by Gina Oesterlei

Coaches are usually former competitive skaters; while no former training is necessary to be a coach, most coaches have passed tests as well as competed during their skating career. Being in group classes at your facility is a great way to get to know some of the coaches on staff. Be sure you read any information on the coaches in your facility as well as talk to the skating director.

When looking for a coach be sure to ask for a few of the following details: Is the coach a PSA member and if so do they carry any ratings through the PSA? The Professional Skaters Association offers continuing education in the sport of figure skating. A coach with a PSA rating is one who has maintained their training and is constantly working to better their teaching as well as their students. A good coach should be professional and serious about their job. They should constantly come in when he or she plans to, and are always prompt for their scheduled lessons.

Watch a lesson with a coach and see if you like the way that coach conducts themselves. Ask them questions about their skating history as well as the level of students they teach now. You want to find someone you think you can develop a rapport with. Be sure you state your specific needs, you want to make sure they know your goals. Good Luck!!

— Gina is the Skating Director at U.S. Ice Sports Complex in Fairview Heights, IL and PSA Master-rated in Group and Senior-rated in Freestyle.

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