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Figure Skating Parents Should Keep a Good Relationship With Former Coaches


A Figure Skater Smiles With Her Former Coach -

A Figure Skater Smiles With a Former Coach - "Remembering Happier Times"

Photo by Jupiterimages - Getty Images

Don't "Bad-Mouth" a Former Figure Coach:

When parents of figure skaters become disatisfied with a figure skating coach, it is very important to not make a coach feel bad. Avoid vindictive or vicious behavior. Do not talk about negative situations related to that coach (even if you believe those situations are true) with other people.

Parents of figure skaters need to understand that bulldozing their way through situations and burning bridges is not the way to build long-term success for their children.

Figure Skating Coaches Understand That Coaching Changes Are Necessary:

In every figure skater's skating career coaching changes may become necessary. The reasons for switching coaches may vary. Sometimes it's just "time" to make a change.

Skating coaches know and understand that figure skaters will make coaching changes. They know figure skating is a business. Losing students is part of that business.

How To Make a Coaching Change:

  • Don’t start working with another instructor before telling your existing private lesson coach that you are going to make a switch.
  • Don’t tell your child's existing coach you are going to take a break from lessons and then start working with someone else.
  • Notify the coach you are leaving either by phone or in person; don’t leave a message on an answering machine or send an email or text saying you are changing coaches.
  • Don't make the coach you are leaving feel bad. Just inform your coach you are going to make a switch, pay all bills, and move on.

There May Be Hurt Feelings:

Be aware that your former coach may be very hurt and may not take losing your child as a student lightly, so thank your coach for all he or she has done for your child’s skating so far.

Pay all Bills:

Make sure all bills are paid before beginning lessons with someone else.

The Figure Skating World Is Very Small - Don't Mess With Your Child's Skating Career:

Don't jeapordize your child's future. DON'T BURN BRIDGES.

Ice skating parents need to understand that the figure skating world is a very small world. Burning bridges with anyone involved in the sport of figure skating could negatively impact a child's future.

A former coach could perhaps be judging your child someday at a skating test or at a competition. A former coach could perhaps be on a technical panel when your child competes.

A person that once taught your child may serve on a committee or may serve in some other role that could make decisions about selections for various figure skating opportunities for your skater.

Don't Solicit Business For Other Figure Skating Coaches:

A skater and his or her family may have had a very negative experience with a certain figure skating coach, but it is not a parent's place to encourage others to leave that coach.

Never encourage a skater to leave his or her existing coach for someone you consider might be better or more accomplished. Soliciting for another coach is not acceptable. In fact, your coach will be considered at fault if he or she does not stop that type of behavior since it is a violation of the Professional Skaters Association Code of Ethics.

Resolve Conflicts Privately:

Do not take part in gossip or spread rumors. Work at getting along with everyone involved in figure skating.

Try To Keep On Good Terms With a Former Coach:

If possible, try to communicate with a former skating coach. Say, "Hello," smile or wave at the rink, and/or interact if your child continues to skate where your former coach teaches. It is not necessary to become buddies or friends, but try to keep communicating. Allow the former coach to praise your child's triumphs if he or she wishes to do so. Time may heal if awkward circumstances exist.
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