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Coaching Relationships - Guidelines for Everyone

The relationship between skater and pro (coach) is, of course, very important. And parents are usually a key additional component. Courtesy and communication are vital in this three-way partnership, but when special situations arise, the Santa Rosa Figure Skating Club offers the following guidelines regarding the proper and ethical sequence of behavior.

First, inform the current professional:

The skater or parent of the skater should discuss with the current professional the desire to discontinue the business relationship.

  • Once the final bill is paid, lessons can begin with a new professional.
  • The new professional must confirm with previous professional that the resolution of the relationship has taken place and that the final bill has been paid before giving any lessons to the skater.

Next, approach the potential new professional:
The skater or parent of the skater should approach the new professional to set up lessons. (Again, this should take place only after the current professional has been informed of the desire to discontinue lessons.)

  • The potential new pro should remind the skater or parent to discuss the situation with the current pro.
  • The parent or skater must pay the final bill to the current pro before starting lessons with the new pro.
  • The new pro should confirm with the previous pro that notification has been provided and that the final bill has been paid.
  • The new pro and the parent or skater can set up lessons.

The guidelines for requesting supplementary lessons are somewhat different:

The skater or parent of the skater who currently receives lessons from a professional
(Primary Pro), may approach a different professional (Supplementary Pro) for supplementary lessons.

  • If the approached Supplementary Pro feels that she or he can benefit the skater, she or he should tell the skater or parent to discuss possible supplementary lessons with the Primary Pro.
  • If the Primary Pro, skater, and/or parent agree that the supplementary lessons would be beneficial, the Primary Pro and Supplementary Pro should determine the arrangement regarding scheduling, responsibilities, etc.
  • The Supplementary Pro and skater or parent can then set up lessons.

Guidelines specifically for pros include:

  • Under no circumstances should a professional approach a parent or skater regarding lessons if the skater currently receives lessons from a different professional.
  • Solicitation of skaters who are not currently taking private lessons from a professional is acceptable.
  • Professionals teaching group lessons (whether as a substitute or with their own group that has previous group lesson experience) should refrain from outwardly negating another professional's technique. Not only does such behavior cause confusion for the skaters, but also it sends the message that the arena's professional staff is incompetent. Instead, the professional should acknowledge the existence of alternative techniques and suggest that the skaters try a new technique that might help them.

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updated 10/20/2003