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Author Topic: Skating without a Coach  (Read 678 times)

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Offline kateskate

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Skating without a Coach
« on: February 27, 2017, 01:06:47 PM »
Hi.  I took some figure skating lessons when I was much younger.  After being away from the sport for many years, I've started skating again.  I'm not taking lessons this time around.  Instead, I'm watching videos and I'm going by a USFS checklist to know what moves I need to learn.  But now I've surpassed the level that I was at when I was younger.  I'm around the level of Freeskate 1 now.  But I'm in a position right now where I don't want to commit to group lessons or private coaching so my question is, how far do you think I can progress before I'll have to have training?  I know that the answer could vary depending on the person but in general is there are certain "cut-off" point where you think lessons would be mandatory?  For example, is Freeskate 3 that cut-off?  I do have a hockey friend that will occasionally watch some of the videos with me and critiques my skating, which has helped quite a bit.  But most of the time there is no one to give me feedback but in spite of that, I'm doing okay so far.  If anyone has done this, I'd love to know how far you've gotten before you HAD to have lessons.  Thanks in advance for your help!

 

Offline Hedwig

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Re: Skating without a Coach
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2017, 02:19:14 PM »
@Kateskate - I will not be the best person to anwer that question - all in all I only skated for two - three years now with a 6 year gap in between.

Reading that list, I am between freeskate 3 and 4 now. I never skated as a kid. So in that you are ahead of me - since people always say that you go much farther if you have skated as a kid. For freeskate 4 only the sit spin is missing for me. I am not working a lot on spins since they make me dizzy so quickly.  :angel:
So I wouldn't say that freeskate 3 is the cut-off. I certainly intend to learn a lot more than that.  ;D

I recently posted a similar thread:
http://skatingforums.com/index.php?topic=7565.0

Offline kateskate

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Re: Skating without a Coach
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2017, 02:48:33 PM »
Thanks, Hedwig.  That's encouraging for me to know that you're almost at Freeskate 4 and don't have a coach.  Maybe I'll be able to go a while without having to have lessons!

Offline Hedwig

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Re: Skating without a Coach
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2017, 03:07:49 PM »
May I ask why you don't to take lessons? I would love love love to be able to take lessons but the infrastructure is very difficult for me. I am convinced that I would learn much faster and also have more fun with a coach.

Offline kateskate

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Re: Skating without a Coach
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2017, 03:28:22 PM »
There is a chance that I might be moving (out of state) so I was hoping that I could go a little longer on my own and then just start lessons once I move.  Plus, my current rink doesn't offer separate classes for adults (beyond basic 1-6) so I would either have to take private lessons (which as you know cost more) or be in a class with little kids.  I think I would feel a bit awkward being the only adult in the class!  So those are a couple of reasons I'm hoping to delay lessons for as long as I can by learning on my own.     

Offline Hedwig

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Re: Skating without a Coach
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2017, 03:49:23 PM »
I understand.

If I were you, I would take a few private lessons anyway. You don't need to make it a regular thing but even once or twice a month can still be a tremendous help, I think.
I did one week in Oberstdorf with a private coach in 2011 or 2012 and even that one week was amazing and I think I still benefit from it.

Offline kateskate

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Re: Skating without a Coach
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2017, 04:24:55 PM »
Yeah, that's a good idea.  I thought most students probably took private lessons about once or twice a week but I guess some coaches would be willing to do once or twice a month for me if that's all that I could do.  Thanks for your help!

Offline Hedwig

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Re: Skating without a Coach
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2017, 02:50:27 AM »
you are welcome! Let us know how it goes!  :D

Offline Query

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Re: Skating without a Coach
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2017, 01:12:13 PM »
BTW, one thing to consider is to check whether a coach whose teaching methods you like has a short (e.g., 15 minute) gap between lessons or at the beginning or end of a session. They might be willing to teach you then, because it is hard to find other students who want that. Likewise, at some rinks, you can take a lesson while the Zamboni is surfacing the ice, by carefully avoiding it. That too might be a hard time for a coach to fill. With such hard to fill times, you might even be able to convince them to take you every other week, or something like that. I've also heard of students who desire occaisional lessons getting on a coach's list of students to call if someone cancels a lesson.

my current rink doesn't offer separate classes for adults (beyond basic 1-6) so I would either have to take private lessons (which as you know cost more) or be in a class with little kids.  I think I would feel a bit awkward being the only adult in the class!

For the most part, adult classes span a greater range of skill levels, which makes it hard to learn much, unless you have a coach who is extremely good at teaching group lessons - very unusual. Of course if there are about 3 or fewer students in the class, the coach can take turns teaching each student - which sort of works - but it is a lot like taking a very short lesson.

Though, when teaching to kids, coaches usually assume a short attention span, and spend very little time on the same skill. They also tend to do more demos than to use words and analysis to teach, which might or might not work for you. After all, you can find demos on Youtube.

But maybe you should get over not wanting to learn with kids. As long as don't join a formal competition against very young kids, it's not that bad, and you shouldn't feel uncomfortable. In a formal competition, you would have an advantage over the youngest kids, who are still having trouble with basic coordination, or have little leg strength, which some parents might view as unfair. Once you are past that age, the athletic kids will probably learn faster than you (unless you have something like a formal dance background, which trained you to learn very quickly), but you might be able to keep up with the least athletic ones.

Offline FigureSpins

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Re: Skating without a Coach
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2017, 01:31:04 PM »
You can't see yourself, nor do you know how to perform the skills you never learned, so you'll get some things if you're doing their predecessor skills correctly.  Other things will either not work (frustrating) or will cause you to develop bad habits (pricey to fix.)  YMMV

If you have the time and money, start taking privates and work with that coach to develop a plan for your skating.  That alone is priceless - being able to set goals and understand how to reach them is something one-way communications doesn't achieve.
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Online Jf12

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Re: Skating without a Coach
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2017, 02:41:18 PM »
Nobody has to take lessons.  After all, this is only for enjoyment.  If your goal is to do higher level skills, you will need someone to teach them to you safely.   By the way, I have never skated at a rink that allows skaters out while the zam is running!  That must be unique. 

Offline FigureSpins

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Re: Skating without a Coach
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2017, 03:47:09 PM »
Unique and against OSHA recommendations.  That's a lawsuit waiting to happen.  For the record, most rinks do not allow skaters on the ice with the zamboni.
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Offline kateskate

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Re: Skating without a Coach
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2017, 07:47:54 PM »
Thanks everybody for your feedback.  I may see if I can start out taking private lessons sporadically.  That's a good idea, Query, about seeing if a coach has a 15 minute slot available.  I wouldn't have thought of that!  I'm sure that having a coach give me feedback will help my skating tremendously.  I know when I had a friend take a video of me skating, it helped because I was able to see mistakes that I didn't know I was making.  Thanks again  :)

Offline AgnesNitt

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Re: Skating without a Coach
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2017, 08:21:29 PM »
There is a chance that I might be moving (out of state) so I was hoping that I could go a little longer on my own and then just start lessons once I move.  Plus, my current rink doesn't offer separate classes for adults (beyond basic 1-6) so I would either have to take private lessons (which as you know cost more) or be in a class with little kids.  I think I would feel a bit awkward being the only adult in the class!  So those are a couple of reasons I'm hoping to delay lessons for as long as I can by learning on my own.   

There is no reason you can't skate with the kids. Put your ego in your pocket where you can't see it, and do the best thing for your skating--join freeskate even it if is with the kids. Figurespins pointed out skating without a coach means bad habit development--you will pay cold hard cash to fix that.

And I'm skating in a group class with an 11 year old. I'm 65, and the better skater.
Yes I'm in with the 90's. I have a skating blog. http://icedoesntcare.blogspot.com/

Offline kateskate

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Re: Skating without a Coach
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2017, 08:52:53 PM »
Yeah, AgnesNitt, I might just have to swallow my pride and join the kids in a freeskate class if the private lessons end up being too pricey.  By the way, I think it's awesome that you're skating at age 65  :) 

Offline Query

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Re: Skating without a Coach
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2017, 04:04:22 PM »
Unique and against OSHA recommendations.  That's a lawsuit waiting to happen.  For the record, most rinks do not allow skaters on the ice with the zamboni.

I admit I don't know much about finding OSHA rules and recommendations. As a person who works at an ice rink, maybe I should know what rules I am being asked to break...

Do you happen to know where to find those specific OSHA recommendations?

I found some Zamboni publications, and a publication of the government of canada, that say that "Before Operating the Zamboni" you should "Clear all personnel from the machine and the area."

E.g.,

  http://www.zamboni.com/images/PDFs/DM2016F.pdf

  http://gov.mb.ca/ana/publications/safe_workplace/section-iii/section-iii-e/pubs/vle-21-operating-an-ice-resurfacer.pdf

First, that doesn't say anthing about staying off during ice resurfacer operation, and doesn't precisely define "from the area".

Second, I couldn't find anything similar at http://OSHA.gov or https://www.federalregister.gov or https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STaNDaRDS&p_id=9828 . Can you?

There are a bunch of OSHA regulations pertaining to "fall protection systems" and "fall protection training" for slippery surfaces, such as ice. Maybe that means no one (like coaches and ice rink personnel or any professional skater) is allowed to work on the ice without special fall protection equipment? :)

Offline ChristyRN

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Re: Skating without a Coach
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2017, 08:10:40 PM »
There is no reason you can't skate with the kids. Put your ego in your pocket where you can't see it, and do the best thing for your skating--join freeskate even it if is with the kids. Figurespins pointed out skating without a coach means bad habit development--you will pay cold hard cash to fix that.

And I'm skating in a group class with an 11 year old. I'm 65, and the better skater.

Our bridge class ranges from 10 (and she can't follow directions or work independently) to 53 (that would be me!). I'm the second highest skater in the bunch.  The teenager working on flying spins is the highest. I'm working on Bronze FS and Silver MIF.  I'm also the longest-tenured skater at the rink (15 years). I hate to think how much I've spent there. . .  :o Now, I'm starting my granddaughter in LTS. She's eligible for the 2030 Olympics.  ;D
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Offline tstop4me

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Re: Skating without a Coach
« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2017, 09:26:16 PM »
Likewise, at some rinks, you can take a lesson while the Zamboni is surfacing the ice, by carefully avoiding it. That too might be a hard time for a coach to fill.

You used "rinks" in the plural.  Are you in fact aware that there is at least one rink other than your own in which a coach gives a private lesson while the Zamboni is clearing the ice?  Or are you just assuming that, since it is done at your rink, other rinks must do it too?  And I certainly hope those slots are hard to fill.  Unless your rink has a lot of suicidal students.

I admit I don't know much about finding OSHA rules and recommendations. As a person who works at an ice rink, maybe I should know what rules I am being asked to break...
Do you happen to know where to find those specific OSHA recommendations?


You're not likely to find something directly on point in the OSHA regulations.  OSHA regulations are geared towards the safety of employees.  Any OSHA regulations would likely be geared towards the safety of the Zamboni driver; such as monitoring the level of exhaust emissions in the rink to ensure that it is within safe levels.  It is possible that if the coach is a rink employee there could be regulations to prevent her from being run over.  However, the student would not be a rink employee and would not be covered.

Regardless, I'm aghast that any rink would allow a coach to conduct a private lesson while the Zamboni is resurfacing the ice, that any coach would offer a lesson under such circumstances, that any student would accept (no less pay for) a lesson under such circumstances, and that any Zamboni driver would agree to operate his machine under such circumstances.  I'm even more aghast that anyone would actually suggest that a student take lessons under such circumstances (even with the caveat that she take proper precautions to avoid being run over).

Offline riley876

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Re: Skating without a Coach
« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2017, 09:40:32 PM »
I'd be happy enough to have a private lesson shared with an active resurfacer, so long as the resurfacer did the rink in two clearly defined halves.

Offline LunarSkater

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Re: Skating without a Coach
« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2017, 10:09:06 PM »
Every rink I have skated at forbids people to be on the ice while the doors are open and the zamboni is on the ice. Signs posted everywhere; if there aren't signs, staff guarding the doors.

I have a very friendly relationship with my rink staff. We have joked on and off for a while to teach me to drive the thing. It started out me saying that I used to drive box trucks for work and snowballed from there. (I have not learned, as I am not an employee.) Every single person who drives it cannot see over it. Literally. They mark where they are on the rink by rote memory and landmarks on the walls, etc. The line of sight ends at the 'nose'. Some of these guys are over six feet tall. It is an absolute hazard to be on the ice while the zamboni is working. The driver cannot see you.

Policies to keep people off the ice while the resurfacer is on might not be OSHA regulation (unless someone really wants to go digging and find out), but if something happens, I highly doubt the rink could afford to stay open after all the legal proceedings. These policies are for everyone's safety.

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And we might have perhaps disrailed this conversation a tiny bit. Sorry.

Back to the scheduled topic, I was the only LTS adult at my rink for two years. There was no point in having an adult class. I was in with the kids. The skating director apologized over it when I joined the lower level stroking class. Adults are a rarity in the figure skating world. Coaching is worth the occasional aggravation of being in a group of children.

Offline Query

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Re: Skating without a Coach
« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2017, 01:55:03 PM »
My current rink does not have lessons taught while the Zamboni is on the ice, though staff may have been known to set up stuff on the ice before it is off. But I used to take ice dance lessons at another rink while the Zamboni (or was it an Olympia?) was there. I and my coach were the only skaters on the ice, and we were very aware of where the Zamboni was. I got used to it, and wasn't worried after the first time. There was less interference from the Zamboni (whose motions were very predictable) than would have occurred from other skaters during crowded public, freestyle or dance sessions. That is the only rink where I know that was done. I would hate to see it done with a beginning skater, or a newbie Zamboni driver.

Then again, maybe you could have a coach with mobility issues who drove an ice surfacer while they taught? :)

Offline kateskate

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Re: Skating without a Coach
« Reply #21 on: March 02, 2017, 05:56:00 PM »
Thanks again to everyone for your replies.  There's a lot of things I need to consider but everybody made it clear that I should have a coach and I appreciate that advice  :D

Offline Query

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Re: Skating without a Coach
« Reply #22 on: March 07, 2017, 03:14:36 PM »
I continued with the Zamboni question in another thread:

  http://skatingforums.com/index.php?topic=7590.0

Offline cittiecat

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Re: Skating without a Coach
« Reply #23 on: March 13, 2017, 10:07:56 PM »
I just wanted to throw out there that I'm 25 and have regularly been in classes with kids. It can be a little awkward but usually it is fine. The thing that can be difficult is finding a space to practice on the ice without running into them. They are less worried about running into each other and have shorter legs (therefore need less room for things then me), if I try to set up for a jump and land with nice edge and extension it can be difficult sometimes. Outside of that it has been great. I did group and private for a little while, but now I'm just doing private because I'm helping teach basic skills and the free skate group lesson is at the same time as basic skills.