Dec 11, 2011

Involving your family

A reader tells me
I started skating a few months ago, with lots of practice, plus private lessons. Since I'm able to get to the rink on my own mom has never really watched me skate. For some reason, she seems really uninterested in my skating--she hasn't even met my coach! Do you have any ideas on how to get my mom involved with my skating?
Here's some ideas:

Adult presence required
Ask around your home school group if you can do a once a week half hour "baby sitting on ice" with younger children, either ones you already babysit for, a local homeschool network, or the younger sibs of friends.  You could even ask the rink if you can post a notice. Charge them or not, your call, but I would suggest $3 per kid, plus the cost of ice and skate rental (if you get 5 kids, that's a nice chunk of change). Tell your mom you're not comfortable doing this without her on the premises; she doesn't have to skate.

See if the rink will allow you to set up an exhibition. Again, you could ask around a home school network if you're home schooled, or open it up to skaters from the rink, or just ask around to see if any of your friends skate.  Ask your coach to see if the local synchro team would like to be your headliners, or if she's got a high level skater who'd be willing to show off her program. Your mom might have friends who used to be skaters and might like to show off a little as well.  Municipal rinks might even donate the ice for this purpose if it's in the middle of the day when it's just sitting around empty anyway. Your school or home school might give you some kind of service learning credit for something like this; my own daughter arranged an exhibition her senior year.

I need your help
You could also just tell your mom flat out, "I really want you to come watch me skate, would you come once a month and see how I've progressed"? Or even ask her to "test" you--make up a little skills sheet based on the ISI levels and have her check off what you've learned.

Coach insists
Tell the coach you want her to discuss your progress with your mom every couple of weeks.

Ice shows, local competitions, and exhibitions
Signing up for the ice show, competition, or the rink's exhibition (with your own solo program) is a sure fire way to get family and friends to learn about your skating. ISI and Basic Skills competition sounds scary, but in fact they're a lot of fun, even for beginning skaters. A good coach can come up with choreography that makes even a Pre Alpha skater look really good. Don't worry if you "can't do anything." Non-skaters find a simple glide completely miraculous, especially if it's accomplished by someone they know, who they didn't know skated!

What have you done to get your family involved in your skating?


  1. Maybe easier - ask mom to video your practice once a month. "This would be so helpful mom, so I can see where my mistakes are. Plus it would really mean a lot to me for you to see what I have accomplished so far. Your opinion is really important to me"

  2. My parents aren't involved in my skating either. My dad is too busy working, and my mum.. I don't know. My mum always drops me off at the rink and pick me up again later; she never stays to watch practice. Even if she stays, she'll go off to the malls in the vicinity. However, she always comes to watch me during competitions or shows. So participating in shows or competitions should get your mum to watch you. Your parents paid for lessons, the skates, and other equipment, which are not cheap, I'm sure they are interested in seeing that their money isn't going down the drain.

  3. I went through a scenario like this. As it turns out my mom was more worried about me putting skating above everything including a job. She knows I use skating as a stress outlet and something that I'm really passionate about. She hadn't really seen me SKATE since I was about 14, and I came back to skating at 21. On our trip to new york for my college graduation we went to sky rink and it was the first time she'd seen me skate, but just playing around. We were skating so I could say I went skating there. :)

    When I signed up for competition (last september was competition, and I was 23, so I'd been back in skating about 2 years at that point) she said I had to pay for it all but that she didn't feel comfortable with me going across the state alone for a competition in a city I'd never been to, regardless of my coach being there or not. So we met in my hometown, got in her car and went and she ended up having the best time. Another one of my coach's students who is my mom's age was there and they hung out the whole time and chit chatted. She cheered me on and was so proud and was the skating mom I wanted her to be. We even saw Paul Wylie there and she says "PAUL WYLIE? I KNOW THAT NAME! WHERE IS HE!?"

    Now we will be places and while she doesn't understand when I text her and say "I landed a clean flip!" (she's scared I'm going to kill myself out there, and falling on my face and almost getting a concussion earlier last year didn't help her nerves) she and I will hear a song and she will say "That would be really pretty to skate to.

    Point is, sometimes it takes a little bit of encouragement to get your mom out there to watch you. My mom won't come watch the small things we have at our rink because it's a long drive to get up here for a 5 minute performance, but she does come for the big rink shows and the last show brought my dad and grandma who were proud, too.

    Keep at it. She will come watch eventually!

  4. shaunapdesign, what a great story!