What to look for in a coach | Golden Skate

What to look for in a coach

3dgy

Spectator
Joined
Sep 15, 2021
Hi, so I’m an adult beginner (22 yrs).
i just started private lessons this week. I’ve never had lessons before, because of that I don’t have any prior experience to select a coach that can work for me. So the rink just set me up with a coach that’s currently available.

My coach looks kinda experienced like he’s in his early 50s and he really wants me to get my basics right. He won’t let me do crossovers if i dont get my stroking and swizzles perfect with the right amount of knee bend, power, and tempo.

During my lessons sometimes i look over what the other (younger) coach and students are doing. They cover sooo many things in one lesson. One coach was teaching backward crossovers to a girl who only does a half ass stroking, free not extended fully, dropping in an instant, not enough knee bend (this might be me nitpicking due to jealousy)…. I know for sure if this was my coach he won’t let it slide.

What I’m wondering is do you really have to get the basics absolutely perfect in the beginning or you can just work on it as you go. Because i know some people can do that. I might feel a little bit impatient and want to progress really quickly because private lessons cost a lot of money and I’m funding myself :/ do i need to find a coach who’s more lenient or stay with my strict coach?
 

WednesdayMarch

Final Flight
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Country
United-Kingdom
Look at the other skaters who work with your current coach. Do they skate the way you'd like to skate? If so, there's your answer.

Personally, I put great store on getting the basics right to start with rather than having to spend so much time ironing out problems later. I spend a lot of time teaching the basics of proper forward stroking to people who think they can skate but can't work out why "things aren't working". I love the look on their faces when it clicks but would really rather have that moment a lot earlier in the journey! It's really frustrating to have to take somebody right back to basic skating when they were under the (mistaken) impression that they were "way beyond that stage". That being said, basics should be worked on every time you skate.

Talk to your coach about what you'd like to learn and when you can expect to do it. Coaching is very much a two-way thing. You need to work together.
 

Vicki7

Rinkside
Joined
Aug 27, 2018
Think of your skating journey as building a house. If the foundations aren't solid, the house will fall down. It's far better to take the time to build solid basics than have to go back later and possibly try and correct bad habits.

As someone who's having to do exactly that with inside 3 turns (my nemesis and the most unnatural feeling thing in skating for me) I can assure you it's not fun and I wish I'd been taught properly and made to get them right (previous coach - my current coach is the most patient man in the world and says we'll get there eventually). Because those basics aren't there, I'm "stuck" when it comes to more difficult elements.

But a coach/skater relationship is a partnership and it's absolutely OK to talk about what you'd like to learn, set some goals and get an idea of the progression path your coach has you on right now. As WednesdayMarch says, look at your coach's other skaters - if they skate the way you'd like to, stick with it, have some conversations and start to build that relationship.
 

gliese

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 31, 2020
Country
United-States
In addition to what people have said above (all super important stuff), look for someone who respects your mental health and YOUR goals. You're 22 so you're not going to the Olympics, so that sacrifice is not worth it.

Edit: Also was the person being taught crossovers very young? Younger kids don't have as much patience to nitpick their basics, so it is very beneficial to teach them multiple basics at one time. That being said, I don't think not letting someone progress until their prior skills are perfect is a good way of coaching. Should the prior skills be fairly solid? Yes, however if he's expecting perfection before you can move on, I recommend you find someone else. It's not an effective way of coaching to hold someone back when their pre requisites are there.
 

Ic3Rabbit

Patineuse élite et professionnelle
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Olympics
Stay with your current coach, you are going to end up a better skater in the future than those that aren't steady and correctly learning their basics right and having them enforced.

Everyone ooh and ahh's over someone like Patrick Chans edges, and let me tell you, he didn't get that by speeding through basics and having a coach that didn't enforce them.

Good luck and welcome to skating and to the forum! :)
 

Flying Feijoa

On the Ice
Joined
Sep 22, 2019
Country
New-Zealand
I might feel a little bit impatient and want to progress really quickly because private lessons cost a lot of money and I’m funding myself :/
Just wondering if you have enough ice time to practice the exercises/corrections your coach teaches you? I'm also a younger adult so I know balancing progress and cost can be challenging - it helps to be diligent with whatever free time you have on the ice outside of your lesson. Your age is an advantage in a way, since younger kids often don't have the focus to practice by themselves. If you make yourself spend half an hour practicing good-quality swizzles and stroking (being conscious of all that nice clear feedback he gave about knee bend, free leg etc.) you'll progress faster than someone who's working on a bunch of things at once and hasn't been told how to do them properly. So in the long run it's actually more economical :)

Also as you mentioned it's only the first week - probably both you and your coach have yet to figure out what pace of lessons is appropriate for you. After you get used to each other, the rate at which you learn new things may change.
 

3dgy

Spectator
Joined
Sep 15, 2021
Just wondering if you have enough ice time to practice the exercises/corrections your coach teaches you?
I have around 1,5 hour of practice after my 30 minutes lesson. I feel like i did okay according to my coach corrections. But when i get back on ice the next lesson it’s like i lost all of my skills, especially when I’m with my coach (for some reason i get subconsciously nervous when i feel people watching)
 

3dgy

Spectator
Joined
Sep 15, 2021
Look at the other skaters who work with your current coach. Do they skate the way you'd like to skate? If so, there's your answer.
I can’t find his other students cause the rink just opened and most students are still reluctant to go back on ice 😂

But i will talk to my coach about my goals!
 

gliese

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 31, 2020
Country
United-States
I have around 1,5 hour of practice after my 30 minutes lesson. I feel like i did okay according to my coach corrections. But when i get back on ice the next lesson it’s like i lost all of my skills, especially when I’m with my coach (for some reason i get subconsciously nervous when i feel people watching)
I'd recommend skating twice a week instead of once.
 
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