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Author Topic: Skating in the Kids Classes  (Read 865 times)

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Offline AgnesNitt

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Skating in the Kids Classes
« on: March 14, 2017, 06:43:10 PM »
So,I'm skating at two rinks. At Rink A I'm in Freestyle 2. At Rink B I'm in Basic 6 (to fix my FI3).

I was talking to the Skating Director at Rink B about going up to Pre-Free. She said they put the adults in an adults Freestyle, which is basically 'oh, let's have fun and work on random things."  I told her I was already doing that at Rink A and I didn't see the point at screwing around at two rinks. I wanted to do 'levels'.

'Levels' is the term I heard at other local rinks about people who do LTS the classic way. Rink A doesn't do that. I'm okay with that, but I want to do 'levels'

The skating director at Rink B said that was okay if I didn't mind skating with kids. I thought "well, if I fall on them. If they die, they die." But this was a Russian skating director and I figured not much sense of humor, so I didn't say anything.

Anyway, I'm in Basic 6 with kids (I.Feel.So.Tall!) and it's okay. We don't speak and I avoid them on the ice.  I figure pre-free will be the same.

So anyone take lessons with kids in Freestyle?
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Offline Live2Sk8

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Re: Skating in the Kids Classes
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2017, 07:04:26 PM »
I used to.  It was awkward.  I'm a lefty so I'd be put in the middle of the hockey circle to work on things while the kids skated on the outside of the circle.  I felt like a circus animal.  Plus it was very disconcerting having all the parents of the kids sitting in the stands watching - I know they were watching their kids but of course I felt like they were watching me and wondering why in the world I was out there, too.  I was so much slower than most of the kids, and they would not watch out so it was scary, too.

Then there was the embarrassment about watching them master things and pass on to the next level while I had to keep trying.  I will say that I persevered and it was ok in the long run!

One big mistake I made was in not taking Basic 1-8.  I did Adult 1-4 instead because at the time, I only planned to learn enough to skate around the rink.  I didn't think I would ever jump, spin, test or compete.  I missed out on a lot by doing that.

Good luck!

Offline ChristyRN

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Re: Skating in the Kids Classes
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2017, 07:06:48 PM »
I did. The coach instructors we had at the time weren't supportive of adults and focused mostly on the kids. Laugh's on them now, because I'm still skating and the majority of the kids are not. I guess they don't figure we'll stick with it.

One big mistake I made was in not taking Basic 1-8.  I did Adult 1-4 instead because at the time, I only planned to learn enough to skate around the rink.  I didn't think I would ever jump, spin, test or compete.  I missed out on a lot by doing that.

This! I felt like I missed so much too. And I only wanted to skate around the rink.
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Offline LunarSkater

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Re: Skating in the Kids Classes
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2017, 07:12:22 PM »
It's all I've ever done (except for a random few months in which there was another adult skater at my level and we had our own group). I do group with them in both LTS and low level Stroking. Heck, I even do day camps at the rink with them. The Russian skating director was very apologetic, but was okay with it if I was okay with it. Now it's pretty much normal at my rink to have mixed classes.

The thing I always have to remember is that kids do not always comprehend right-of-way and how to stay out of other skaters movements. They just do not understand that their actions have impact on other people in crowded environments. When there's space, my coach always sends me off to the side just to give me more room. This is not every child by a long shot - levels of maturity abound. Some kids see other kids and just want to play. Others are there to work.

Offline AgnesNitt

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Re: Skating in the Kids Classes
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2017, 07:47:29 PM »
I'm much faster than the 11 year olds who have no technique in my Basic 6 class. I can even skate backwards faster than they can. The coach didn't like the fact that I was using a more advanced stroking technique (like for back edges), she wanted me to use c-cuts. Next lesson I show up, I'm going to do back serpentines  with c cuts, just so I can slow myself down. (Of course next to a younger adult with technique, I'm painfully slow.)

I.am.so.bored. The second I nail my FI3, I'm history.
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Offline skatemom189

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Re: Skating in the Kids Classes
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2017, 09:17:03 PM »
Why are you taking group classes?

Offline AgnesNitt

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Re: Skating in the Kids Classes
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2017, 10:40:13 PM »
Why are you taking group classes?

Because when I'm stuck on an element it means either getting another coach entirely, or get another coach in group. Group is cheaper and doesn't hurt my present coach's feelings.
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Offline mamabear

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Re: Skating in the Kids Classes
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2017, 05:25:42 PM »
I haven't done classes like Basic Skills but I did a power class with the kids for quite a while.  I really should get back to it.  It was hard because I was the slowest in the class (I think you had to be BS 6 or above) and I get terrified when people are zipping past me on circle drills but that was good for me.

Offline Sam_Bryant

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Re: Skating in the Kids Classes
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2017, 07:18:17 PM »
I avoid skating with other people beyond my coach on the ice. Props to those of you who have the nerve to do so! ^_^
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Offline icepixie

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Re: Skating in the Kids Classes
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2017, 07:26:02 PM »
I started to get lumped in with the kids when I hit ISI Delta, and right after that session I quit group and got a private coach.  The kids were fine, but being kids, they had very short attention spans.  I prefer to work on something until I either get it or at least have enough knowledge about it that I can do meaningful practice before my next lesson, even if it means we don't cover much ground in the lesson itself.  The adult classes were structured to spend more time on each element but cover fewer of them in the class, which worked for me.  In the kids class, we'd move to the next thing after five minutes, and I was constantly left feeling like, "I was just starting to understand this and we're doing something else??"  Not a fan.

Offline AgnesNitt

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Re: Skating in the Kids Classes
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2017, 08:07:52 PM »
In the kids class, we'd move to the next thing after five minutes, and I was constantly left feeling like, "I was just starting to understand this and we're doing something else??"  Not a fan.

I have noticed this with LTS USA. There's no flow through the class. Just the coach picks a skill to start, then moves on to the next and so on. I don't think the skills are inappropriate, for the level but for example: Basic 6 has back stroking, FI3, T stops, spirals, two foot turns, beginning 1 foot spin and bunny hop. I'd break the class into first half: T stops (to open the hips), two foot turns (for the turn), and back edges( to get the back glide)--leading into FI3. Spirals, bunny hop, and spin are individual skills and you could put them in any order.
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Offline Query

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Re: Skating in the Kids Classes
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2017, 12:46:49 AM »
It's not just short attention span.

A lot of coaches look at Basic Skill classes as very preliminary training. Kids are taught one way of doing things, and even with that method, the coach doesn't worry too much about exactly what they do. Then, when they get to freestyle, they will learn very different ways of moving. I think it is so they can start jumping while they are young, before they have actually mastered basic strokes and edges.

For us adults, that seems inefficient. I like to learn how to do something RIGHT, one skill at a time, before moving on to the next thing.

Unfortunately, in the U.S. most coaches tend to teach all the standard ISI and especially the USFSA classes the kid way in that - even the adult classes. Part of the reason is the expectation of spending a very small number of minutes at a time on each skill in each lesson, because that's what the USFSA and PSA say to do. There is no real attention paid to proper technique in low level classes. Some of the special clinics, like some ice dance clinics, and perhaps some non-standard classes that focus on spins and jumps, that are designed by a good coach, are taught with more attention to proper technique. I found them more appropriate to me. But I guess it is a lot harder for a coach to design their own class, and a lot harder to get approval from the skating director to teach them. There may be some insurance issues too - BS registration includes sports liability insurance for the coach and perhaps the rink, provided the coach stays completely within the standard syllabus. And there are risks - the coach and rink can't guess how many people will sign up for a newly designed class.

I noticed some of the same type of issue in kayaking classes. E.g., American Canoe Association [ACA] classes teach very inefficient ways of doing moving, using a very standardized syllabus. Then, in later classes, techniques are revised, and will probably be revised again in private lessons. At all times, attention is paid to injury issues, and movement techniques, that are largely specific to hypermobile athletes - which I'm not. Efficient ways of moving are mostly reserved for elite level competitive athletes, and are generally not taught in ACA classes. Then I took some lessons from a coach who ignored ACA standards, and taught everybpmr the elite techniques from the start. He also developed his own disciplined technique and sequence of teaching people in groups, including individual feedback, that worked much better than the more casual group teaching techniques the ACA encouraged. He met a lot of criticism from other instructors, and from some others, but the ways he taught us to move, and his teaching methods, worked overwhelmingly better. (In fairness, I am not familiar with the modern ACA syllabus. Perhaps they have improved...)

Offline FigureSpins

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Re: Skating in the Kids Classes
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2017, 09:43:45 AM »
As a PSA member who has taught ISI and Learn to Skate USA groups for many years: I hear you.  Many of the group classes are taught by skaters-turned-instructors.  They have no education background and most have only had one or two coaches themselves, so they only know to parrot what they've heard their coaches say. 

However, I don't look at a class as "we're doing these things in this order every week."  I usually go over everything at the first class session, demonstrating the skills.  Each week, I review the lower-level skills and target one of the harder skills.  If I have time, I'll go over the other skills, but typically, I just wait for the next session, adding the new skill to the review.  Sometimes, you have skaters who need to spend more time on one skill rather than move forward with the others, so I'll let them work independently, checking on them every few minutes.

Right now, I teach Adult groups twice a week.  Adult Group is like teaching four different classes at once.  I get teenagers who are too shy to be with the kids, so they're doing the Basic curriculum in the Adult class, hockey skaters start three weeks late who don't want to learn "dance stuff," plus a variety of adult starters: some can't get off the wall yet, others are doing backward crossovers!  Sometimes (not this session) I even have adult freestyle skaters doing jumps and spins thrown into the mix.  (I try to send them to the Freestyle group lesson, but the Director moves them to Adult if there are only a few adults.   Frustrating for everyone.)  I deserve double pay for teaching adults -- it's the most exhausting class ever.

I'm reaching the point where I am willing to pay higher commissions on my private lessons rather than be wiped out twice a week.
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Offline ChristyRN

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Re: Skating in the Kids Classes
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2017, 06:20:24 PM »
.  In the kids class, we'd move to the next thing after five minutes, and I was constantly left feeling like, "I was just starting to understand this and we're doing something else??"  Not a fan.

I had an Olympic level coach teaching LTS one session. One (30 minute) lesson, we did 13 different skills! 13! I don't know how anybody learns like that, even short attention span kids.

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Offline Vicki7

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Re: Skating in the Kids Classes
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2017, 08:46:37 AM »
I'm currently the oldest in my show rehearsals by about 5 years (I'm 27). There's a 22 year old guy, then kids ranging from 11 to 16. This is because it's financially better for me to do Saturday rehearsal, rather than Wednesday nights when all the adults do.

Saturday morning rehearsal takes place during what is usually a performing arts type class on ice. I'm planning to stick with the kids and do these classes when the show is done. The rink were totally fine with it, I'm good friends with some of the parents (who are also skaters) and the coaches are great about it.

I'm the lowest level skater, currently not jumping and only spin on 2 feet - we've just made the choreography work, and I've picked up new skills like spirals and shoot the duck, so that's good.

I don't get a lot of private lessons in, so this is the next best thing, to keep me skating and keep me motivated.
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Offline Meli

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Re: Skating in the Kids Classes
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2017, 08:09:20 PM »
Tried a stroking class that was sometimes kids and adults, and sometimes kids next to adults, depending of if they had a spare coach. Terrifying to do spirals in a pack when you are just so much bigger and the kids pay no attention to anything around them.  Too many tightly packed bodies in LTS space for me to feel like I can do it in full grownup power/size.

Offline AgnesNitt

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Re: Skating in the Kids Classes
« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2017, 08:22:45 PM »
Tried a stroking class that was sometimes kids and adults, and sometimes kids next to adults, depending of if they had a spare coach. Terrifying to do spirals in a pack when you are just so much bigger and the kids pay no attention to anything around them.  Too many tightly packed bodies in LTS space for me to feel like I can do it in full grownup power/size.

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Offline Query

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Re: Skating in the Kids Classes
« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2017, 02:19:08 PM »
It isn't always the case that, in a collision or fall affecting an adult and child, the child is the one seriously injured. Maybe not even usually.

Anyway, as long as you are willing to understand that, relative to most kids, most adults are learning disabled, I really don't see a problem being in the same class.

I'm much faster than the 11 year olds who have no technique in my Basic 6 class. I can even skate backwards faster than they can. The coach didn't like the fact that I was using a more advanced stroking technique (like for back edges), she wanted me to use c-cuts. Next lesson I show up, I'm going to do back serpentines  with c cuts, just so I can slow myself down. (Of course next to a younger adult with technique, I'm painfully slow.)

From a coach's perspective, students who purposefully diverge from what the coach teaches is being disruptive, whether or not what they do is more "advanced". Are you setting a good example for the kids?

If you try your best to do what the teacher teaches, then you can fit well into the class, regardless of age. If you choose to do something else, then you interfere with the other students' learning process.

If by "C-cuts" you mean half-swizzle pushes, they aren't just a beginner move that you need disdain. The ice dance coaches I have taken from never stop practicing them. In other words, don't be bored because you have done it before. Do it better this time around.

Why not use C-cut time to practice doing them in a deeper leaned and bent-knee position, and getting the body alignment exactly right for greater power and balance? The extended leg can go all the way straight, and if you do it really deeply, in a full side-lunge position, it will push the limits of your strength, flexibility and balance. (That position is a classic Yoga pose. A gal at my rink who does triple jumps loves warming up in that position. I haven't the strength to go nearly as deep.) If you want to slow your average speed over the ice, hold the side lunge position as long as you can.

Or a different drill: do them very quickly, one after another; strengthens a somewhat different set of muscle fibers.

These alternatives don't disrupt the class for other students, yet they help you work on muscle development, balance and flexibility.

Offline AgnesNitt

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Re: Skating in the Kids Classes
« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2017, 06:39:59 PM »
I'm back in the class with the 11 year old girls. I leave the boards ahead of them to stay ahead during stroking, and when we're doing individual work I stay at the other end of the lane.  Compared to them I'm a giant.
One of these days one of the kids in the other lane is going to crash into me and take me down when they're doing their jumps and glide out into my lane. Nobody friggin' cares about this, until there's a bad crash then lane discipline gets enforced for a few months.
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