Coaching and Lessons

    Private lessons

    Private lessons are offered to skaters who have advanced beyond the CanSkate level. The CanSkate Supervisor or the Executive Director of Skating can provide advice on whether a skater is ready for private lessons.

    Skaters working at all levels of the STARSkate and Competitive programs develop their skills through private lessons. Semi-private and group lessons may also be an option, depending on the coach’s availability and the skater’s needs.

    Skaters will register for specific ice sessions (for which they are qualified by test level) during which they will work with their coach. Typically on a 50-minute ice session, a skater will sign up for 15 minutes of coaching and spend the other 35 minutes practicing. Learning to work independently is an important skill for a developing figure skater.

    Engaging a coach

    Skaters contract individually with their coaches. Coaches set their own rates, according to their experience and qualifications, usually expressed as an hourly fee.

    Choosing a coach is an individual decision. A list of coaches is available through the Club office and on the Club website. Skaters can arrange to take a trial lesson from different coaches, to ensure that personalities and teaching/learning styles are compatible.

    Coaching arrangements, including payment, are made directly with the coach, who operates independently of the Club. It is advisable to discuss expectations in advance. Coaches will expect skaters to be prompt and to attend lessons regularly, and to give advance notice whenever possible if a lesson must be missed.

    Skaters can expect coaches to be in attendance; sometimes, however, coaches may have to miss a scheduled lesson in order to attend competitions, tests, or educational workshops with other skaters. In such cases the coach is expected to provide advance notice when a lesson must be cancelled or rescheduled.

    Skater-coach diplomacy

    Skaters experiencing conflict with a coach are encouraged to meet with the coach to discuss the problem. If a skater plans to change coaches, for any reason, the coach should be advised of the decision, by phone or in person, and outstanding coaching fees should be paid in full. Keeping relations cordial contributes to a productive and cooperative atmosphere in the Club generally.