Recommended by US Figure Skating. All the following information taken from US Figure Skating, the Professional Skaters Association, or Alex Chang (current PSA President).
The single coach that the parent selects to help guide their child’s skating career.
If team coaching is being utilized, then the primary coach is the main point of contact for all other coaches working with that skater.
If a skater tests, competes, gets injured, etc. the primary coach should be aware and notified.
Primary coaches make sure that the skater is moving towards their goals at the fastest and safest rates possible by organizing the team.
Parents are free to change their skater’s primary coach, so long as they follow the proper PSA and US Figure Skating guidelines to do so.
How to be a Primary Coach
Primary coaches organize team coaches and the team coaching environment for their skaters. It is common that the parents hire the primary coach and schedule lessons with the primary coach directly and the primary coach scheduled lessons for their primary skater with their selected coaching team.
Primary coaches are the point of contact for a team of coaches for a specific skater. If you are a team coach for a specific skater, make sure to regularly update and check-in with that skater’s primary coach.
Communicate with the team coaches about your primary skater regularly.
Primary coaches “sign off” on competitions, test sessions, out-of-rink lessons, etc. A secondary coach may take the skater to a competition, test session, etc., but the primary coach is organizing it and aware of it.
You have the right to not take on a skater as a “primary”. Just make sure you kindly and professionally communicate this to the parents.
It is a parent’s job to communicate who the primary coach is.
How to change Primary Coaches properly - according to US Figure Skating and the Professional Skaters Association
Parents communicate problems with the coaching relationship to the primary coach in a respectful manner. The primary coach does everything in their power to resolve the issue. This may be removing a coach from their primary skater’s coaching team, reducing lesson time with their primary skater, etc.
If an issue cannot be resolved the parent has the right to change primary coaches. To do this, the parents must communicate this to the primary coach, pay the bill in full, then contact the new primary coach to be hired.
If a parent or skater changes to a different primary coach, it is your job to respect the parents/skater’s choice, handle the matter professionally, and treat the parent, skater, and new primary coach respectfully and professionally.
Understand that there are no bad coaches, only bad coaches for specific skaters, journeys, goals, and personalities.
Behaviors for All to Help Create a Goal-Centered Skating Environment:
Respect all individuals, including the coaches, skaters, parents and club.
Understand and help enforce skater expectations.
Adhere to the Ice Etiquette Expectations and General Expectations.
Have a good attitude.
Work to create a safe, productive, and fun environment for all skaters and their goals.
Support the skaters and their goals.
Follow BFSC, Rink Management, US Figure Skating, PSA, and SafeSport Policies and Guidelines.
Communicate all concerns, information, changes, questions, etc. in a respectful manner.
Pay ice fees, coaching fees, event fees, etc. on-time or prior to the lesson or session.
Emphasize improvement and define success as giving maximum effort.
Be responsible for your actions, reputation, improvement, etc. and communicate responsibly and respectfully.
Coach Behaviors to Help Create a Goal-Centered Skating Environment:
Help enforce general and ice etiquette and expectations.
Communicate with parents and skaters in a respectful and professional manner.
Help the skaters grow on the ice and develop a life-long passion for skating.
Respect each skater’s goals and work together with the skater, parent(s), and other coaches to support them in their ice skating journey.
Communicate with the skater’s primary coach.
Communicate any and all concerns, changes, injuries, questions, etc. in a respectful and professional manner.
Uphold all SafeSport, club, rink, US Figure Skating, and PSA guidelines.
Ice Etiquette to Help Create a Goal-Centered Skating Environment:
The rules, etiquette, and expectations for an individual rink must be obeyed and upheld.
Before entering the ice, the skater or the skater’s parent must pay for the session.
Video recording of another skater or child is prohibited.
The skater in the program whose music is playing has the absolute right-of-way.
Skaters in lessons or on the jump harness have the second right-of-way.
Stopping or standing is not allowed on the ice, however, skaters and coaches may stop or stand next to the ice rink boards.
Audio headphones may not be worn on the ice, however coaches working on choreography may use headphones for that limited purpose.
Skaters must wait their turn to have their program played. Programs shall be played according to the order in the music box, however skaters in lessons will have priority placement. Skaters may play their music once per session or until all skaters have played their own music. All programs shall be played from start to finish unless otherwise specified by the coach.
No parents are allowed in the music box unless directed to do so by a coach or official.
Slower skaters should yield to faster, more experienced skaters.
Faster, more experienced skaters must watch out for slower, less experienced skaters.
Skaters shall not kick, hit, or lay on the ice nor should skaters block for another skater.
Profanity shall not be used in the ice arena.
Skaters will not yell “excuse me” or “program” at other skaters unless dictated by the coach or in a program. These will be used as a last resort.
If an accident does occur, the individual will be kind, compassionate, and apologetic.
Skaters, coaches, parents, and officials shall respect other coaches, parents, officials, and skaters.
Skaters, parents, coaches, and officials shall be accountable for their actions.
Skaters and parents will respect the coach and their time and the coach will do the same for the skaters and parents.
Skaters will not be on electronic devices while on the ice. The only electronic devices used on a session should be for music playing purposes in the music box.
Skaters will be 100% focused on every session they skate.
Skaters will have fun!
Skater Behaviors to Help Create a Goal-Centered Skating Environment:
Have a good attitude when taking the ice.
Bring a copy of each piece of music to the ice.
Skaters will be responsible for their actions, reputation, and their own improvement including communicating with their coach.
Skaters will be responsible for remembering their choreography.
Skaters must be on time for their lessons.
Skaters must warm up properly before each ice session.
Skaters must have ample individual practice time.
The general rule of thumb is at least 1 hour of individual practice time per 30 minute group or private lesson.
Participate in off-ice.
Communicate with your coach.
Parent Behaviors to Help Create a Goal-Centered Skating Environment:
Help to get your skater to the rink on time and be ready for a fun and productive time on the ice.
Communicate any and all concerns, changes, injuries, questions, etc. with your coach in a respectful manner.
Register the skater for the necessary events on time.
Pay ice fees, coaching fees, and event fees on time.
Do not enter the music box unless told to do so by a coach or official.
Stay away from ice doors and hockey boxes.
Let the coaches coach.
Communicate primary coach information to coaches and skaters. Communicate with your skater’s primary coach regularly.
Emphasize personal improvement and define success as giving maximum effort.