Choosing A Coach


Once a skater enters the STARSkate Program they need to choose a coach to provide them with individual or semi-private instruction. Unlike the CanSkate Learn to Skate programs, where coaching is provided during the whole lesson time, our STARSkate program offers groups lessons (at the PreJunior/Junior level only) and unstructured practice time each skating day. The sport of figure skating is very specialized and requires the knowledge and expertise of a professional coach. Private lessons are invaluable as they allow a skater to work on specific skills that need to be improved or obtained to move on to another skill. Private lessons allow the time to work on skater specific needs as opposed to waiting for that lesson focus to cycle back into the group lesson.
It is highly recommended to pick a coach during the first month of the Starskate program otherwise the skater will not progress as well as their peers and will feel left behind. Private coaching helps speed progress by increasing focus on each skater’s individual goals and challenges; these may include going to competitions or working through Skate Canada test levels. If your skater wants to try competing or testing, Skate Canada dictates that you must have a coach.
To help you make this decision, consider the following points:

Who does my child enjoy working with?
Your child will be spending time one-on-one with this person. Your private coach should be someone the skater is comfortable with. Your skater has participated in Canskate and in the group lessons therefore she been exposed to most if not all of our coaching staff. Ask your child who they have enjoyed working with most. Ask them to give you their top two picks.

Whose coaching style do I like?
Since your skater has been in the PreJunior program, as an observer, you have had the opportunity to see how our professional coaches conduct their lesson and interact with skaters.

What is my budget?
Estimate how much you are willing to spend per week on lessons. Your budget will determine which coach you choose and how many lessons per week you will purchase for your skater. All coaches have their own rate based on their coaching level, personal skating level, education and experience. Coaching fees are paid directly to the coach on a monthly basis (usually). For specifics on coaching rates and billing you must contact the coach directly.
 
How many lessons a week do we need?
The number of private lessons per week will depend on the skater’s goals. Naturally, the more lessons a skater has the faster they will progress. However, remember that skaters also need to learn to work independently. But in general, skaters usually book one 15minute private lesson per skating day with their coach. Additional or less lesson time can be negotiated with the coach. Semi-private lessons (lessons where skaters of similar ability share a private lesson) are also an excellent option that can be discussed with the coach.
 
What are my next steps?
The Georgetown Skating Club offers its members a roster of professional coaches. The club retains these coaches and their coaching expertise meets the standards as set out by Skate Canada. Please refer to our Coaching section to review the coaching qualifications, areas of expertise and contact information.
Talk to your skater, establish a budget and then contact a coach for availability.

Coaches are invaluable in the development of an athlete's skills. They are teachers and mentors for the thousands of young athletes they interact with in their day-to-day work. They work not only with athletes but also the athlete's parents in setting realistic goals and the training required to reach their potential and their goals. All Skate Canada coaches are required to be trained and/or certified in the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP).

Becoming a Skate Canada Professional Coach requires planning and commitment to the profession. A certified coach is an experienced, skilled and dedicated professional. Coaches have a huge impact on the lives of their skaters and coaches always need to be aware of this fact and conduct themselves in a professional manner. Please refer to the Skate Canada Code of Ethics. Coaches need to constantly educate and update themselves in order to be effective.

Currently, all coaches who work at Skate Canada member clubs must meet the minimum criteria as outlined in Rule 2402 of the Skate Canada Rule Book and other provisions set from time to time by the Skate Canada Board of Directors, and be registered professional coaching members of Skate Canada.