* For Parents * - Please be sure to read!
I'm thrilled that you are providing proactive support to your skater's journey!
This course will assist you in supporting your child in their development on and off the ice.
I created this course to assist you, your skater, and their coach by providing tools that you can use to enhance the skating and training experience for everyone involved in the skater's journey.
Additionally, I'm inviting you to join my Facebook Group for skating parents too!
The group is located here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/476617243198257/
This is a great place to ask me questions as well as to connect with other parents for support!
While every skater is unique, my experience is that many skaters (particularly the younger ones) may have difficulty focusing when they are practicing on their own, outside of a lesson.
So, some of the worksheets are meant to keep your child focused and on-track when practicing on their own.
These materials are not in any way intended to replace your child's coach. Rather, I've developed as a compliment the coaching experience.
I hope that you'll find the Parent / Coach Communication worksheet particularly helpful! I encourage you to print multiple copies of this one and include them in a tab within your skater's binder.
This worksheet can help both parents and coaches communicate effectively when time is short - especially as ice sessions are at a premium and coaches may not have time to chat between lessons!
You or your skater's coach can write messages and notes for each other and each can sign or initial them to indicate that they read it. For your convenience, you will find this worksheet at the bottom of this page.
I recommend that you discuss using some of these worksheets with your coach, so that they are in the loop and can provide feedback and instruction such as elements and skills that should be practiced.
I also suggest that you go through this entire course before sharing it with your skater.
This will help you understand what the materials are and the intentions behind them and be able to help your skater with the worksheets.
Older skaters should be able to use the materials without much difficulty. However, younger children may require more of your guidance.
I also want to remind you that most rinks have guidelines or rules regarding parental interaction with skaters while they are on the ice.
Most rinks prefer that the ice doors are kept closed once the session begins to avoid any distractions from spectators.
In fact, currently many rinks, due to local COVID-19 capacity and physical distancing restrictions, are limiting spectators (parents included).
Even if your rink does not have a published policy, the following is suggested by U.S. Figure Skating on its website and is generally accepted as proper etiquette within the sport, so it's a good idea to follow the following guidelines:
- Parents, skaters not in the session, or other spectators should not loiter rinkside. This is unsafe and it interferes with a constructive training session for all skaters on the ice.
- Coaching by parents from the bleachers, benches, door, or dashers is not allowed at any time. This is distracting to all skaters on the session.
- Parents agree to respect the coach and refrain from “side line” coaching their child or other skaters.
- Parent should not walk on the ice with street shoes.
- Skaters should not interrupt coaches that are conducting private lessons with other skaters.
- The benches by the ice are to be used by the skaters and coaches only.
- If skaters must talk to someone off the ice, even if for a brief time, they need to get off the ice. Standing on the ice can interfere with traffic flow and cause accidents.
- Videotaping anyone other than your own skater is strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated.
Using the worksheets in a binder, the way that I suggest means that your child can place their binder on the boards (by the hockey boxes) and consult their worksheets while on the ice rather than having to leave the ice to ask a parent or interrupt their coach while in a lesson with another skater to find out what they should practice next, when they are outside of a lesson with their coach.
Additionally, U.S. Figure Skating also provided the following suggested Parent Code of Conduct, which some clubs and/or coaches may require you to sign a version of:
U.S. Figure Skating has many other resources inside the Members Only area of its website. I suggest that all parents login to their account at www.usfigureskating.org and browse the resources that are offered. You may find the Parents Guides Volume 1 and Volume 2 to be helpful!
I also recommend that every parent read Kelly Rippon's new book, "Parent Up: Inspire Your Child to Be Their Best Self."
Kelly is the mother of Adam Rippon (pictured with me below). Adam is the 2016 U.S. Figure Skating Champion and Olympic medalist. She shares her journey as a single mother to six children, and how she inspired and influenced them while improving her own life.
I highly recommend Kelly's book!
The Professional Skater's Association has also produced a FREE webinar with Kelly that you can access here.