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In Preparation to Teach

     The fundamentals of teaching any subject requires the propsective teacher to be both subject matter expert and have the ability to communicate (teach).

     In many states a teacher completes 4 years of study to prepare them for obtaining a teaching certificate for the elementary, middle school, or high school. An additional year of study including a semester of classes in how to teach and a semester of hands on "student teaching" experience in a classroom under the supervision of a master teacher.

     The closest a figure skater can get to a college or university degree related to figure skating is in Physical/Recreation Education or sports medicine or trainer  programs.

Teaching Basic Fundamental Skills

 Primary Objectives: 
  • Move athletes from being coach dependent to being independent and self-monitoring
  • Teach athletes how and when to use skills related to their sport

Learning Stages

An athlete may be at different learning stages at the same time:
  • The Beginning Stage
  • The Intermediate Stage
  • The Advanced Stage
A skater maybe at the advanced stage for one skill while at the beginning or intermediate stage for another skill.

Your success as a coach is measured by your being able to determine where your athlete is at various learning stages so you can target the most effective instruction, motivation, and feedback plan to achieve success for each task.

Instruction Levels

Regardless of the type of skill being taught, the basic levels of instruction are constant:
  • Verbal
  • Demonstration
  • Physical prompting
  • Physical assistance

Student Processing of Information

There is more to being a good coach than knowing specific skating technical and performing skills.

All students learn differently. They progress at different rates and their ultimate potential will vary due to multiple internal and external factors.

An instruction and training program must be customized to meet the specific physical, mental, social, and emotional needs of each skater.

Teaching Skills

There are two basic types of skills a coach uses to communicate with students:
  • Simple
  • Complex
Learning simple skills typically requires relative little practice and the skater can acquire them relatively quickly. These skills represent the most basic skating fundamentals that form the foundation for all advanced figure skating.

What is a simple skill for one skater may not be as simple for another.

Behavior Modification References:

Self-Management Exercise and Goal Setting

Modeling Demonstration

Motivation Principles

Positive Reinforcement

Shaping Target Behavior

Verbal Prompts

Non-Verbal Prompts
Recommended Reading:

The Process of Learning



Physical and Mental Training Considerations


The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:

Opportunities in Coaching Coaching Certification
PDF  Coaching - Avocation or Career?   
PDF  Careers in Coaching
          The role of Education & Athletic Career
PDF  Responsibilities of Coaching
          Factors in Coaching Young Athletes
          Preparing to Coach                 
          PSA Code of Ethics
          Tenets of Professionalism
PDF  PSA Grievance Procedure Rules
PDF  Grievance Application Form
PDF  Synchronized Ethics Guidelines
PDF  Solicitation, Promotion & Tampering
          CER Programs
          Accreditation & Certification

All materials are copy protected. 

The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.

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