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Should a Skater Leave a Figure Skating Coach For Something That May Be "Better?"


Should a Skater Leave a Figure Skating Coach For Something That May Be

Should a Skater Leave a Figure Skating Coach For Something That May Be "Bigger and Better?"

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Question: Should a Skater Leave a Figure Skating Coach For Something That May Be "Better?"
Is it better to be a "big fish in a little skating pond" or a "little fish" who trains in a pond with great figure skaters? Parents of young figure skaters may deal with this issue often.

There are figure skating training centers or coaches in the USA, Canada, and around the world, that train elite figure skaters, but there are also many talented coaches around who have not produced champions...yet.

A young skater may be an up-and-coming coach's "star skating student." Should that figure skater stay with that coach and continue to be perhaps the best skater at an obscure rink or skating club, or should that skater leave a coach who is committed to a child for "bigger and better things?"

Should that skater make a coaching change? Should that skater's family move to a figure skating training center? Is doing something so drastic for skating worth it?


It's Your Money:

Parents of young and new talented figure skaters should be aware that most figure skating coaches put much time and effort into every private skating student. This may cause a coach to expect parents and skaters to be loyal clients.

When the time comes for a figure skating family to make a coaching change, most coaches understand that skaters do make coaching changes and that figure skating is a business. If a skating coach has been paid for services, and if a skating family wishes to pay for services elsewhere, they are free to do so.

No Coach "Owns" a Skater:

If a skating family is faced with a scenario where they feel "owned" by a skating coach, this can be both a good and bad thing. The feeling of ownership from a coach towards a figure skater means that that coach is truly interested in a skater's welfare and skating training. The downside of this is that if a skating family wishes to do something with a child's skating that the coach does not agree with, the skater and his family may have to get a coach's permission before pursuing that option, and sometimes that skater's coach will say no to something a skater or parent wishes to do.

Example #1: "I Want to Try Some Skating Lessons With Coach B":

A skater's primary coach may have certain people that he or she team-teaches with. A skater's family may want to try lessons with someone else rather than a person approved by a skater's primary coach. A skater's main coach may say no to such a request. There could be all sorts of reasons for this since coaching styles may differ.

A skater's family must respect a skating coach's wishes when it comes to working with other coaches.

Example #2: "I Want to Take Some Pair Skating or Ice Dance Lessons.":

Both ice dance or pair skating may be figure skating disciplines that a skater would like to try, but the time doing those disciplines may take away from a skater's singles training. If a skater's primary coach says no to doing those disciplines, again, a skater's family must comply with the primary's coach's decision.

If a skating family feels controlled by a skating coach, is it wise to move or make a coaching change?

There is no correct or wise answer to this question. Being a "big fish in a little pond of skaters" can be a good thing, but when the coach/parent/skater relationship begins to lose trust, it may be time for a skater and his or her family to move on.

The "grass may be greener" somewhere else, but there is no certainty that a skater will do better with another coach or at another ice arena or skating club. When it is time to move on, skating families need to know that it is their choice on how to spend their money.

Be Aware of Coaching Ethics:

Skating families should be aware that figure skating coaches have a code of ethics. This means that a skating family can get a skating coach in trouble by trying to arrange lessons with another coach without the permission of the skater's primary coach. Do not arrange lessons with someone else or make arrangements to train elsewhere (even if it is short term or temporary) without a primary coach's permission.
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