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: Beginner Skater Trainers  (Read 3732 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline FigureSpins

  • CER-A, CER-C
  • Asynchronous Skating Team Leader
  • ********
  • Joined: Aug 2010
  • Location: Center Ice: Bullseye of the Deranged
  • Posts: 4,682
  • Total GOE: 129
Beginner Skater Trainers
« on: November 08, 2011, 08:15:28 AM »
There are a couple of different models, but ours are sort of unique: they're molded plastic walkers with handholds and angled sides. 

ETA: Found it!  There's an advertising space on the front that I hadn't noticed on ours. That might help cover the $95/unit cost of a 20-item order.  Hmmm...



http://www.kezsports.com/

The website says that these are being used to help kids with disabilities, but they'd have to be really short, imo. That's probably why our rink got them - they've been talking about starting a Special Skater program.  http://northumberlandcounty.wnep.com/content/skater-aids-help-students-ice

Here are some other models:
http://www.hockeymonkey.com/winnwell-abs-child-skate-trainer.html
http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/improvement/outdoor-projects/how-to-build-a-backyard-ice-rink-2
http://www2.hockeycanada.ca/equipment/street-hockey/hockey-canada-child-skate-trainer/prodHCCST0100RD.html
"If you still look good after skating practice, you didn't work hard enough."

Year-Round Skating Discussions for Figure Skaters - www.skatingforums.com

Offline FigureSpins

  • CER-A, CER-C
  • Asynchronous Skating Team Leader
  • ********
  • Joined: Aug 2010
  • Location: Center Ice: Bullseye of the Deranged
  • Posts: 4,682
  • Total GOE: 129
Re: Beginner Skater Trainers
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2011, 08:28:01 AM »
These things are immortalized on this board as a post rank title named "Beware the Bars of Death."  Best practices for using these things include:

1. Ages 6 and under - because of the height of the icewalker, it doesn't help taller/older kids
2. Skate with the traffic
3. A parent/guardian should stay with the skater

Of course, best-laid plans and all that ...  The rink doesn't always know who the parents intend to put behind these "bars of death."  Little kids get tired after 15 or 20 minutes, so the walker gets abandoned on the ice, in the doorway, or placed in a corner for a second round after a cocoa break.

At that point, the older kids take control.  Our frames are perfect for racing, bumper cars, run-and-ride (really great for the rental blades, too) and knocking down unsuspecting skaters as the 'drivers' careen around the rink.

I've seen kids try to share the walker, too.  The biggest kid sits on the front while the youngest one (who allegedly couldn't skate) pushes.  Or, two little ones get dragged sideways while the biggest kid flies down the ice, leaving them sprawled behind.  Or, one kid holds onto the front and skates backward in a spiral while another pushes and does a spiral.  Love watching that duet go into a cluster of public skaters with their backs turned.

Yesterday, I saw a family of four do something different, which I liked.  The two kids each had a frame and they were fine.  The parents stayed with them while they went round and round the rink, and had a great time.  At one point, the dad's feet hurt, so he sat out for a bit.  The mom had the two kids make a train and she pushed them along the side.  I have to admit, it was cute.   The way the frames are sized, they don't fit together snugly, so the kid in front had room to glide without getting squished.  They were making chugging noises and having a great time.

It got me to wondering how these can be used well, but I know I'm not the only person who has seen the abuse.  Anyone else have something to share about these skate trainer / skate walker / skater frame devices?
"If you still look good after skating practice, you didn't work hard enough."

Year-Round Skating Discussions for Figure Skaters - www.skatingforums.com

Offline Sk8tmum

  • Click of Death
  • ****
  • Joined: Aug 2010
  • Location: An arena, of course. More specifically, a Canadian arena.
  • Posts: 1,254
  • Total GOE: 140
  • Gender: Female
Re: Beginner Skater Trainers
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2011, 09:17:36 AM »
Hate them. Hate them. Hate them.  It's just giving kids a delay in learning how to skate ... if they're not ready to balance holding onto a hand, or on their own, then, they're probably not ready to skate.  It also encourages poor posture, poor technique ... and can become a security blanket. 

Better than pylons, though. A kid on a pylon (which some LTS use, and some rinks) - who falls on it can severly damage their throat ... and the pylons encourage even worse posture, plus, kids spread their feet around them which means horrible technique.

Offline hopskipjump

  • BladeLock
  • Parked in Lutz Corner
  • *
  • Joined: Dec 2010
  • Posts: 1,031
  • Total GOE: 59
Re: Beginner Skater Trainers
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2011, 10:02:21 AM »
For the super tiny tots our rink just uses upturned buckets and only during the tot class.  Never during a public session.  It is SUPER cute though watching them.  Most look like they can hardly walk in shoes, let alone skates.  :D It's dd's dream to be able to help the tot class.  She has it in her journal once she is in middle school she will be allowed to assist classes.

Offline taka

  • Kid Magnet
  • ****
  • Joined: Oct 2010
  • Location: Scotland!
  • Posts: 820
  • Total GOE: 65
Re: Beginner Skater Trainers
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2011, 01:52:32 PM »
We recently got penguins! They are only used during younger kids group lessons (on coned 1/4 ice only). There is only usually 1 on the ice apart from during the tots class. One of them has somehow lost its' eye markings so it looks like it is winking all the time! :D


Offline Sk8tmum

  • Click of Death
  • ****
  • Joined: Aug 2010
  • Location: An arena, of course. More specifically, a Canadian arena.
  • Posts: 1,254
  • Total GOE: 140
  • Gender: Female
Re: Beginner Skater Trainers
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2011, 02:04:13 PM »
For the super tiny tots our rink just uses upturned buckets and only during the tot class.  Never during a public session.  It is SUPER cute though watching them.  Most look like they can hardly walk in shoes, let alone skates.  :D It's dd's dream to be able to help the tot class.  She has it in her journal once she is in middle school she will be allowed to assist classes.

Unless she's short  ... it can be painful. My DD loves the little kids, but, teaching them skating has unique challenges for someone who is tall: her back ends taking the brunt of heaving them around :)  and they get less fun when they throw a temper tantrum on the ice, have leaky diapers, or have parents who can't figure out why "little charlie" isn't zooming around like an NHL-er within two weeks of lessons. Or, the parents who, after you've carefully weaned "little charlie" off of a skating aid, hand it back to him to "help him out".  Seriously, we seem to have a disillusionment cycle of about 6 months with new assistant coaches ...

Offline FigureSpins

  • CER-A, CER-C
  • Asynchronous Skating Team Leader
  • ********
  • Joined: Aug 2010
  • Location: Center Ice: Bullseye of the Deranged
  • Posts: 4,682
  • Total GOE: 129
Re: Beginner Skater Trainers
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2011, 02:14:34 PM »
We recently got penguins! They are only used during younger kids group lessons (on coned 1/4 ice only). There is only usually 1 on the ice apart from during the tots class. One of them has somehow lost its' eye markings so it looks like it is winking all the time! :D

Like these?



Cute, but won't they topple over on them when the kids fall backwards?  I'd be leery of forward falls into the penguin's head.  At least they make the skater more visible: I saw one rink that had a max skater height of 1.2m (≈4') which is sensible to use the penguins.
"If you still look good after skating practice, you didn't work hard enough."

Year-Round Skating Discussions for Figure Skaters - www.skatingforums.com

Offline FigureSpins

  • CER-A, CER-C
  • Asynchronous Skating Team Leader
  • ********
  • Joined: Aug 2010
  • Location: Center Ice: Bullseye of the Deranged
  • Posts: 4,682
  • Total GOE: 129
Re: Beginner Skater Trainers
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2011, 02:48:51 PM »
Good grief - it's amazing what a search can find: http://www.skating-aid.com/images/skating-aid.pdf



Can you imagine getting bumped from behind and falling backwards onto a child sitting on this thing?
"If you still look good after skating practice, you didn't work hard enough."

Year-Round Skating Discussions for Figure Skaters - www.skatingforums.com

Offline Skittl1321

  • Swizzle Royalty
  • ******
  • Joined: Aug 2010
  • Posts: 2,312
  • Total GOE: 118
    • Skittles Skates
Re: Beginner Skater Trainers
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2011, 03:26:08 PM »
Seriously, we seem to have a disillusionment cycle of about 6 months with new assistant coaches ...
I got hired on right after Basic 8 to assistant teach tots, and then eventually became the trainer for the new coaches.  Tots require a special skill set.

I never let them hold onto anything.  I'd rather they spend the first lesson sitting on the ice than holding the wall.  The only lifting I ever did for kids (except maybe to spin them, if everyone in the class was light enough) was to pick up those who couldn't march right away and move them to middle of the hockey circle, away from walls (and parents!).   We stood like statues a lot for kids who were not ready to march yet.  If kids can walk off ice in the skates, they can balance on ice.  If they can't walk off ice, I told parents they weren't ready yet.  We did spend the first 15 minutes of the first class only off ice though, I only had 2 kids I turned away completely, both 2 year olds.  Most of my kids were 3-5, with an occasional 2 y/o.

We did offer a 'parent/tot' class for kids not ready to go on their own, but it really only works if the parent is steady enough to hold them.  When the parent also wants to learn to skate, this class is not a good thing.  Most of these kids were 2 or 3.

I lasted 4 years, but now my hip cannot take the repeated pounding from demonstrating falling after my injury.  "Monkeys on the Bed" requires falling 5 times in a row!  And fall down get up races take even more!  

I saved my back by not helping kids up.  If they couldn't stand themselves up after some encouragement, I would sit on the ice and let them use me to climb up, but I wouldn't lift them.  Not until the rink provides me a safety belt like warehouse workers!