You are viewing as a Guest.

Welcome to skatingforums - over 10 years of figure skating discussions for skaters, coaches, judges and parents!

Please register to be able to access all features of this message board.

Author Topic: Coach / parent conflict on use of safety equipment  (Read 730 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline jjane45

  • Clean Skate
  • ********
  • Joined: Aug 2010
  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Posts: 3,870
  • Total GOE: 160
  • Gender: Female
Coach / parent conflict on use of safety equipment
« on: September 21, 2011, 12:59:47 PM »
Like when parents and skater strongly desire to use certain safety gear (e.g. helmet, headband, padding) but the coach will not allow it at all? What do you think is the appropriate way to deal with such case? Will the skater's competition level or discipline change your opinion?

Offline Skittl1321

  • Swizzle Royalty
  • ******
  • Joined: Aug 2010
  • Posts: 2,312
  • Total GOE: 118
    • Skittles Skates
Re: Coach / parent conflict on use of safety equipment
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2011, 01:09:14 PM »
Get a new coach?  How badly do you want to wear the safety equipment?  If it is important to the parent, and the coach says absolutely no way, it doesn't sound like the right coach. 

Online MimiG

  • CER-A
  • Divot Maker
  • ***
  • Joined: Aug 2010
  • Location: Massachusetts, USA
  • Posts: 430
  • Total GOE: 64
Re: Coach / parent conflict on use of safety equipment
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2011, 01:25:48 PM »
What are the skater's reasons for wanting the item? What are the coach's reasons for disallowing it? If you can't discuss it and come to a solution that works for both parties, I'd consider a coaching change.

That said, as a coach, I would argue against a traditional bike helmet (but would allow a multi-sport or hockey helmet - safety issue, the bike helmet isn't designed for skating falls), and I wouldn't allow anything that restricted the skater's natural movement without a good (medical) reason. I have no problems with non-restrictive padding, appropriate helmets, or an ice halo-style headband. Although above a certain level, I'd probably not want them worn for test or competition unless medically necessary, but I haven't really thought about it enough to know what level that would be...

Offline Clarice

  • Blade Runner
  • ***
  • Joined: Aug 2010
  • Posts: 520
  • Total GOE: 57
Re: Coach / parent conflict on use of safety equipment
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2011, 01:28:36 PM »
Sometimes the level/discipline does make a difference.  For instance, I've been told by high level pair skaters that, although you would think wearing a helmet would be very important for them, it actually presents a problem.  You don't wear them for competition, and you need to train the elements the way they will be performed.  The helmet makes the head heavier, so when you remove it, it changes your timing and balance.  If you only do that at competitions, the risks actually increase.  I'd want to know the coach's reasons for discouraging the use of whatever safety equipment is being discussed.  I'd also want to know the skater's age and level, and whether they have a history of falling and hitting their head, or of concussion from any source.

Offline jjane45

  • Clean Skate
  • ********
  • Joined: Aug 2010
  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Posts: 3,870
  • Total GOE: 160
  • Gender: Female
Re: Coach / parent conflict on use of safety equipment
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2011, 01:45:13 PM »
I bet if there was a serious enough injury in the past, the coach would give in. In this case I believe it's a slight head bump, but why wait until a serious injury happens?

Anyways, to me it's an issue of drawing lines among "must", "must not", and "depends". After all, parents retain coaches for their expertise in producing successful skaters! (and hope the skater stays in one piece throughout the career...)

Offline sarahspins

  • Passed Silver MITF 4/7/13!
  • Synchro Skater
  • ******
  • Joined: Feb 2011
  • Location: Somewhere very hot
  • Posts: 2,003
  • Total GOE: 124
  • Gender: Female
  • CER-C
Re: Coach / parent conflict on use of safety equipment
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2011, 03:14:07 PM »
I guess it depends on the skater's level and the reasoning for the padding or other protective gear.

I see a lot of skaters are my rink that gear up (often excessively) out of nothing more than fear.. usually these skaters are not falling so much that they "need" the gear they're so dependent on (and may not be falling at all) and I don't really think that it helps them as much as they think it does.


I will admit that I sometimes wear more protective gear than I "need" - for example, I wore my dance kneepads today and didn't even fall once (or come close to it) in 2 1/2 hours of skating, but I was also wearing them more for knee support than protection since my joints (everywhere) have been hurting more than average this week, and I probably wouldn't have even gotten through the first half hour without them, never mind stay to skate another 2. At the same time though I am not one of those skaters who insists I have to wear something specific every time I skate or that I have to have padding on before I work on jumps... there are skaters that get completely stuck in that mindset, and it's a very difficult pattern to break, and they form a psychological attachment to requiring "things" to be able to even try certain jumps - that may be why a coach would be insistent that protective gear NOT be used.

As far as a skater wanting to wear something like a helmet - I think if it's temporary, and it makes the difference between the skater getting back on the ice again vs quitting, that it's really okay.  I don't think it would be beneficial to use it long-term though.

I skated with a brace for a very long time (years) after I tore my ACL and it was actually pretty difficult to give that brace up - I would have been better off had I only used it for the 6 months or so recommended after I got back on the ice.  Weaning myself from it was much harder mentally than physically... most of it had to do with learning to trust my body again (which is something I still struggle with a little).  I still occasionally wrap my knee to help with my kneecap alignment, and sometimes wear my knee pads for support but that's the only "help" that knee gets and I can usually skate without either. 

Offline jumpingbeansmom

  • Wearing Blade Guards on the Ice
  • ***
  • Joined: Aug 2010
  • Posts: 384
  • Total GOE: 60
Re: Coach / parent conflict on use of safety equipment
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2011, 05:52:10 PM »
My dd's coach forces a butt pad on my girl for her double axel... other than that, she wants none of it.

Offline Schmeck

  • Practicing Chick Tails
  • ***
  • Joined: Sep 2010
  • Posts: 645
  • Total GOE: 13
Re: Coach / parent conflict on use of safety equipment
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2011, 06:16:11 PM »
I think that if a skater has had a significant injury, then yes, allow protective equipment until the injury is healed.  If the skater has had a concussion, then yes, wear a halo, or a thick headband, or even a thick fleece hat for protection.

After having been a front row witness to Steve Hartsell's head splitting fall at a national's practice, I would never turn down a skater's desire to wear safe, protective equipment, at least during practice.