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Author Topic: Lessons/week  (Read 395 times)

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Offline Feebee

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Lessons/week
« on: January 06, 2017, 12:56:24 PM »
Hi All,

I have a question about private lesson cadence. Since taking up skating, I've had 2 lessons per week with a private coach. My first private coach was really really cheap - $25/hour, and taught me the basics - stroking, crossovers (clunky, basic etc.) and backwards skating. At that rate, I didn't think into the frequency of the lessons, as I've progressed, my coaches have been more and more pricey too. At this point I'm taking 2 1-hour privates/week, and while I can technically afford it, I'm wondering if it's not overkill.

I'm up to single jumps and now have a program to work on, but am not planning to compete just yet. My skills ALL need lots of work, but I think that's probably how every skater feels, all the time (amirite?).

I'm sure all of your experiences run the gamut, but if I really enjoy the lessons (my coach is a lot of fun, and I definitely progress more with each lesson),  - is it worth the 2 lessons/week?




Offline icedancer

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Re: Lessons/week
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2017, 03:20:23 PM »
If it's fun and you can afford it then why not?

I think it is important to have some practice time between lessons - for me it was always about showing my coach that I had learned whatever it was that we were working on the last time and bringing up any questions I may have had about whatever skill it was.

For me once a week for a half-hour was always enough unless I was doing multiple disciplines (which I never really have - it was always Dance and then Moves... and then Moves and Dance LOL - )


Offline Jf12

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Re: Lessons/week
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2017, 03:28:29 PM »
I also take more lessons than I probably 'need' to but I view it as motivation to skate more!  I think of it like a personal trainer - you could do all those excercises technically on your own too.

Offline irenar5

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Re: Lessons/week
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2017, 08:01:46 PM »
I like to have two 45 min lessons (vs 1 hr) per week.   This way there is time to practice skills and not too much time goes by between lessons for me to start picking up bad habits on my own :-).  Practice time on my own helps me identify issues that I am having trouble with, so I have a "fix it list" by the time my lesson comes along.

I usually take 1 hr lessons when there is a lot to work on (like figuring out choreo or arms for the new program, etc).

When I first started, I took one 30 min lesson a week, then progressed to 45 min, and now I take from 2 coaches. 


Offline Bunny Hop

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Re: Lessons/week
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2017, 09:23:44 PM »
I enjoy my lessons far more than practice these days, so I'd say if you enjoy the lessons and can afford it, then keep things as they are, providing you're getting practice time as well.

I used to be good at practice, and content to work on problem things on my own, but I seem to have lost that motivation in the last couple of years. Need to get more disciplined again.

Offline Christy

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Re: Lessons/week
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2017, 09:59:31 PM »
I was always told that you should have twice the practice time compared to lesson time, but as my coach's time is very limited the ratio is more like 1 lesson session to 6 practice sessions

Offline JSM

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Re: Lessons/week
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2017, 10:27:24 PM »
I have 1, 2, or 3 half hour private lessons per week, depending on what I'm preparing for (test or competition).  I do freestyle, dance, and moves, so I feel like I need all the time to actually get better.  I have three coaches, and rarely do I see them all the same week.

I warm up 15 min off ice and practice on ice 30 minutes before every lesson to be ready (my muscles are very slow to stretch out in the mornings, haha).  I also practice 2-3 days a week on my own.

If I could afford it, I'd have a lesson every day!  It's all about your situation and your goals.  More lessons = more progress for sure.

Offline Ethereal Ice

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Re: Lessons/week
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2017, 03:20:34 AM »
I am the complete opposite, In a year of skating I have only had a couple of private lessons and some very casual group lessons with my adult group focusing on edges and some power stuff.

My skating has progressed thusly,  I certainly started out with the intention of taking more frequent private lessons but before I took my very first one, I wanted to be able to do many of the basics. By reading and watching YT I learned very basic stroking, swizzles, back wiggles, putting some even chasses and then my husband and I took an hour lesson. During that hour my coach gave me some tips on a few things but said in general I was progressing well, the main things I was left to work on were perfecting my back swizzles, front crossovers, two foot turns, back stroking and just continuing to get comfy on the ice. She also offered to assist during the adult session if I needed it and when  I asked her when we should take more lessons, she said, "When you feel you are ready to learn more".

So for the next four months I worked hard. I got close on my back stroking, she had worked with me during adult skate on back pumps a bit to prepare me for back crossovers (she teaches cutback method) , but I worked hard on turns, perfecting my stroking position, perfecting my front crossovers. Our next lesson focused on learning back crossovers and perfecting back stroking. I have again worked very hard and have all my moves to pass Beta except for good back crossovers, they are my current main focus. But I learned t stop via friends and lots of hints from friends. I am working on really feeling and getting my edges during the crossovers especially.

When we discussed where my skating was the other day and I told her I want to test for Beta within the next few months she just smiled and said," You really work hard on your own."  And I do. Don't get me wrong, I ask questions a lot of friends, online and my coach, but she seems to prefer that over just watching me practice, which is what weekly lessons would be.

I *need* my practice time. My practice time is to warm up, to perfect moves I am already familiar with, to work on brand new moves, to skate cardio while talking with friends to get stronger, and sometimes if the ice is empty, I just turn on my ipod and do what I want. I am extremely lucky to have a strong husband who I can hold onto anytime, I know I hold my coach learning new things, but many people don't also have a built in person to learn stuff with. For instance, getting comfy going backwards on one foot I just do it with him skating forwards. My coach even shows him how to assist me learning new elements. The flip side of that is that it is easier to use him as a crutch and not make myself suck things up and try them alone. But the benefit is needing fewer lessons for just "hand holding".

My point is, I notice element wise that I have made more progress than some adult folks having twice weekly lessons for years. That is their journey though,  and this is mine, and it works for me and my coach. The other aspect of it is that as the elements get harder, I think the need for lessons may be more frequent. I am just not there yet.

Offline LunarSkater

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Re: Lessons/week
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2017, 06:35:04 PM »
My lesson/practice schedule changed after I started my new job this past August.

For years, it was 2.5 hours practice and .5 hour lesson on Friday, stroking class, and LTS on Saturday. Stroking class is .5 hour. LTS is 1 hour with half practice and half lesson. I would try to skate during public on Sunday. but not always successfully. I liked the practice time I had and accomplished a lot.

Now I do 1 hour practice followed by 1 hour LTS on Wednesday, .5 hour practice followed by .5 hour lesson on Friday, 1 hour practice followed by stroking class and LTS on Saturday.

I like having the additional Wednesday LTS lesson (my group coach is my private coach), but I do miss the long stretches of practice time. I still skate the same amount, but I found I accomplish more in a longer period than I do in breaking them up. I didn't have to hit all my problem areas in a shorter time slot. When I'm on the ice for a short time, I have to pick and choose what areas to focus on, whether it's spins or footwork or something else. In general, I like having about twice as much practice time than I do lesson time, a 2:1 ratio.

Offline ChristyRN

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Re: Lessons/week
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2017, 08:19:07 PM »
I skate approximately three hours a week. I have an hour of bridge (unsupervised for the most part) and generally two lessons, half an hour to 45 minutes each. I do better in a lesson so I don't teach myself bad habits. I work four days a week, so I can only skate on off days, and only an hour at a time (d@mned lungs).
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Offline mamabear

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Re: Lessons/week
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2017, 10:11:22 AM »
I only do one lesson a week but I think if I didn't have 2 kids who both skate (I pay for 4 lessons a week plus a round of classes)  then I would do 2 lessons a week.  I just feel like we don't get through everything I would like to and that I have a tendency to lapse into bad habits with one lesson a week.  She tells me what to fix on Thursday and by Monday I've forgotten the 5th or 6th thing I was supposed to correct!  I'm trying to take better notes though and that does help. 

Offline Feebee

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Re: Lessons/week
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2017, 10:32:26 AM »
Thanks for all the responses! It actually confirmed that my picking up bad habits (which I do SO quickly) in between lessons is a pretty valid reason to be having more lesson time. I skate an hour a day, if I have a lesson sometimes 2 hours, my lesson schedule basically means I only practice 1 hour after my first lesson of the week, but then after my second lesson I skate about 3 hours (cumulatively).

Offline amy1984

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Re: Lessons/week
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2017, 02:35:01 PM »
If you enjoy it and can afford it, go for it.  I like lessons too.  I know that practice time is valuable but I really like the time I get with my coach to work through errors and stuff.  I find it very useful.

As for what I personally get in terms of lessons... I have lessons twice a week.  One of those days is pretty basic - 10 min skills, 10 min dance, and I think 15 min free skate.  The second night I get about 20-30 min of dance, 15 min skills, and a half hour of free skate.

It really depends on both what you prefer/what works for you and what you can afford.  I guess it also depends on your coach's availability.

Offline ChristyRN

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Re: Lessons/week
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2017, 08:44:52 PM »
  I guess it also depends on your coach's availability.

There's my problem. I work 10 hour shifts with a rotating day off. My coach has to slot me in wherever she is on my day off. She had a Sunday evening slot on Sundays over the summer that I grabbed and got to keep once school started back. The other day, now that I have some control over my schedule, is pretty regular, mostly Wed/Thursdays. My bigger problem was working call until 10 or 11, then getting up at 5am to skate. I finally changed that to no more call before my day off. They can deal with my cranky self at work instead of rearranging my off day schedule.

It was weird. I always get a bad case of jitters with an afternoon lesson. No more coffee than usual, just jittery. I think it was the change in routine. And I like routine.
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