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1
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
2
The Pro Shop / Re: Anyone tried moldable foam insoles or liners?
« Last post by Query on April 26, 2017, 06:53:56 PM »
NHL players aren't typical hockey players, and they can be rough on their equipment partly because they mostly get it for free. At the highest end of the figure skating community, it is frequent for figure skates to last as little as 3 - 4 months, supposedly even if fit correctly. I'm not sure, but I think Hockey and figure boots are roughly comparable in terms of longevity.

Blades are complicated. At the high end, figure skating blades cost more, they are somewhat harder to interchange, and they don't receive as rough treatment, so good figure skate sharpeners try to make them last a little longer, I think. (E.g., to get rid of particularly deep nicks, it is not unusual for a good hockey sharpener to remove .1 inches of metal per sharpening, whereas a good figure sharpener might remove about .003", unless the blades have worn to the point of having little or no hollow.) OTOH, you can take more metal off of a hockey blade and still have it function well, because hockey skates have no toe pick.

If I understand correctly, "custom" hockey boots are available too. And different brands of hockey skate, like different brands of figure skate, tend towards somewhat different fits, in terms of things like stock boot toe width. I'm not sure whether they come with as many stock width options.

I can't explain why high end figure skating vs hockey (boots and blades) are dominated by different brands.

But I don't sell or make skates. Maybe someone who does could tell you more.
3
I wonder if the test policy isn't part of the Entryeeze registration process for the clubs that don't have it posted.

I've figured out that I can put a credit in the EE shopping cart, but it can only be used for a particular purpose: membership renewal, merchandise or contract ice.
Do the test chairs start a new EE test session and move the skater/test to that new session?  That would handle the "reschedule test by (date) or forfeit the fee" rule, I think.

Once the schedule is published, we pay the rink for the ice rental, so rescheduling will actually cost us more since we'd have to pay for that ice on the new session.
To that end, a partial credit for the first test might be feasible, but if the skater wants to test a more-expensive level on that next session, someone has to be the debt collector.

It's so confusing.  No wonder most clubs have a "sorry, no refunds or credit" policy.

Anyone else?
4
I know my local skating clubs all have written policies on withdrawals from competitions, but none of the clubs I've tested at seem to have a written policy on withdrawing from a test session.

IMO, it would be really hard to have an open policy on this. You guys are volunteers, and it's hard enough to schedule the test session and deal with trying to get judges and etc., never mind having to handle reimbursing skaters who simply choose not to show up. In addition, you've already bought the ice, obtained the judges for a certain number and level of skaters. So having the ability to have skaters withdraw once all that is done can really impact your club's finances and perhaps reputation. If you did this, you'd probably need a written policy, as you noted, and to have a hard deadline date after which refunds can't be made or, if you choose not to allow refunds, after which the skater's test can't be moved to the next test session.

5
Registration states no refunds for any reason. There are costs associated with test sessions and those are determined by the number of skaters, in advance of the test. If someone were seriously injured and asked for a refund or credit, it may be granted, but the official policy doesn't allow for it.
6
My club's test registration form clearly states that there will be no refunds after the schedule is posted.  Our forms also spell out a $25.00 late filing fee as well.
7
We have a pull date and you can pull your name up until that date and not be charged for the test.  After that date, you will be charged as if you were there.  So many just choose to take their test and take their chances unless there is a scheduling conflict.  I skate in an area where there are many demands on ice time and as such it can be expensive and also hard to book.
8
Ours is generally no refunds unless in the case of serious injury that would prevent you from testing. I think if you're in good standing and something comes up beyond your control (I occasionally have to travel last minute for work) they would transfer your test to the next test session.

But the overarching rule is no refunds since they don't want a bunch of kids signing up and then withdrawing at the last minute because they aren't ready.
9
The Pro Shop / Re: Anyone tried moldable foam insoles or liners?
« Last post by Leif on April 26, 2017, 04:14:46 AM »
Some brands are thinner than others at the front. And many boots can be ordered with at least 4 size parameters - overall size, which has to do with length and the distance from the heel to the bend at the ball of the foot, width at the heel, width at midfoot, and width at the toes. And various other customizations are available from all the major brands. Of course, customization adds to cost. Results vary somewhat.

Most high level figure skates, whether or not they are custom, like most high level hockey skates, are heat moldable - to some extent, and in some places.

It sounds like these figure skates have a more sensible approach to sizing. Hockey skates come in widths and lengths. However, Bauer for example do three lines - Vapor, Supreme and Nexus - and these differ in the foot shape. Nexus is wide at the heel and deep. Vapor is narrow at the heel and shallow. Supreme is in between. I guess there must be a good reason why Bauer et al do not follow the figure skate approach, maybe cost, since a pro skater can go through a pair of skates in 6 months, whereas I suspect figure skates last years, not that I know. Of course it is possible that figure skaters are more choosey about fit, since I would guess that you need a good fit to do the incredible jumps and spins many do.
10
Here's the exact wording from my club's test application: "[CLUB] regrets that we cannot provide refunds for test fees, except in the case of illnesses or injuries which are documented by a doctor’s note. If a skater withdraws they must withdraw from the entire test session to receive a refund. No partial refunds will be given."
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