ambitious and charismatic and not very flush with funds.

If it's not being too nosy, who apart from the above superstars, do we know has sizeable sponsorships? What do you think - apart from medals or the promise of medals - gets companies interested and makes a rising/top skater appealing to customers? How could skaters, the Federations and the ISU drum up more interest in sponsorship/advertising?

I’m sure Adam Rippon makes good money from his sponsorships as is Ashely Wagner likely.

I think Patrick and Kaetlyn also do not bad.
 
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