1. Sports
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

What Makes a Great Figure Skating Teacher?

By

A Figure Skater Smiles With Her Coach

A Figure Skater Smiles With Her Coach

Photo by Jupiterimages - Getty Images
Question: What Makes a Great Figure Skating Teacher?
What qualities should a parent of a young skater or an adult skater look for when hiring a private figure skating coach?

In order for a skater to improve at figure skating and/or compete in ice skating competitions, a private skating teacher is essential. This article gives some guidelines that may help those new to figure skating find the right skating coach or teacher.

Answer: Every ice skating rink usually offers private skating lessons in addition to group ice skating lessons. Some ice arenas might recommend a certain instructor or coach to a customer who is considering private lessons, but sometimes a rink might just provide a list of available instructors to the client. Looking at a list of coaches can be overwhelming. Skaters and their parents may wish to do some research before beginning lessons with a particular skating coach.

Things to consider are a coach's qualifications, skating background, coaching history, passion for the sport, and communication skills. Keep in mind that a private lesson instructor may be more than just a teacher; he or she may become your child’s mentor, guide, and role model. Adult figure skaters may like a coach that is also a friend, but that may not be possible in a professional relationship.

Consider the following before selecting a private skating coach:

Does the coach love figure skating or is the coach teaching just to make money?

All figure skating coaches teach skating in order to make money, but some skating teachers are more passionate about skating than others. Watch a coach you might be interested in teach some skaters. If you see a genuine interest in skaters and also some enthusiasm as the coach teaches students, there is a good chance that that person loves figure skating.

Does the coach inspire and motivate figure skaters?

The best figure skating coaches work hard. Young skaters will want to please someone who can inspire and motivate. Watch certain skaters. Do they improve every time they come to the rink? Figure skaters who continue to improve have a desire to please those who teach and guide them.

Does the coach have good communication skills?

The best skating coaches may have several ways to explain techniques to a skater. Communicating clearly is a must.

Is the coach patient?

Teaching skating requires much patience. Skaters learn at different rates and in different ways. A skating coach needs to adapt teaching styles and techniques for each skating student.

Does the coach show up on time for lessons?

Find out in advance if the skating coach you are interested in shows up on time and regularly for private skating lessons.

Has the coach been successful?

Ask around. Learn about some of the skaters that a coach is currently teaching and how that person helped a skater advance in the sport. Does the coach's students usually pass skating tests? Has the coach's students won medals at skating competitions?

Does the coach have students participate in skating competitions on a regular basis?

Taking skaters to figure skating competitions is hard work. If a skater is interested in competing, it is essential to find a private skating teacher that takes skaters to competitions on a regular basis.

Does the coach understand what today's skaters are going through?

Many skating teachers are great at teaching techniques, but are not up to date on the current international judging system or on all that has changed in figure skating. Make sure the coach you select knows what is going on in today's figure skating world.

Is the coach a team player?

Today's figure skating coaches sometimes team teach which means that more than one coach may be responsible for a figure skater's skating and training. Choosing a private skating coach that works as part of a team may be an advantage to any figure skater.
  1. About.com
  2. Sports
  3. Figure Skating
  4. Skating Instruction
  5. Private Lessons
  6. What Makes a Great Figure Skating Teacher? - How To Find the Best Ice Skating Coach For Your Child

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.