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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 7215 times)

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Offline icedancer

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If it just happened the one time then maybe you just can't take it personally.  Maybe it had nothing to do with your coach and that the other person was just being "needy" and the other coach was acknowleging that somehow.


Offline pompeiii

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If it just happened the one time then maybe you just can't take it personally.  Maybe it had nothing to do with your coach and that the other person was just being "needy" and the other coach was acknowleging that somehow.

I'm pretty sure this was the case (other person was chatty and whiny though from what I heard, nothing exactly important), though hopefully in the future a comment that my coach is coaching or I'm paying for this time can be made. But, hopefully this won't be a regular thing. That said, I'm annoyed that I wasted money because I couldn't get past the distraction, but at the same time, I'm not sure it was entirely my problem. I feel a little better just being able to vent a bit.

Offline lilicedreamer

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OH, absolutely!  "Excuse me, I don't mean to be rude, but I pay for this time on the ice with my coach.  Could you please wait until you are in session with her to discuss your skater?  Thanks, I knew you'd see it my way."
Then nod at your coach to take your skater back on the ice or away from the other parent.  I hope this doesn't sound like I'm taking an elephant gun to a mouse, but so many people are on a strict time schedule with their childrens' activities!

Offline Loops

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Sometimes those "mice" need elephant guns!

Offline AgnesNitt

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 I actually had a lesson interrupted by RINK STAFF today!

I stayed on the ice a couple of extra minutes just to get my time in.
Yes I'm in with the 90's. I have a skating blog. http://icedoesntcare.blogspot.com/

Offline pegasus99

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I've had my lesson time taken up with other skaters ("Oh, we just need to video this for them, it will only take a few minutes!") and it was never made up. Those "few minutes" ended up being 20 minutes and I never forgot it. It really makes me angry when my lesson time gets shortchanged for any reason, because at a dollar a minute, it adds up. >:(

Seriously, the time you get shorted in Privates is no different than paying for a dozen donuts and only getting ten. Anyone interrupting needs to be sent packing, and fast, because when you allow it once, that can be interpreted as an open invite to do it again. It devalues you as a skater, sends a message that you and your time are not important. So very wrong, and cannot be tolerated.

Offline PhysicsOnIce

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I fired a coach because of this!
Well, it was the last straw of an already decreasing relationship.
Before I was on the competitive team, I was taking lessons on the "early" Sunday morning 9:30 following the competitive team training, which meant the team was coming out of the locker rooms when I was getting on the ice for my lesson, more times than I can count I waited anywhere between 15 and 30 minutes for my lesson to start while my coach talked to parents/skaters about almost anything and everything. The last lesson I had with this coach included an interruption by a parent who wanted to switch coaches. 30 minutes into my lesson time, and I had completed three passes through my MIFs before my coach came back to me. Not only had she wasted 30 minutes of my 45 minute class, she also had told the day before that she could not take me on the competitive ice because she didn't have time, but now she had taken on another skater.... that was it for me.

I don't mind short questions or quick comments (less then 5 minutes) but another above that an I consider it unprofessional unless it is a serious issue that needs to be taken care of right there and then due to time constrains or an emergency. 
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Offline Lola

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That happened exactly twice. The first time I let it go a few minutes because I know and like the parent. She tried it again the next week and I skated past with the glare of death and a glance at the clock. That was the end of it. Someone else said this, but yes, it's a dollar a minute. My dollar, my minute.

Offline Lola

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Updating -- it's happened a few more times, always the same person interrupting my kid's lesson. I wrote to the coach today to tell her that I expected Kid to have her full attention during her lesson. I wrote it so it didn't sound harsh, but we'll see what the response will be.

Offline AgnesNitt

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Honestly, she'll keep doing this because you're letting them. And sadly, I don't recommend a letter to the coach either.  Look the coach straight in the eye and say, "I'm paying you for my daughter's lesson, not to confer with other parents. You need to fix that." FGS, don't say "how can we work on this?" YOU are not the problem, the COACH is the problem. And the COACH needs to be politely told she needs to fix HER problem.   Do not make it your problem.

Let me give you my example:

My coach (who is wonderful and I respect)  had started late with me a couple of times. After the second time I just told her " We're starting late again." (I'm the last student before the zam) and she told me she needed to confer with the mother. I said, "Then you need to build that into her lesson, not use my lesson." It hasn't happened since.  See, polite, businesslike, professional. No dithering. No harm no foul.

Skating is a business.  You need to be absolutely straightforward and tell the coach politely get her act together.
You should have done this after the second interruption. But since you didn't you've tacitly given them permission to screw you over. And they're doing that. And they will keep doing that until you get some backbone.

Give the coach one warning, and if it happens again, get tough. Deduct the other mom's time off your payment.

And if that doesn't work complain to the skating director and find another coach.

The coach is supposed to be a professional, that means she needs to be able to handle needy parents. Which means it's the coach's job to rebuff the mother.

Skating is a business. The coach is not your friend or your daughter's friend. You are paying her to coach, make sure she does that.

http://icedoesntcare.blogspot.com/2012/05/stuff-i-dont-put-up-with-anymore.html
Yes I'm in with the 90's. I have a skating blog. http://icedoesntcare.blogspot.com/

Offline AgnesNitt

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Updating -- it's happened a few more times, always the same person interrupting my kid's lesson. I wrote to the coach today to tell her that I expected Kid to have her full attention during her lesson. I wrote it so it didn't sound harsh, but we'll see what the response will be.

And I just want to write with my observation that you seem worried that you will hurt the coach's feelings.  The coach doesn't care about yours. The coach is stealing your money by not giving your daughter her full lesson. Honestly, you can be perfectly straightforward. And if the coach offers you excuses (because that's the natural thing to do) stick to to your guns. It's the coach's problem. Don't.back.down. and let it become your problem.

There are plenty of coaches who will be just as good as your coach and won't screw you over. Don't believe that old canard that you can't leave a coach. That's 60's BS. Bail if she keeps stealing your daughter's time. Pay your bills and find someone honest. Because if a coach is stealing from your daughter time wise, it shows she's not committed to your daughter as a student. Why are you sticking with this person?

Skating is a business. A tough business. If you're in it for the long haul you need to stop treating it like it's the Junior League.
Yes I'm in with the 90's. I have a skating blog. http://icedoesntcare.blogspot.com/

Offline pegasus99

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I've seen a parent traipse *all the way around the boards* to sit in the hockey box *with the head coach of a class**WHILE THE CLASS WAS GOING ON** to talk about his skater. And the Coach **ENGAGED HIM.**

I was floored. Who do these parents think they are?? Why do coaches tolerate this, think that it's OK? Of course, it didn't help that a few weeks prior, the same coach was up in the stands talking to parents while his class was in session and he'd left it with the two assistants. So, he'd already set a precedent that the class wasn't that serious.

These things are infuriating to me, SRSLY.

Offline davincisop

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I've seen a parent traipse *all the way around the boards* to sit in the hockey box *with the head coach of a class**WHILE THE CLASS WAS GOING ON** to talk about his skater. And the Coach **ENGAGED HIM.**

I was floored. Who do these parents think they are?? Why do coaches tolerate this, think that it's OK? Of course, it didn't help that a few weeks prior, the same coach was up in the stands talking to parents while his class was in session and he'd left it with the two assistants. So, he'd already set a precedent that the class wasn't that serious.

These things are infuriating to me, SRSLY.

A parent did that to me once while I was teaching a tot class. She pulls me aside at the door while I'm working on getting them to do swizzles and such, and says "Why are they just playing games??? It doesn't look like their LEARNING anything". I looked her in the eye and said "The games are our way of reinforcing the skills they are learning without them realizing it. The games take their mind off what they are doing so they don't think about it and just do it."

She quickly apologized and I went back to teaching. But she wasn't the first to interrupt a class, I have never understood parents that do that. Unless your child is on the ice bleeding, it's probably a good idea to let the coach do his or her job.

Offline AgnesNitt

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Your reply was great.

But what about "I'm responsible for the safety of all these children, not just yours."

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

Offline davincisop

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Your reply was great.

But what about "I'm responsible for the safety of all these children, not just yours."

That is a good one as well. :) I'm not fantastic at thinking of things on my feet so I won't lie when I say I'm proud of what I did say haha. :)

We also had a parent that would interrupt his child's group lesson and tell him "Hey go show grandpa how fast you can skate down the ice and back!" with other classes going on... of course small child listens to his dad. Thankfully I was in a co-coaching situation and was able to leave her with the class while I retrieved him and told him he can show grandpa that during free time.