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Author Topic: icoach skating....  (Read 5022 times)

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Online Loops

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icoach skating....
« on: November 14, 2014, 09:37:18 AM »
So on another thread, people are starting to discuss the icoachskating website.  I didn't want to hijack, so am starting a new thread....

I've been looking at the site.  The videos I've seen are pretty interesting and I'd like to delve deeper into it, but need to pony-up to do so.  Those of you who find the site useful, can I ask what's so great about it, and perhaps more importantly, what your coaching situation is? 

I ask because things work a little differently over here, or at least at my club AND I'm in a dance-only club.  Lessons are often group, and I'm the most advanced skater in the group, by a fair bit, so we work on basics, unless someone's free to take me for a private for the pattern dances.  I'm generally fine with this, because there are always things to improve, and I like doing the dances.  But lessons on spins are by dumb luck or special request, and the coaches (there are only 3) will be focused on the skaters who are competing up until mid-February when the competition takes place.  So the handful of us not in that group, are (understandably) lower priority.

But no-one's even asked me my goals, and unless I specifically ask for something, I don't get a lesson that pushes me forward, if you know what I mean.  Centering my spins is a huge goal of mine, too, long with finding my backspin (been looking EVERYwhere for it.)  I saw that spin exercise, too, and will try it when I have an opportunity, but it's pretty much guaranteed that I'll never get a coaches feedback on it.  In light of that, is the $30/month useful, uber-useful since it could fill in to some degree for coaching, or $$ down the drain since I won't get any corrections?

Love to have your thoughts.....

Offline littlerain

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Re: icoach skating....
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2014, 11:42:06 AM »
I would love to know people's thoughts as well!
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Offline jbruced

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Re: icoach skating....
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2014, 01:28:30 PM »
Ditto what littlerain said above.

Offline nicklaszlo

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Re: icoach skating....
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2014, 01:36:17 PM »
You need to be more pushy with your coaches.  If you are paying them, they should be helping you advance.  Also ask for private lessons; most coaches like money so I imagine they would want to find a way to make that work.

I liked the free icoachskating videos, but didn't subscribe.

Online Loops

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Re: icoach skating....
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2014, 02:18:09 PM »
You need to be more pushy with your coaches.  If you are paying them, they should be helping you advance.  Also ask for private lessons; most coaches like money so I imagine they would want to find a way to make that work.

I liked the free icoachskating videos, but didn't subscribe.

I appreciate your advice.  It really doesn't work like that here.  I don't hire a coach like I did in the US.  Here, I sign up, pay the club membership fee, and get access to the ice times assigned to my level.  The coaching for pattern dances, spins, and any other moves is generally done in group lessons, except for those competing, who have individual programs, who get coaching to develop and perfect those programs.  The adult section works a little differently because its so heavily skewed towards pre-pre level skaters.  I'm actually lucky that I get privates from time to time!!!!  But, since I'm pre-silver I only get those for the pattern dances.  Anything else, spins, moves, etc would be done in group.  There are only three full time coaches at the rink, and their salaries come from the club dues.  There is a fourth who fills in when one of the others can't be there.  They have eagle eyes, and will give assistance even when working with another student, but the coaching model is completely different from that in the US.   It's not a pushiness factor (trust me, I know how to push when need be  ;) ).  I can ask for help on certain things, and do, but it's opportunistic, i.e., when I happen to get the coach that's good with spins, and I can't predict when I'll get the next lesson with him......it is frustrating!  But one has to adapt.

Hence my wondering if icoach....would be a worthwhile investment for me, or if it'd be money better spent elsewhere.

Offline irenar5

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Re: icoach skating....
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2014, 03:39:59 PM »
I have been a long time subscriber (off and on).  They make it very easy to cancel, if you are not happy, so I would definitely try it out- you have nothing to lose!

I find it very helpful, but definitely complementary to my private coaching.  I suppose, you can video yourself and analyze the recording to see if you are doing things correctly.  The website will not replace a coach, but the lessons in it help you understand what to look for in a certain element and how to approach it.  For spins I really enjoyed Charyl Brusch- her explanations were the most helpful to me. 


Offline Casey

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Re: icoach skating....
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2014, 03:57:17 PM »
I think for it to be useful you need to have a way of taking videos of yourself so that you can *see* what you're actually doing like a coach would, not just what you *think* you are doing.  The problem then becomes that your ice time becomes half as effective, because you end up spending half of the time watching the videos to see what you're doing wrong.  Also you can only see so much on a tiny camera LCD screen, so unless you're recording with an iPad or something, you won't catch certain details until you review the video later on a larger screen.  Alternatively, you don't waste any ice time watching the videos, but then you won't catch obvious mistakes until after the session.  Having a live private coach is the most efficient and effective.

I don't think it's money down the drain though, if you enjoy and learn something from the videos.  Although it may not be as effective as a coach, it's only $30/month.  I am tempted to sign up for one month only and watch everything and take lots of notes.  If you try it and find it not to be worthwhile, you can also get your money back:

"During the first 30 days of your subscription, you can cancel and request a refund, FOR ANY REASON."

Offline nicklaszlo

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Re: icoach skating....
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2014, 05:52:32 PM »
I appreciate your advice.  It really doesn't work like that here.

Then you need to become a board member or club president or something so you can change how it works.  Essentially the same thing.

Offline irenar5

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Re: icoach skating....
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2014, 07:32:12 PM »
Quote
Having a live private coach is the most efficient and effective.

Bingo!

The website is complementary to a live coach, not a replacement.   However, I have picked up a fair amount of useful tips from the website.

Offline fsk8r

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Re: icoach skating....
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2014, 12:29:31 AM »
Then you need to become a board member or club president or something so you can change how it works.  Essentially the same thing.

That's changing the whole country's method of coaching, and in some regards most of the Continent's style of coaching. They're not going to do that. The system works. It just happens that for this one skater it's not working.

Loops - I've watched some of the videos and have found tit bits of advice I can take on board, but I think the idea of videoing yourself it a great one. It would mean that you can play coach for yourself. Generally most skaters know what they're aiming for but just can't see (or feel) what they're doing wrong. I know my coach asks me a lot what it feels like. It's training me to be aware of my body and sometimes now I can actually tell her what feels wrong!


Offline jbruced

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Re: icoach skating....
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2014, 09:48:32 AM »
A GoPro camera would probably be a good camera to video yourself with. If I were video myself I would film maybe a half a dozen attempts at the desired maneuver and then review the video looking for a common error in each attempt. If something is identified then you can work on solving the issue.

Online Loops

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Re: icoach skating....
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2014, 12:17:46 PM »
That's changing the whole country's method of coaching, and in some regards most of the Continent's style of coaching. They're not going to do that. The system works. It just happens that for this one skater it's not working.


This is exactly it.  I wouldn't go so far as to say though, that it's not working for me.  It is.  Just not on my schedule ;-).  I'm looking forward to when my kids are old enough that I can do the competition.  Then things will get more interesting.  Until then, I'm just plugging away.  We did rockers and counters today (well, I did, the pre-pre ladies worked on 3 turns).  So I do get to do some interesting things.

I'm planning to push things a little though.  I didn't bring my scribe all the way over here for nothin'.  Just waiting for a time when I can bring it up to the head coach.  I think doing something more like patch would help a lot of the pre-pre ladies (who are also on my synchro team), and honestly, me too.


Loops - I've watched some of the videos and have found tit bits of advice I can take on board, but I think the idea of videoing yourself it a great one. It would mean that you can play coach for yourself. Generally most skaters know what they're aiming for but just can't see (or feel) what they're doing wrong. I know my coach asks me a lot what it feels like. It's training me to be aware of my body and sometimes now I can actually tell her what feels wrong!


Doing videos is a good idea, probably better than the website, and something else I've been thinking of doing.  Here's my challenge- I have a phone and a kindle.  Not sure really how to get either up onto the boards so that I can film, plus I'm rarely left on my own- so fiddling around to get it set up would interfere with actual coaching time.  Publics are a non-starter, there are like 5 a week here and they're all over-crowded and usually full on disco mode.  Not happening.  I do need to start bringing one or the other out to the ice though, so that if I do get an opportunity, I'm prepared.

jbruced, good suggestions.  I'll look at the GoPro.  If that's less fiddly then it might be a better direction for the money.


Offline fsk8r

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Re: icoach skating....
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2014, 04:34:07 PM »
The kids at my rink either use their phones and there is one who has a really simple video camera. They just prop them on the barrier leaning against the glass. With the iphone, I've seen one switch it to the front camera (so she can see the screen), hits record and then disappears off to do what she wants and then comes back later to stop filming. OK there's a few times someone gets in the way, but you can normally film a quick spin. And in setting it up on the forward camera she can see which bit of ice is being filmed so knows where to position herself.

When I've had myself filmed, I've actually just handed the camera to the coach! But I generally only want a program run through filmed and then she'll dig her phone out for any other filming.

And Loops, I'm glad that you feel that you are benefitting from the group coaching. When I've been in any form of group coaching I'm always really impressed with how a coach can see everyone at once, and work out alternative exercises to cover all ability ranges.

Offline Casey

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Re: icoach skating....
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2014, 05:00:33 PM »
A sturdy/thick case will help an iphone stay balanced, and save it if it does fall. I used to use a Nokia back in the day and now just use an inexpensive Canon digital camera that records decent video. I worry about it more as I think it's more fragile than a phone, doesnt have a case, and the protruding lens must disbalance it a bit. But so far so good. I'd prefer to use a phone if ai owned one though... Generally even board-huggers on public sessions watch out for cameras when they pass.

Offline jbruced

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Re: icoach skating....
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2014, 07:23:39 PM »
Loops, I have suction cup mounting device for my GoPro camera which attaches to the housing. It is very sturdy and I usually use it mounted to my kayak although I don't do whitewater, I have seen many use it to film their Eskimo rolls. Should be easy to mount somewhere in an ice rink. It can also be controlled with a smartphone. The GoPro has a wide field of view.

Offline alejeather

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Re: icoach skating....
« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2014, 10:28:26 AM »
I've subscribed to icoachskating for a few months now. And I currently find it worth the price. In fact, as much as some coaches may not like to hear this, I think it was a contributing factor to me deciding to cut ties with one of my coaches. I had two freestyle coaches who work together, and as time went on, I felt like I was getting less and less out of my lessons with one of them. Soon, I was getting more from icoachskating than from that coach, and well, $30 a week vs. $30 a month....

A lot of people have already mentioned the major drawback, which is that there is no supervision over what you learn from the site. I do wish that I had someone to watch me do some of the exercises and help me get the most out of them, but I do use video, and still do meet weekly with a freestyle coach, so I'm not completely doing it blind. I use the information from the site as supplementary to what my freestyle coach does with me. I like the technical explanations that many of the icoachskating coaches give, and use it to inform my understanding of what happens in given moves. I try to apply them, and let my coach contribute and iron out the details, because of course I don't always get it quite right.

As an adult, and especially as one with an extensive dance background, I have a good toolset for evaluating what I don't understand about the movement I'm supposed to do, seeking out that information, applying it, viewing video and repeating the process. I would never want to do *all* my training that way, but I can certainly use it as a tool. I'm often surprised at how one realtime correction from a coach can fix something that has been dogging me for several sessions.

I always try to remain humble about what I learn online, because I don't want to think I know better than my coaches because of the technical information I've garnered from these videos. Where information that my coach gives me and icoachskating contradict, I consider both and see if either help me achieve a successful move. One thing they talk about a lot in icoachskating videos is where traditional teaching explanations don't actually describe what happens in the jump, but that the picture may still help the skater achieve the jump, though sometimes it may hinder their progress because of a misunderstanding. BOTH can happen, and they're very open about that. I like having that information :)
"Any day now" turned out to be November 14, 2014.

Offline PinkLaces

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Re: icoach skating....
« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2014, 01:48:35 PM »
I have subscribed in the past. While I agree that it is not a good substitute for actual lessons with a coach, I found it helpful. The coach I was with at the time was not always good at articulating what she wanted and would say the same things...not helpful. I tried some of the suggestions and found them useful. I also personally know 2 of the contributors and have taken lessons with them. They are good coaches and well respected.

I have switched coaches about a year or so back.  My current coach tries different things with me so I don't feel the need to be a subscriber. Plus I had a billing issue with them (when they were charging for a yearly subscription). It got resolved but I haven't resubscribed.

I say try a month and see if it helps.  They will let you cancel if you don't find it useful.

Offline littlerain

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Re: icoach skating....
« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2014, 12:36:54 PM »
Loops, have you signed up and tried it?
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Online Loops

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Re: icoach skating....
« Reply #18 on: December 13, 2014, 11:52:10 PM »
I've signed up for the free weekly video. It's rather intriguing. Of course I'm getting teaser (i.e. first one of a series) videos, and not really anything directly applicable to my immediate needs, but I am learning quite a bit nonetheless. I do like what I see.

I've committed to prepping my dances for the test session at the end of the year (yay!!!). Since I'm not competing, I don't get any instruction on freestyle. So, I'm sticking with the free service for now, but will very seriously consider going further with it when I start doing more freestyle.

Offline littlerain

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Re: icoach skating....
« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2014, 01:40:54 AM »
I wonder if they have dance related videos? Hmm! It looks like they're starting to post their top videos of the year for free as well.

I was just exploring their site and thinking of subscribing.. While I'm not advanced by any means, they seem to have a lot of great videos covering a wide range of skills. It is tempting!
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Online Loops

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Re: icoach skating....
« Reply #20 on: December 14, 2014, 12:00:53 PM »
Ooh, I'll have to go check those top vids.

I don't know how much dance related stuff they have.  It'd be worth a search just to see.  I bet there's some twizzle stuff at least!  In terms of Freestyle, jumping isn't something I'll be doing as long as we live here.  I was working on doubles, and I KNOW I'd do something really stupid if I let myself try jumping again.  Not to mention develop really bad habits.  Spins I'll do though, and I'm thinking that the videos might be really useful on that.  I'd really like to figure out where the heck my backspin has gotten too. I've even looked in the dustiest corner of my least used closet.  It's nowhere to be found. That video hasn't popped up yet for free, sadly!  I got one on the flying camel, which was interesting and enlightening, but again, not something I'll be attempting for a while.   There was another I got on back inside loops.  That's something I'll try one day when I find myself on a session without a coach. 

If you have coaching, I can see where icoach could be really helpful.  Shoot, watching videos of teaching elite level jumps is interesting in and of itself- I'm learning a lot just on that level.   If I can finagle competing next year, I'm very open to considering at least a short term subscription to compliment my coaches. 

Curious as to what you think.  Did you discuss it with your coaches? 

Offline littlerain

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icoach skating....
« Reply #21 on: December 14, 2014, 08:35:56 PM »
Here are the top vids! http://icoachskating.com/top-rated-figure-skating-videos-of-2014/

I think I saw some videos on twizzles! And definitely saw some in the list covering a variety of turns, and I even saw some off ice ones! So I bet those could be applicable to you

Ugh this dumb app deleted the rest of my response
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Offline littlerain

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Re: icoach skating....
« Reply #22 on: December 14, 2014, 08:43:03 PM »
Ok, my app keeps deleting the rest of my responses lol

To sum up- haven't discussed with coach, but I like the idea. I know I wouldn't be trying completely new things on my own anyway, and I think it would be fun/ interesting to watch videos even if the skills are not ones I'd be doing. (If I have time, that is)

In the scheme of things, $30 a month is not terrible, especially if I can easily cancel when I don't have time to use it. I figure I can cut that from the random food while at work spending (Starbucks and the like) haha!!
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Offline littlerain

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Re: icoach skating....
« Reply #23 on: December 14, 2014, 08:44:05 PM »
(Aka I am this close to subscribing lol) will definitely report back if I do!
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Offline davincisop

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Re: icoach skating....
« Reply #24 on: December 15, 2014, 10:38:53 PM »
I want to know what "Adult Leg Syndrome" is, but I can't commit to $30 a month yet. I would like to see if it has the option to buy individual vids like "mysk8coach".