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Author Topic: Is there a place for very low level professional instructors?  (Read 1345 times)

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Offline davincisop

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Re: Is there a place for very low level professional instructors?
« Reply #25 on: November 29, 2016, 10:56:11 AM »
When I was still at my old rink, I was a low level instructor. I'd been skating since I was 10, so my basics were very competent, but I had only just begun testing. Skating skills wise, the average rink goer thinks I'm advanced, though I don't feel I am (working on pre-juv and juv moves and spent a lot of time perfecting everything underneath so I look like I know what I am doing haha).

I was approached to teach LTS at that rink, and jumped at the opportunity. I taught Snowplow Sam groups and occasionally would fill in for my coach with the adults. Before I moved for a job, I was getting credentials and such so that I could teach 15 minute private lessons to the littles (the skating director asked me to because he wanted to have essentially a babysitter available for the parents who wanted their tots to practice more rather than just skate in circles aimlessly after class or have them get some extra help if they're having trouble with an element). Unfortunately, got all my credentials and I moved. So I never got to do that and my current rink wasn't hiring any coaches at the time.

Eventually my plan is to get back into coaching when I eventually move up north (looking like it's going to happen at the end of next year, Chicago-area), and I want to get my MITF to at least Novice before I start teaching again. I don't want to teach jumps if I can avoid it, and am happy to teach basic beginners and ice dance patterns and be specialized in MITF. I love the technical aspect of it, and adults friends love that I'm aware of all the technical things. :)


Basically, yes, there is totally a place for low level coaches. Even more so if you began as an adult because other adult beginners can relate to you. And there are a lot of the higher level coaches that really don't want to be teaching the snowplow classes because they'd rather focus on the higher level LTS kids.

Offline Query

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Re: Is there a place for very low level professional instructors?
« Reply #26 on: December 01, 2016, 02:03:57 AM »
Interesting.

I wish you luck around Chicago. Sure are a lot of world class skaters there.

Offline nieves

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Re: Is there a place for very low level professional instructors?
« Reply #27 on: December 03, 2016, 11:26:14 PM »
I personally think to teach absolute beginners and LTS you should be able to demonstrate all turns with strong execution and check. I would not take lessons from someone the same level as me (adult silver)

Offline davincisop

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Re: Is there a place for very low level professional instructors?
« Reply #28 on: December 04, 2016, 03:06:10 PM »
@Nieves, I wouldn't take from someone the same level as myself either, but I think someone your level could, or at least should, be able to confidently execute everything from basic 1 to Adult Bronze.

I had through Preliminary MITF as a kid, before high school got too crazy. So when I came back to skating, it was just fixing little things here and there that I lost being off for several years. I've now been back at it 8 years. I could confidently say I could teach through Adult Bronze with no issues, though if I went to teach LTS, I would prefer to just teach basic 1-8 or adult 1-6.

What you're saying about being able to teach with strong turns and check, that's going to vary from skater to skater. But I do agree that if you're going to teach that, all elements you plan to teach should be strong.

Offline Nate

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Is there a place for very low level professional instructors?
« Reply #29 on: Today at 12:54:27 AM »
I will not teach by theory!

I believe very strongly that you can't teach something if you can't demonstrate it. Which is part of why I stayed away from trying to teach anything I can't do pretty well.

I get that at the top competitive levels, where none of the coaches can do the most difficult things, that theory doesn't work. And I've known people who chose coaches who couldn't demonstrate much anymore. But I personally don't want to try to teach things I can't do well.
You can teach by theory. I've helped people with doubles and gotten them to land them before I landed mine, because teaching jumps is not the same as doing jumps. Sometimes you have to alter technique because the skater's biological configuration works optimally with adjustments, etc.

Quads these days are taught predominantly by coaches who have never done them.

Alexei Michin was a skater who never did triples, that I know of. He's still regarded as a preeminent jump technician on the planet.

You just have to have a knowledge of technique and how the body works. Many judges learned a lot of what they know through years of experience and consultation with other coaches.

That being said, from the perspective of a skater I totally agree with you. I got my doubles way more easily working with a coach that could say "It's really easy. Look at this..." For some reason, seeing that person do the element turns it into a sort of competition, and that tends to work well for my mindset.

But it's not a requirement. Skaters differ and different skaters will respond favorably to different coaching philosophies and different coaches with varying physical abilities.

And the harsh truth is that most skaters who lack the awareness to learn by description are u likely to get far, anyways. The number that would have is likely a margin for error, statistically.

By the time a skater is working on jumps and spins, they shouldn't need verbatim demonstrations of elements. They should have enough fluency in skating vocabulary and enough body awareness to do just fine. All of that can be acquired in a decent learn to skate program.

In short: Being a high level skater doesn't automatically make you a great coaching candidate, especially when you had all of your triples by 12-14.

Also, adults tend to learn more about the technical details from being coached than small kids, because they often demand technical details and far more elaborate explanations. They don't want to fall, so they want the entire schematic. "Just do it like this" often is not enough for them.

This is why some adults tend to teach above their level, even when they are lower level skaters. The fact that they are often less physically gifted than their younger peers does not impede their ability to learn, understand, and pass on information.

Plus, what if your skater spins and jumps in the opposite direction? Can't just turn away a pay check