Parent Guide: Communication

by Adrienne Koob-Doddy

Happy September! This month we are going to chat about communication. This is critically important as we begin the final push towards Sectionals. Sometimes this can be a challenging month at the rink; school schedules have just changed, ice time sare different, kids are back to homework and early bedtimes, and all of these changes play out for coaches too. Truthfully, it was never a month I enjoyed because I found it hard to get a rhythm going.

At this time in the year, you might be feeling nervous. So many competitions have passed and the culmination of the year is just a few months away. You and your child have probably been evaluating goals through the year and this is a time where you can really get a picture as to whether they will be achieved or not. Coupled with the above mentioned changes at this time, you may be looking for reassurance and confidence from your coaches. Rest assured, if changes need to be made they will communicate this. Generally, major alterations are not occurring here, and one must be careful about adding on tons of extra practice. This is not the time to revamp the training and possibly risk an injury, or even just a missed week due to a nasty cold. Now is the time for mileage, for more speed and expression, to keep buffing and shining up the product, and for staying healthy. With schedules in flux, try to keep your child’s rink vibe consistent so that he or she may continue to focus on their training.

Coaches at this time need to also regain their footing after the summer. Many coaches may have a few teams to manage, some singles skaters who are getting ready for upcoming events, and probably their own families who are going back to school now too. I think coaches during this time always appreciate a little extra patience during this transition. A surprise coffee never goes unnoticed either! But really, coaches need parents who allow them a little time to get into the school year and start wrapping their heads around the upcoming qualifying events. Your section has been decided already- rest easy! After a few weeks, consider reaching out to your team and asking if there is anything you can do to start prepping for your Sectionals trip- perhaps check over the costumes and replace beading, buy new laces, burn back-up CDs, etc. These are great tasks to get done now before ice schedules come out and travel needs to be booked. Your coaches will be thrilled you covered those small yet vital details so they can keep focused on the most important part- your child!