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Poll

A parent interrupts your on ice lesson to talk to your coach. How long do you wait for them to talk before interrupting?

1-2 minutes
2-4 minutes
5-7 minutes
I will wait for them to finish however long it takes.
Zero. She can talk about her kid during her lesson not mine.

Author Topic: A parent interrupts your on ice lesson to talk to your coach about her skater.  (Read 7207 times)

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Offline PinkLaces

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This situation happened to me tonight. Wondering how others would react. Would you interrupt? If yes, how long would you wait. 

Offline sampaguita

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I think that it's the coach's duty to actually keep the talking time to a minimum. I'd butt it though if they've been talking for longer than 5 minutes, but I'd be a bit discreet, like, "hey coach, I have a question about the flip jump again? "

Offline fsk8r

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I'm lucky to have a coach who is acutely aware of who she is talking to and whose time she's on. Quick queries she'll deal with (like taking lesson tickets), skater feedback she always does before the skater's lesson finishes so it's never in someone else's time. And I've heard her say to people with longer queries, that she can't deal with it now as it's unfair on the skater whose lesson it is.

The trouble is, it's sometimes awkward to say something while you're in lesson. Although drawing attention to yourself by standing alongside the coach is often enough to bring their focus back to the matter in hand.

Offline blue111moon

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I'm afraid I'm more forceful than that.  If a parent had the nerve to interrupt my lesson with a question for my coach that would require more than a one-sentence response, then I'd speak up and speak up plainly to the parent:  "Excuse me but this is my lesson time that I'm paying for.  I'm sure you wouldn't want me interrupting your skater's lesson so could you please dicuss this later?" 

And if the discussion went on after that, I'd keep an eye on the clock and deduct the time lost from my payment to the coach.  I'm not paying for something I didn't get.

I actually did this - once with a coach who was too nice to say no to interuptors.  Once was all it took for her to learn to tell the buttinskies that she'd talk to them later.

Offline davincisop

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I think something quick like "Hey coach x, I'm running out, but my daughter is here for her lesson" is fine, or a "Hey coach x, what time is our lesson again?" is fine. I always said hi when I'd see my coach coaching on the ice, but never a stop and chat moment, just a quick "hey coach! How are you?" and then continue on. If I saw her skater (only if I was friends with said skater) do something really well, I'd say so in passing, like "That looked great!!!" at which point coach would say "I know! She finally got it!" or whatever. But I never like people butting in on my lessons unless it's an emergency for more than a hello, so I try to do the same.

Non-skating related example: When I took voice lessons, I got to the classroom to see a note on the chalkboard that said "davinci, go pick up your little sister". I called my parents, and got no answer, and then my dad's office and got the one person they forgot to tell to not inform me why and found out my mom had been in a car accident. So I ran over to where my voice teacher taught, opened the door (tears streaming...) and interrupted the lesson and said "Mom was in a car accident, I have to go" and left. But that's the only time I've ever intentionally interrupted a lesson with more than a hello.

I think the next time that happens, and it lasts more than a quick exchange, politely ask your coach if you can make up those few minutes she was busy at the end of the lesson.

Offline TreSk8sAZ

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Generally, I would say that anything over a couple of minutes is a problem. In some cases, it's one thing if the coach is saying something quickly while still watching what I'm doing (a jump or spin or whatever) and it just takes a minute to give me the feedback while they finish the quick question. Like Davinci, if it's a "hi, how are you," "when is the next lesson," "Do you want me to run my program" or whatever that's one thing. If it's an extended conversation about a skater or a competition, etc., that needs to happen when I'm not in lesson. I've never deducted from payment, but I have asked to make that time up later.

Offline PinkLaces

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My old coach would've had it handled in less than a minute. My new coach tends to get a little distracted at this particular rink.

I was doing a spin about 10 minutes into my 30 minute lesson. She had already started it 5 minutes late (no biggie. I'm warming up anyway) and I was the first lesson. Second skater had the last 30. Finish the spin and look back for coach. Coach is at the gate talking with parent of one of her skaters (fairly new to her, but I've seen this kid around for about a year).

I skated to the boards but out of range where I could hear the conversation. I don't mind quick question either. Look at coach. She didn't acknowledge me and say anything like try again or give a correction. After about a minute or two, I skated over closer. Coach still doesn't acknowledge me ( not a 1 minute finger or anything). I am about 2 feet away at this point. I can hear their conversation. They are just bsing at this point. Coach is not indicating that she is wrapping it up either.  At that point,  I stepped in and said to the parent " I don't mean to be rude, but this is my lesson time."

I could tell my coach was a little mad about that. She said they were talking about a surgery, but they weren't talking about that when I skated up. Coach said she wasn't going to charge me for the time. I was just wondering if I gave it enough time. I may have been feeling a little cranky because I was already a little shorted in my lesson and there are only 2 days to skate this week so no time to make it up.  Plus, when I was a skate parent, I wouldn't have interrupted an on ice lesson except maybe to hand the coach a check.

Offline AgnesNitt

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From  my iPad

I posted this in my blog and at the time I didn't have an idea of how I would handle it. After some thought I decided I would stck out my hand and say "Five bucks "and  when the mommy looked at me funny I'd tell her " I'm paying for this time you need to reimburse me." And keep it up until she went away.

Yes I'm in with the 90's. I have a skating blog. http://icedoesntcare.blogspot.com/

Offline FigureSpins

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You're a panic, lol. 
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Offline SynchKat

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This was brought up at a recent meeting.  It was decided it was up to the coaches to put a stop to this type of behaviour.
Sometimes it is an urgent message people have to relay but that should take seconds, not minutes. 

Offline Doubletoe

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I would expect my coach to give me an extra 2 minutes lesson time if he spent 2 minutes talking to some parent about her kid.

Offline AgnesNitt

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Yes I'm in with the 90's. I have a skating blog. http://icedoesntcare.blogspot.com/

Offline icedancer

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I wrote that I didn't care how long it took.

I do love my coach.  We have worked together for a LONG time and she often gives me way more time than I am able to pay for.  At this point in her career she doesn't really care about the time so if someone needs her time then it is fine with me.

But not sure how this fits into this schema because she doesn't have any kid skaters any more - working with all adults at this point - so there are so very rarely any parents who would approach her during a lesson... but if they do I probably know them and would be included in the conversation.

So yeah, I've once again gone off on a tangent... If I were testing or something I'm sure I would feel differently... or if I had to pay for that time...

Offline jjane45

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I had a coach chatting to another coach on my first trial lesson.

Offline blue111moon

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My gripe is when one of the other club officers wants to chat about club matters during MY lesson.  Yes, all three of us are on the board but there are other better places to have a meeting - like at the restaurant down the road after ice time ends.

Offline fsk8r

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And then there's the one when the coach wants to talk about the Christmas show /  other matters during my lesson...

Offline Kitten23

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Shameless blog rolling

http://icedoesntcare.blogspot.com/2013/08/things-i-wish-i-could-say-interrupted.html

http://icedoesntcare.blogspot.com/2013/08/when-can-you-interrupt-someone-elses.html

I'm the one who handed the parent the bill.

I've never had this problem since and while I do skate past and say hello, that's about all I do.  Of course, once I was asked to demonstrate something as a lefty (imagine my surprise!) and that was a slightly longer interruption (thank goodness I did it right the first time).

Do not tolerate this.  Your money is hard-earned and your time is precious.  We all deserve the respect of an uninterrupted lesson.

(Getting down off my soap box now...)
Courage doesn't always roar.  Sometimes it's the quiet voice at the end of the day that says, "I will try again tomorrow."

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Offline techskater

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My gripe is when one of the other club officers wants to chat about club matters during MY lesson.  Yes, all three of us are on the board but there are other better places to have a meeting - like at the restaurant down the road after ice time ends.
  With wine.   :P

Offline Query

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It is extremely uncouth to interrupt someone else's lesson, even for an instant. At least that is the protocol where I skate. The coach should make that clear - but if they don't, it wouldn't bother me at all to make it clear.

A perfect time to try out a hockey check.  :angel:

Oops. Parent down on the ice. How did that happen?  ::>)


Offline dlbritton

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If I am interrupted on the slopes in a private (or group) lesson if I can answer the question in 1 sentence I will, otherwise I tell the person when the lesson ends so we can talk then, or if I am heading to lift that we can talk on the lift. On the lift I will only give the person some of my attention because the lesson continues on the lift as well.

If I were in a private lesson I would expect the coach to be observing me and would probably wait about 1 minute before making my annoyance known.
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Offline sarahspins

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I'm okay with a brief interruption, like if someone has to pay my coach (and I am guilty of flagging my coach down to give her money as well), but I don't like lengthy interruptions (anything more involved than "do I have a lesson on ____" is too long) or repeated interruptions.

Offline FigureSpins

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It's a slippery slope; I don't mind a quick interruption by one of my own students during a lesson since I would do the same for the student I'm teaching.  However, if it's more than a soundbite, I defer it to a later time, explaining that I'm on lesson.  Most people are okay with that response.

There are some kids who don't get the "someone else's lesson time" and they interrupt to ask questions or seek help.  I usually tell them to come back to me at such-and-such a time and I'll talk to them then.  That works pretty well.  Oddly enough, the interrupters are rarely my own students; they're usually group LTS kids who just don't understand what private lessons are, so I don't want to be rude.  Most of the time, they forget what they wanted to ask, so I suspect they were lonely/bored/just wanted some attention at that given point in time.

This issue happens off-ice as well.  Some parents will monopolize the coach's time after/between lessons, even when several other parents are obviously waiting patiently for them to step aside so they can chat with the coach about their own children.  I don't know if they're selfish or oblivious.
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Offline Purple Sparkly

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Sometimes when I am teaching on club ice, one of the club officers will stand by the boards and look at me like she wants to talk to me about something, but without actually calling out to me.  Since I am being paid for my time to teach, I make sure to stand at a part of the boards that she can't just come up and start talking and I make a strong effort to not look in her direction.  After a few minutes she gives up.

Offline pompeiii

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So I had a similar session in a recent lesson except instead of a parent, it was a coach and instead of interrupting, that individual just sort of hung out and talked whenever I went to do something. This went on for about 2/3 of the lesson and was super frustrating. I got feedback and direction, but can someone's attention fully be on you if someone else is chatting away? Being that I'm paying, the attention should be on me. In addition to that, the chatting so completely distracting and I'd stop and start several times before doing something because I'd hear a voice and it would take a second for me to realize that no one was talking to me.  In addition to the distraction, it was annoying to have someone else follow around like a shadow the whole time (and be in my way a few times so I'd have to navigate around the shadow to get space). I didn't say anything during the lesson (just my personality), but did mention it later. Coach indicated they didn't see the problem and they were paying attention, but apologized that I was frustrated (though I got the impression that it was my problem that let that distract me rather than what I felt the actual problem was). I did pay full amount of lesson.

Now it hasn't happened before (a minute or 2 discussion here and there and we often go over my paid time) and I'm sure it won't be a regular thing, but am I wrong to be a little annoyed and frustrated? Lesson time is expensive (as is ice time) and I'm on a budget. Obviously if this ever becomes a regular thing, I'm finding a new coach (I don't expect this to be a regular thing). But, am I overreacting? Is this normal?

Offline Loops

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Quote
But, am I overreacting? Is this normal?

Wow, that sounds annoying, and I think I'd feel like you and ask that same question.

Since you state its not a regular thing, and you've mentioned your concern, I'd try to let it go.  Do you know what they were discussing?  It could have been something pretty important, although I agree that perhaps another time may have been more appropriate, and maybe this was their chance to discuss it without other ears.

I say this, because on one of our synchro sessions, our coach spent nearly the whole hour at the boards, back to the ice, in a deep and obviously critical discussion with one of the assistant coaches/board members/parent/skater (she wears all those hats, not sure what her role was in this convo).  We just got on with our practice, and it hasn't happened again, but I remember being ticked at first, then concerned when I saw the facial expressions.

Obviously, if a pattern develops that's another situation.  But it sounds from the outside like it may be a one-time thing.