CHOOSING A COACH
Choosing a coach can be quite a daunting task, especially if you are new to the sport. It is an important decision to find the right coach for yourself but it is probably even more vital to find the right coach for your child. This person will spend many hours with your child, shaping both their skating style and mental attitude towards the sport.
You may well be overwhelmed with ‘helpful’ advice from other skating parents extolling the virtues of their child’s coach, but beware this may not help the situation! Just because one coach has worked minor miracles with a skater does not necessarily mean that this coach is right for your child.
One important factor to making the right decision is to work out what makes your child ‘tick’. You need to discover what personality your child best responds to. At every rink you will find coaches with a range of personality traits varying form the ‘easy going’ coach to the more disciplinarian coach. Every child is different. They have different aspirations of what they would like to achieve out of the sport so they will therefore respond better if they are with the ‘correct’ coach.
Your next step is to watch the various coaches at work with other students.
- Look to see if you like their teaching style and demeanour.
- Are they professional on the ice?
- Do they work well with children?
- Are they motivational and encouraging?
Once you think you have found the right coach for your child you should arrange a convenient time to meet and discuss the possibility of taking lessons with them. During these discussions it would be a good time to ask any questions you may have regarding fees and their coaching background and qualifications.
You need to ensure that your prospective coach is a fully qualified and licensed Ice Coach. All coaches in the United Kingdom need to be a National Ice Skating Association (NISA) Qualified Level 2 Coach and above to teach private Ice Skating lessons. Do not be afraid to ask to see proof of these qualifications as it will give you the appropriate reassurance that the coach is fully qualified and fully insured.
Other important questions to ask are whether the coach has a policy over cancelled lessons. Most coaches require a 24 hours notice of cancellation or the full lesson fee would be charged. If your child is hoping to skate competitively you should ask about the coach’s fees for attending competitions, editing skating music etc. this will save any problems and confusion in the future.
Now you have found your child’s coach, it is important to observe them at work with your child for the first few weeks to ensure that the relationship is working. You should remember that you are paying the coach for their services and if you have any concerns it is vital that you speak to the coach as soon as possible to prevent problems down the road.
If these problems cannot be resolved or you feel it demands more attention, you should not publicly badmouth the coach but speak privately to the Coaching Director/Coordinator or rink management.
You should remember that your coach has trained many years and has a strong knowledge of the sport. Do not try and teach your child from the barrier. This will bring added pressure to your child and may affect what the coach is trying to teach your child.
PROCEDURE FOR CHANGING A COACH
Proper Procedures for Changing Coaches
Following these steps will help you make the switch to a new coach and still maintain a comfortable relationship within the rink. All parents, coaches and skaters should have a clear understanding of the procedures so when this situation arises; the accepted policy is already in place.
- Contact your current coach and express your reasons for wanting to switch to another coach. There may be a way to correct the situation and the need to switch could be resolved before a change is necessary.
- Make sure that you have paid your account balance in full with your current coach.
- Discuss this change with your child. Make sure that he/she is comfortable with the changes you are about to make.
- Direct the client to first make contact with the former coach.
- When this has been done, contact the current coach. Make sure there is no possible resolution to the situation.
- Confirm that all outstanding balances are paid in full with the current coach prior to scheduling any lessons. NO lessons should be given prior to receiving confirmation of account status. There are often exceptions and discrepancies. These need to be handled on a case by case basis.
- Respect what the former coach has done for the skater. If technique changes need to be made, do so without degrading the former coach’s method.
- Support your fellow coaches. Staff meetings are helpful to discuss these procedures and numerous other topics related to a happy and successful environment within the rink.
- Switching coaches, if the above procedures are followed, should not affect the skater’s relationship with other skaters (except regarding working in groups).
- Do not isolate or make an outcast of a skater who has switched from your coach to another coach.
- Do not encourage others to switch from their current coach.
- Treat all skaters with equal respect.
- While on the ice everyone must follow the same set of rules.
PLEASE READ: National Safeguarding Policies