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Your World is a series of blogs on all things figure skating by Jo Ann Schneider Farris, About.com's Figure Skating Expert.  In this article, Jo Ann answers a letter from a concerned ice skating parent.

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Recently, I received the following letter from a concerned figure skating parent:

Dear Jo Ann:

I have a question for you. My daughter is eight (almost nine) years old and has been figure skating for three years now. She is testing her Juvenile moves and is currently about Freestyle 5 ISI level. We live in a "non-figure skating friendly" area where qualified coaches and available ice time is limited at best. Still we are planning for her to be a competitive figure skater and would like her to eventually make it to "Nationals."

My husband wants her current coach to provide us with a training cirriculum and not just “wing” the lessons. He wants a written training curriculum of material that will be covered and he wants the coach to provide measurable results.  I told him that’s not what figure skating coaches do but he says that every professional instructor does that.

What are your thoughts? I do see some goofing off and haphazard instruction at times but again we are limited in the area and I feel that her coach is the best qualified in this area.

Please help. I enjoy your articles.

Sincerely,

Concerned Figure Skating Mom

Here's my response:

Dear Concerned Figure Skating Mom:

There's nothing wrong with requesting a training plan from your child's coach, but be aware that putting together such a plan may take time, so offer to compensate the coach for his or her time in preparing such a written plan.

Another idea is to set up a meeting where you and your husband can discuss goals and plans for your daughter's skating with the coach.

For example, I do not understand why your child is about to take the Juvenile moves in the field test, but is also working on ISI Freestyle 5? I may have misunderstood, but what is the reason she has not taken any US Figure Skating free skating tests?  In my opinion, that is puzzling.

The above question and others could be addressed at such a meeting.  Goals for a competitive season could also be discussed.  A target date for her first regional competition and a plan for passing tests or mastering jumps could be set.

Also, if your goal is to get your child to the US Figure Skating Championships, you have every right to ask the coach for a plan on how that could be achieved.

I hope this has helped.

Happy Skating!

JO ANN

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Phot by Laineys Repertoire