Now that my child is in the Starskate program, does my child require private coaching?
Private coaching is mandatory at this stage and, is beneficial for developing your skater. When you are considering private coaching, we would encourage you to speak with the coaches on you skater’s session to assist you in assessing the individual needs of your skater.
How do I choose a private coach?
All coaches within skating clubs must attend NCCP courses and be “in training, trained, or certified”. First aid certification and a police background check are also requirements. Additionally, all Professional Skate Canada Coaches must register yearly as Coaching Members within Skate Canada in order to be able to coach on these sessions.
When deciding how to choose a coach your club should provide a list of their available coaches along with their specific qualifications. When choosing a coach for your child, here are some things you may want to consider:
- Select a coach carefully. Choose the right person for their teaching and coaching abilities, but also consider that the Coach will be the role model for your child.
- The Coach will be spending considerable time with your child, so it should be someone your child feels comfortable with.
- Coaches are the experts. Work together with your coach to create realistic goals and objectives for your child.
- Take time when selecting a coach. Remember that a picture is worth a thousand words. Watch the coaches teaching other children and see how they interact and present themselves.
- Coaching fees may vary according to the certification level an experience of the coach. Ask what the fees are up front so there are no misunderstandings later.
How do I buy skates for my child?
The purchase of a boot and blade is a major decision which can represent a substantial financial investment.
Fitting Basics: A skater’s size, weight, and skating level are very important. These aspects will determine what boot and blade to purchase and how long they will last. While seated, the boot should be snug in the heel, arch, and ball areas for best support. Toes should be able to wiggle freely but not slide to any great degree. After the boot is laced and the skater stands, the boot should feel slightly tighter. There should be little to no movement when the skater tries to life her or his heel. The toes should just be touching the front of the boot.
Toes should feel slight pressure but not severe bending or pain. Toes should also not be cramped or curled under. It is important to have a correctly fitted boot for optimal skater performance.The boot must be snugly fit so that it responds exactly to the skater’s movement. Additional room in the skate can cause the foot to slide and thus may impede the Skater’s progress.
- Skates should fit snugly around the ankle and heel – there should be room for movement, but the ankle, instep and heel must be firmly supported
- The tongue should be sufficiently wide so that it will stay in place and it should be well padded to prevent the laces from cutting into the foot
- The front opening of the boot should be sufficiently wide to pull the laces tight
- Avoid buying skates a size larger, as they tend to break down faster and hamper your child’s progress and more importantly could create long term foot problems
Buying used Skates and Blades: Good used skates can be okay for your child, especially in the beginning stages. If you do buy used skates, you may have to know a bit about the brand and model of the boot and blades you purchase. Ask your Coach about suggestions on what to look for. Sometimes a good used boot and blade set is better than an inexpensive, lower quality “sharpening life” left in it. Many skate companies have a website that describes an appropriate boot / blade combo for a particular level of skating.
Please note – At the Preliminary level, the focused is now on figure skating techniques, and as such it is important to purchase proper figure skates. Purchasing skates, whether new or used, should be done at a store specializing in figure skating. If you are concerned about how to purchase skates, again, please feel free to speak with your coach about how to purchase skates appropriate for your child’s skating level. Staff at a specialized skating store are also knowledgeable and able to assist in making a proper choice.
Sharpening of Skates: Make sure you take your skates to a reputable figure skater sharpener who is familiar with the edges needed in figure skating. Do not remove the bottom pick, as it is essential for proper balance.
General Care of Boots and Blades: Proper care of the boots and blades can help them last longer. When removing skates, unlace them enough before taking them off so that the back of the boot does not break down or rip. Blades and soles must be dried carefully with a soft cloth. Remove guards and wipe / wash them. Grit and dirt become lodged in the tracks of the guards. Replace guards occasionally.
Cover dried blades with soft blade covers (terry cloth or soft fabric). Take skates out of bag at home to let them air dry at normal temperatures to avoid rotting and rust.