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Sitting on the Boards Rink Side / Re: This is an expensive sport!
« Last post by Bill_S on Today at 06:14:20 PM »
There are far worse things to do with your money than skating! You are healthier for it too.
Sitting on the Boards Rink Side / This is an expensive sport!
« Last post by Christy on Today at 06:00:35 PM »
I just decided to add up the ice time and lesson costs since I started skating a few years ago  :o
Probably not the best thing to do!! and I don't even want to think about the additional equipment costs. I just wish I felt I'd progressed more than I have, oh well.
Sitting on the Boards Rink Side / Re: Notebook instead of app
« Last post by Query on Today at 02:23:43 PM »
Wouldn't you want to have as much evidence as possible if that was going on??

I was thinking about it from the coach's end - there are a lot of opportunistic lawyers out there who manufacture false claims.  And a lot of potential jury members who don't realize just how much communication is necessary for an elite level athlete. Plus, any ordinary person, including jury members, is going to be inclined to believe a child who claims abuse over an adult who is accused of abuse. I assume that most of the time that inclination is correct - but almost any coach deals with a lot of students, so some care is needed. That's a substantial part of what "Safesport" is all about - insuring that you as a coach are provably innocent, because you only interact with the student in the presence of other background-checked adults. Something you can't do in this type of communication.

I was on the jury in a civil trial where the plaintiff's lawyer kept very obviously manufacturing evidence - including deliberately misquoting what the defending party had said in court right in front of us. Pretty much the whole jury ended up believing the accusing lawyer. Both parties were obviously lying about some things. I wound up concluding that most U.S. civil court trials are decided wrong, because the honest party probably doesn't manufacture evidence, and because plaintiff's lawyers usually have the opportunity to make more money, because they often work on a percentage of the take. (In U.S. civil trials, as the plaintiff's lawyer explained it, cases are supposed to be decided on the basis of a "preponderance of evidence", using "the 51% rule", which I guess means that the side that manufactures fake evidence will generally win. I wonder if the same thing is true in countries like Britain, where there are trained professional jurors...)

And a lot of elite skaters and their parents who get very upset when their kid doesn't turn out to be Olympic material. Apparently, it isn't actually possible to figure out years in advance, who is going to reach the very highest levels (e.g., Davis and White weren't favored to reach close to the top until shortly before they made it to the Olympics, and the same is true of a number of other Olympic skaters) - so a lot of elite coaches honestly tell some of their students they have the potential to be the best in the world. The students and their parents put in a tremendous amount of time and money into the sport, and the students do a lot of damage to their bodies pushing them to their limits, but most of those kids don't make it to the top, for one reason or another.

Sure, from the skating parent's end, evidence is a good thing. But a "smart" abusive coach would avoid leaving traceable evidence. OTOH, from what I understand, if a conscientious non-abusive elite level coach is doing his or her job, they often communicate with their elite level students a few times a day, giving encouragement, helping through various problems, etc. (For starters, they are probably giving at least one lesson with that student most days.) Just like a serious mentor in other fields - e.g., a thesis adviser might do that too. But leaving evidence of this, and providing too easy an opportunity for extra communications, leaves a situation an unscrupulous lawyer can take advantage.

Maybe none of this applies to non-elite level coaches. But who else would need such frequent communications as an app would produce? Many of the lower end coaches I know feel a need to limit the amount of unpaid communication with parents, who can be very demanding of a coach's time. I suspect most coaches of lower level athletes in other sports feel some need to limit the amount of unpaid interaction time too.

In terms of detecting abuse, I think that from the parent's end, talking to the kid and watching their interaction with the coach(es) makes the most sense. But I've never been a parent, and maybe don't understand how difficult abuse is to detect.

Spectator Skating Discussions / Re: How to advertise a rink?
« Last post by Query on Today at 01:28:02 PM »
Some of those ideas seem really good.

We do, by the way, already do the fund-raising thing. We split the admission price, 50/50, with the fund raising group, and include rental skates (which we usually charge about $4 for) at no extra cost. Many of the fund raising groups bring in a lot of people. Some of the newbies come back. It is probably worth it. But the groups find out about us through word of mouth alone.

Another big thing is birthday parties - but again, all through word-of-mouth. Mostly the birthday kids themselves already skate.

Of course, both of these are problems for us rink guards. Suddenly having a huge crowd of beginners in a session makes a lot of work for us, especially if we are conscientious, and try to show people having trouble what to do, tell them how to tie their shoelaces, etc. And for our existing repeat customers, and coaches giving lessons, such sessions are not very useful. But for the rink, it's a great thing, to have 40 - 300 extra people pile into a session.

BTW, that at our rink, at least, fund raisers and parties are scheduled in advance. You can call ahead to find out whether one is scheduled, and avoid that session for your personal practice and lessons. :) Not sure how common that is at other rinks. But I know an aquatics (pool) center has a note posted that groups of over 10 must schedule in advance (presumably so there will be enough life guards, and not to conflict too much with lessons, though the facility doesn't always get those things right) - maybe advance scheduling of big events is pretty common.
Spectator Skating Discussions / Re: How to advertise a rink?
« Last post by FigureSpins on Today at 07:58:39 AM »
Groupon and Livingsocial are tricky for businesses that aren't doing well financially.  The percentages might have changed in the last couple of years, but the business only received 25% of their usual revenue from these discount promoters.  The product/service being offered has to be sold to the public at 50% or more, then the marketing firm receives 50% of the remaining monies, thereby deeply discounting the business' receipts. 

It's smart to limit the quantity of deals being sold, too. One of the rinks that offered a groupon had the deal active for months because they overestimated demand.  I think they jacked up their public session price for walk-ins and then offered the groupon at half off.  Their half off was about the same as the other area rinks' public session price but (as I said above) they were only getting half of that.  No one was doing walk-in at that rink until the deal expired and they were able to lower their prices.

In my mind, it's marketing and promotion, so there should be an expense, but telling that to a rink owner/manager who is already in the red is difficult.  Takes a lot of persuasion after the first go-round.  The majority of the customers who use groupon or livingsocial will not make a return trip once they've redeemed their discount purchase.

Fraud is also an issue: people print out multiple copies of documents and present them over and over.  Others forge certificates and still others just ask for the "groupon discount," thereby pressuring the desk clerk.

Avenues of advertising that seem to work best are the parents printed magazines, local sporting group newsletters, local newspaper events calendar, FB promotion (but do follow davincisop's guidelines) and having a presence at local events.

There was a promotion/marketing presentation at the ISI/PSA Conference a few years ago.  I can remember a few of the tips they presented:

1) Start a Google Business account because it will give you search-results priority on Google.
2) Review the school calendars and plan open skating for early release days and teacher workdays.
3) Promote extra/special sessions on your website, FB, and Twitter page.
4) Offer a free trial lesson for group skating lessons.
5) Reach out to scouting groups and offer to help fulfill their badge requirements.  (A special session for Scouts was an option.)
6) Update your website to include the html metadata search terms that search engines use.  (Ex: Skating, Ice Skating, Hockey, Figure Skating, Scouting, etc.)
7) Incorporate "Track out camps" for year-round schools, in addition to summer camps.
8) Offer fun classes that aren't part of the standard curriculum. Ex: "Feel the Need for Speed," aka: Power with fun music.
9) Offer specialty classes.  Ex: a group MIF class.
10) Know your target audience.  During the day, homeschoolers, retirees and stay-at-home parents are your main customers - what can you offer?

Babysitting services help adults with kids.  For young adults, socializing is a great option, so maybe have the snack bar stay open late after the Sat night session.
Sitting on the Boards Rink Side / Re: Notebook instead of app
« Last post by davincisop on Today at 07:22:05 AM »
I use a small half-size binder for my notes and such. I have all the patterns I need printed in there so I can jot down notes galore on them (you should see my hickory hoedown page...).

I prefer it to having a digital copy any day because all my stuff is right there.

Here's the patterns should anyone want them. They are formatted for a half-size binder, which I found at Target. They also sell half sized lined notebook paper for it, too.

PDF includes standard, adult, and dance. :)

Also an editable practice checklist:
Spectator Skating Discussions / Re: How to advertise a rink?
« Last post by davincisop on Today at 07:14:07 AM »
My rink is overrun with summer camps right now. So this is all stuff based upon my experience at my old rink that people didn't know existed because Florida.

Groupons for either free skate rental or 50% off admission.

Make small flyer coupons that can go in back to school bags, send them to local schools.

Reach out to summer camps that are going on and invite them to do a group session. Comp a few pizzas or offer to have an instructor work with them for 15 minutes on the ice.

Facebook advertising is great, but you have to really hone in on the demographic you want and make sure that you spend about $20 minimum. Make sure the image is enticing, and have some sort of call to action (Visit now! that links to the website), and keep a very active Facebook page.
The Pro Shop / Re: Club jackets
« Last post by lillian641 on Today at 03:02:26 AM »
We order ours from a local company that does screen printing & I really like mine. Our club uses them for our spring ice show, all of the club skaters above basic 2 wear them for the opening number, the beginners get a sweatshirt w/the theme for that show on it & it is included w/their skating fees (the beginner sweatshirt, not the club jacket) When I was younger we all had navy sweat shirts, not jackets. But you could purchase your own sweatshirt & have it embroidered. One year the shop didn't have any in my size & couldn't get one in to have it before the show, so my dad went to the second hand store in town & checked to see if they'd have one in my size & he found the perfect shirt, it had the Olympic logo small in matching navy blue on it & I though it was amazing w/the Club & Olympic logos on it. I still have it & it's still fun to wear. Dad to the rescue, he got it & got back to the embroidery shop before they closed & I had it when everyone else got theirs.
Sitting on the Boards Rink Side / Re: Notebook instead of app
« Last post by AgnesNitt on July 19, 2017, 10:42:09 PM »
I've tried notebooks and apps. The problem isn't the tool, it's my inability to write stuff down. When I get off the ice, I've got to get in the car and go home. Traffic is so bad, it sometimes takes 2 hours. I can't afford the time. And when I get home, I've got stuff to do (get readyfor work, or go to Mass)
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