Being a new member of a figure skating club can be a frustrating experience. Parents and skaters can have any number of questions and not know where to direct these questions. If you or your skater ever has a question please do not hesitate to ask.
You can direct your questions to the AFSC office located at the rink, by email via this website or by asking a board member or skating coach in person.
To: Parents of “New Skaters” in group lessons:
ARRIVE 20 min. early the first week and wait in the locker room the
first evening, thereafter your skater may proceed to their assigned
teacher each week on the ice. This is your confirmation!
PLEASE NOTE: The first half hour is a lesson, the next 15 min. is practice time.
SNOW DAY: If we have to cancel classes due to inclement weather, we will run an extra week.
LESSONS: are held at the Runestone Community Center – Alexandria Fairgrounds
- Arrive at the Runestone Community Center for lessons
- Look for assigned room – wait for coach in the locker room first evening
- Please put a name-tag on each week. It is easier to work with your skater if we can call them by name.
- Dress them warmly – hat, coat, mittens.
- Helmets are encouraged for skaters 6 years old and under (but not required)
- Spit out all gum!
- Single blades only – your skater knows the difference and when they do switch, they are learning to skate all over again. They will be limited in what they learn.
- Should fit like a glove with only a finger width behind the heel
- Wear one pair of thin socks only
- Skates should have good ankle support (floppy sides are not supportive)
- Blades should be sharpened prior to the first skate (even if you buy them new)
- Blades should be sharpened at least one more time during the session
- Blades should also be sharpened if you skate on any other ice other than artificial ice (WE HAVE AN IN-HOUSE SHARPENER – see Brad Anderson rink side)
- Wear guards to protect the blades to the ice, but make sure you take them off rink side!
- If you have no guards – we suggest wiping the blade with a towel before taking the ice as there is so much debris on the mats.
STORING YOUR SKATES
- When you are done skating, wipe blade completely dry.
- DO NOT store with skate guards on as this will rust the blades. Guards are only for walking with your skates on.
- Please sit in the bleachers. (NOT the hockey boxes!) Please tell your child where you are.
- Please DO NOT leave the arena (in case of emergencies, bumps, falls – and they happen weekly)
- Please DO NOT yell to your skater on the ice (they cannot listen to coaches and distracting them can cause injuries)
- PLEASE let the coaches teach!
- PLEASE stay off the ice! Anyone walking or standing on the ice in their street shoes brings debris onto the ice which is the biggest reason for injury. It also ruins their blades and the ice.
- PLEASE DO NOT stand at the doors to the ice. This is the monitor’s area to observe all classes. SKATING BARS These WILL NOT be used! We teach skaters to skate, not to hang on bars. They will learn much quicker without them. (EXCEPTION – learning disabled or handicapped students may use them at the coach’s discretion.)
- Skates hurting the feet:
- Skates are fitted or tied improperly
- Skates are simply not broken-in yet which take a long time for these little skaters
- TIP To do at home: Take the socks that they will be wearing in their skates and get them wet with as hot of water as they can stand, ring them out, and put them on the skater’s feet. Lace the skates up, and let them sit with their skates on for about 20 min. several times per week. This has the same affect as if they were skating hard, sweating, & breaking them in.
- Struggling on the ICE
- Skates not tied tight enough
- Improper fit of skates
- Blades are not sharp (this is usually the first issue)
- Blades can be mounted incorrectly
- Not interested in skating
- Not listening to coach – or easily distracted
- Usually with new or young skaters, coaches my have to help your skater up if they have fallen, hold them up at times, pick them up if they are hurt, and/or position arms correctly which requires physical contact with your skater. If you have concerns with this, please visit with us.
- feet hurt or are cold (this happens easily if not moving enough)
- skater just doesn’t like it yet
- too overwhelming (so many kids)
- want mom and dad (potentially a sign that they are too young yet)
- too young (3 & under is always an iffy age – don’t push them)
- if they want to come off the ice, commend them for going on and tell them that maybe next time they will stay on longer or have them come off and see if they want to go out again – we watch this and work with them, let us do it for you
WHY SKATERS FALL
- skates are not sharp enough
- they fall because they are learning – it’s OK, they need to get comfortable falling
- debris on the ice
- ruts in the ice
- simply lose their balance, arms not out, eyes and chin are not up and looking forward
- parents yell to them from off the ice – lose concentration
- learning new skills – all skaters at all levels and ages fall, this is part of learning
INJURIES -WE ARE WATCHING!
- If a child gets hurt, the coach or assistant or door monitor will assess the injury (if they can be moved or not)
- The skater will be brought off by the coach or assistant
- Parents, yes, please be waiting at the door, but DO NOT go onto the ice. (Parents can fall and injure themselves too, we can’t risk it! – also please stay calm so your child can too)
- Door monitor will assist the parent in assessing the injury and applying first aid as needed.
WHY DO INJURIES OCCUR?
- falling (obviously) the wrong way
- hanging onto the boards (this is very dangerous) Exception: The coach may use the boards in teaching a specific skill from time to time
- hanging onto the assistants
- parents distracting them
- debris on the ice, ruts in the ice
- horsing around or chasing on the ice
- simply bumping into one another (happens quite often – haven’t learned to stop yet)
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP YOUR SKATER?
- Bring them on time for their lesson!
- Commend them for just getting out on the ice and trying
- If they want to be done for the evening, let them be done
- Proper clothing and good, well maintained equipment
- Bring them skating more than once per week if possible
- If skating with them outside of the rink, tell them to keep their arms up and slightly forward, chin up, and eyes forward. This will help them lance. But then, re-sharpen those skates.
MY SKATER SEEMS BORED OR ADVANCED
Bring your concerns regarding this to a coach or board members attention. We will assess them to see if they need to be moved up or have other issues. Usually the coaches spot these concerns right away.
TEACHERS, CLASS ASSISTANTS
We have one main coach in charge and several other coaches to teach all the “New Skaters”. We enlist as many assistants that are available to us.
All teachers that teach for the AFSC are insured and registered with Learn to Skate USA and/or US Figure Skating. They have to meet age specifications, test requirements, and volunteer a certain number of years prior to teaching. They have also been required to attend teaching seminars. They are well qualified to teach your skaters!
ASSISTANTS are used to assist the coaches and be examples to the skaters. They too have to go through a training process and be insured.
Kris Juettner – AFSC Learn to Skate Director 320-852-3365 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Usually a monitor is at the open doors of the ice. We monitor all activity on and off the ice. We assist instructors, assistants, parents, and skaters. We also know how to encourage your skater back on the ice as long as you let us. Sometimes, we can’t. But, let us try first. They will be OK, let us take care of them!
We also have other board members in attendance at the rink as well. And, they can usually be found at the front door of the AFSC office just before you enter the rink.
If you have concerns with your skaters, with our coaches or assistants, ideas, thoughts, or questions, please see any one of us just after the skaters have taken the ice or you may contact Kris Juettner at 320-852-3365 or see one of the board members in the AFSC office. We can’t improve or change things if you don’t let us know.
REMEMBER we are volunteers only! We welcome & want your feedback!
PLEASE WATCH for other upcoming events that will be happening with our club. If you have interests in furthering your child’s abilities, or being involved in the various activities that we host, please let us know. Information will be available throughout the season.
SNOW DAYS: From time to time, we may have to cancel classes due to inclement weather. The policy does not necessarily follow with the school closings. Listen to the radio or visit the website for a cancellation posting. We more often than not, continue with our lessons and try not to make up the time of the weather appears to be OK to travel.If we do cancel, we will continue with lessons the following week(s) and will most likely continue classes into the following week or weeks that the classes would have ended. You will receive a memo in class or something will be posted.
DRY ERASE BOARD: Always in front of the AFSC door, there is a dry erase board posted with information that may or may not pertain to your skater, but please take time to see if anything pertains to your skater.