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Changing Coaches

Changing coaches may be necessary for you but can result in hurt feelings and closed doors if not done with some careful thought.
We have assembled some tips for you here. There are also checklists for skaters and coaches to use.

Don’t do these things; they are not a good idea:

  • Don’t tell your coach you are leaving via email, letter, sms, or message!
  • Don’t just leave with telling your coach at all!
  • Don’t start working with another coach before discussing it with your current coach!
  • Don’t omit giving advanced notice!
  • Don’t make-up long-winded reasons for leaving!
  • Don’t cause a scene at the rink!
  • Don’t intrude on a coach’s lesson time or personal time to discuss this!
  • Don’t gossip or broadcast your move to other parents and skaters!
  • Don’t spread bad stories or bad will for the coach!

Do these things instead; they are a good idea:

Before you decide you must change:

  • Do communicate any scheduling or perceived progress problems directly with your coach first; they may have a solution
  • Do ask your coach if they team coach: they may organize a few lessons for you with someone else
  • Do step back and analyse the situation clearly; take some time
  • Do be realistic in your expectations

When you are sure you must change:

  • Do make sure your current coach is the first person you notify
  • Do give your current coach advance notice
  • Do speak to the coach in person or by phone
  • Do be sincere and polite
  • Do thank your coach for all they have done for you
  • Do pay all outstanding moneys owed
  • Do return all borrowed property

Changing coaches checklist for skaters (downloadable version here)

Regarding your old coach:

  • I have discussed the move with my existing coach first: ☐
  • I did this face-to-face or by phone: ☐
  • I paid all outstanding debts: ☐
  • I returned all borrowed property: ☐
  • I thanked the coach I am leaving: ☐

Regarding your new coach:

  • I have interviewed the coach and know the expectations: ☐
  • I have shown the coach my current SAISA or Aussie Skate member card/receipt: ☐
  • I have provided the coach my details: ☐
    • I provided my POA number (if required): ☐
    • I provided my correct Test levels: ☐
  • I will not criticize my old coach to my new coach: ☐

Switching skater checklist for coaches (downloadable version here)
(Note that there are some mandatory ethical requirements for APSA members)

When receiving a switching skater:

  • I will not accept a new skater until:
    • I first ask permission from the previous coach: ☐
  • I will not give the skater any lesson until the following is completed: ☐  
    • I have contacted the skater’s former coach (mandatory): ☐
    • I have verified the skater’s information with them: ☐
    • The former coach confirmed no money is owed (mandatory): ☐
    • All borrowed property has been returned (mandatory): ☐
  • I am comfortable that the skater wasn’t solicited (mandatory): ☐
  • I am comfortable it is ethical to proceed with this skater: ☐
  • I have explained my training expectations to the new skater: ☐
  • My discussion may include:
    • My payment requirements: ☐
    • My behaviour expectations: ☐
    • My commitment expectations: ☐
    • My cancellation requirements: ☐
    • What happens when skaters arrive late: ☐
    • My contact requirements: ☐
    • My view on parent interference/coaching: ☐
    • My meeting/review system: ☐
    • My homework/practice expectations: ☐
    • What I provide (eg. training plan, non-lesson book or practice guide): ☐
    • Other                                                                              : ☐
  • I have verified the skater’s membership status: ☐
  • I have the skater’s contact details: ☐
  • I have the skater’s POA: ☐
  • I have the skater’s correct Test levels: ☐
  • I know their citizenship status: ☐

When a skater wants to work with another coach:

  • I will try to see the benefit of a change or move: ☐
  • I will verify an apparent planned move with the parent/guardian: ☐
  • I may recommend a few lessons with another coach: ☐
    • I will organize this: ☐

When the skater has decided to leave:

  • I will invoice the skater for outstanding moneys: ☐
  • I will require my borrowed property to be returned: ☐
  • I will wish the skater well: ☐
  • I will expect the new coach to contact me: ☐
  • I will have a professional conversation with them: ☐
  • I will provide them with requested information: ☐