Choosing a Coach
For parents who are new to the sport, finding a coach can be intimidating. Figure skating coaches can spend hours of training and social interaction with your child. Do you really know who they are? The relationship can last a lifetime. At the North Jersey Figure Skating Club, we are often asked about hiring the “right” coach. We agree that this is a major decision for you to make and we emphasize that you need to research the various coaches who are available. It is important for you to know that all coaches are independent contractors, and not employees of the North Jersey Figure Skating Club. We do not endorse any particular coach. We do suggest that your coach is a “registered” US Skating coach (those who have passed background screening and shown evidence of insurance). A list can be found at http://www.usfsa.org.
Determine Your Coaching Needs
In order to find a figure skating coach, you really need to determine what type of person your child responds favorably to. A good guide here will be favorite teachers or family members whom your child interacts particularly well with. Does he or she feel more comfortable with older or younger adults, males or females?
Not all figure skaters respond to the same type of coach. Some need disciplinarians, while others might respond better to coaches who are very reserved. We suggest that you watch coaches work with other students for you to determine whether the coach will be a good fit with your child.
Make a list of your options. We then suggest that you meet with the prospective coach so that you have a chance to ask questions and find out how your child will interact with this person. Here are some of the questions you may want to ask:What is your coaching philosophy?
- How long have you been coaching? (New coaches or fine as long as they have good skating experience).
- What are your coaching accomplishments? Highest test levels? Competition results?
- What is your skating background?
- Are you a member of the US Skating and/or the Professional Skaters Association? Are you an ISI coach?
- Have you passed US Skatings background check?
- Do you have insurance?
- What rating do you hold?
- What are your rates for lessons, competitions, cutting program music, etc.? How often do you bill for charges? When do you expect to be paid?
- What is your policy on cancellation?
- Are there any other policies that we should be aware of?
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