A day in the life of a Skating Coach, Part 1

Dear Coach, what do you do all day?

Lets start the night before.

I am so happy to be setting my alarm for a luxurious lie in…5:50am. It’s not quite dark when I leave this morning, but seeing the sun (or even a brighter shade of grey sky) on the way to work is a joy most 9-5 folks don’t appreciate as much as they ought.

The night bus driver takes us on a trip reminiscent of the brief ride Harry Potter takes on a triple decker to the Leaky Cauldron…I can almost hear, “Take it away Ernie!” as we whiz around the Lea Bridge Roundabout.

Arrived at Lee Valley Ice Centre and despite the clock only reading a few minutes after 7, the ice is already full of committed skaters getting in their #TuesdayTraining.

Home from Home

Start the day in a cool way

This is going to be a quiet day for me. My International Skaters off visiting home means I’ll have a chance to prepare their music for their routines, but I’m getting ahead of myself, first it’s a new Ice Dance couple in the early stages of a try-out.

I spot my students warming up as I walk in….just what every coach loves to see! And they’re running the drills we covered last session, brilliant 🙂

Meet Jodie and Aaron. They’ve been skating since they were 2 and 11 respectively. Jodie has been into Ice Dance for a number of years and Aaron has recently decided to give Ice Dancing a try while continuing his Single skating.

Skating alone is tricky enough, but add another pair of skates moving at speed just inches from your own and suddenly it’s a great idea to go back to basics. Synchronise, move as one.

Jodie and Aaron work on their unison

So we work together for an hour on what we call “Stroking”. To Joe Average that just means making sure your feet move in unison and you agree on your directions, but it is so much more to the art of unison. Lean, tempo, style, posture, extension of the legs, depth and timing of the knee action. So an hour flies as we bend, stretch, learn to lead/follow and correct poise.

#TipTuesday, always warm up before exercising, but to get the best our of any coached sport session get your kit on and your body in gear at least 10-15 minutes before you see your coach (preferably more if you are more advanced). Then to follow up after your time with Coach, another half hour (minimum) to work on the main points from your session.

Tune in later for part 2!