How often should my child be skating?
The recommendation of the Skate Canada Long Term Athletic Development (LTAD) is that youth skating at this level skate two to five days a week.
It is encouraged that skaters receive at least one 15 minute lesson with their coach on every session. Skater success is directly linked to the amount of practice hours they get per week, skaters with high test and competition goals are encouraged to skate more days. If skaters wish to succeed in all four disciplines it is suggested that they receive at least one lesson on each discipline each week.
What is Long Term Athletic Development?
The Skate Canada LTAD is a well researched document which speaks to how to support your skater’s development through all elements of training (on-ice/off-ice/nutrition etc) as well as how to support your skater’s emotional and academic development outside of their skate training.
To read more about how to support your skater, we would encourage you to refer to the Skate Canada LTAD brochure located online at Skate Canada LTAD Model
How does coaching work in STARSkate?
Private coaching is mandatory for all STARSkaters, group or semi-private lessons can be arranged also. In general, lessons are 15 minutes in length. All lessons must be booked by the parent with the coach of their choice at the beginning of the year, changes in lessons can occur throughout the season through communication between the parent and coach.
Skaters may skate with more than one coach.
What does my skater do outside of their lessons?
Skaters are expected to work on their own, or in small groups with permission from the coach(es), on the various skills taught in their lessons. Depending on their levels skaters will have individual programs, FreeSkate solos and Interpretive solos, Skate Canada Dances and Skate Canada Skills to work on.
Please see our Skater Resources page for documents to assist in skater productivity on the ice.
How do I choose a coach?
All coaches are Skate Canada and NCCP certified, must have valid First Aid certification and a valid background check. Individual coach information can be found on Our Coaches page
It is important to not only consider a Coach’s teaching and coaching abilities and style, but also that the Coach will be a role model for your child. Coaches spend a lot of time with your skater, so it is important that your skater feel safe and comfortable with them.
Skaters are welcome to skate with more than one coach, the coaches are expected to work as a team to ensure the best possible environment and realistic goals and objectives for your child.
Watch how the coaches interact with their other skaters and how they interact and present themselves.
How many coaches can my skater have?
In short, as many as you want; however, too many coaches can create an overwhelming and confusing environment for your skater. While all coaches are teaching the same skills, each coach will have a unique approach as to how they teach each skill. Different points of view are good for skaters, but too many can make learning more difficult.
Parents can choose to have coaches work on different disciplines or team coach on all, or some, disciplines.
How do I buy skates for my child?
It is important to buy proper figure skates. Skaters may purchase new or used skates, but should do so from a store specializing in figure skates. Buy and Sell events or websites at Skate Canada clubs are also an option for used skates.
The skater’s size, weight and skating level are very important in determining the best boot and blade to purchase. While seated, the boot should be snug in the heel, arch, and ball areas for best support. Toes should be able to wiggle freely but not slide to any great degree. After the boot is laced and the skater stands, the boot should feel slightly tighter. There should be little to no movement when the skater tries to life her or his heel. The toes should just be touching the front of the boot. Toes should feel slight pressure but not severe bending or pain and should not be cramped or curled under. It is important to have a correctly fitted boot for optimal skater performance. The boot must be snugly fit so that it responds exactly to the skater’s movement. Do not buy skates with “growing room”, additional room in the skate can cause the foot to slide and thus may impede the skater’s progress. Skates that do not fit properly can cause foot problems.
Important boot and blade care information: Proper care of the boots and blades can help them last longer. When removing skates it is important to unlace them enough before taking them off that the back of the boot does not break down or rip. Blades and soles must be dried carefully with a soft cloth. Remove hard guards and wipe / wash them. Grit and dirt become lodged in the tracks of the guards. Hard guards should be replaced occasionally. Blades should be dried and covered with soft blade covers (terry cloth or soft fabric). Taking skates out of bag at home to let them air dry at normal temperatures can help to avoid rotting and rust.
Where can I get skates sharpened?
It is important that your skater’s skates are sharpened by a trained figure skate sharpener, they are not sharpened the same as hockey skates. Do not sharpen your skater’s bottom pick off, as it is essential for proper balance.
Many of our skaters get their skates sharpened locally at Country Living, in Okotoks, by Darcy.
Expand your figure skating knowledge…