CanSkate - Skate Canada's Learn To Skate Program
Summer CanSkate Training Clinics
- Thank you to all the Regions for helping Carol host the WO CanSkate Training Clinics! Over 700 Coaches, Senior PA’s, and Club Administrators came out to learn all about the New CanSkate!! Happy CanSkating!!!!
THE NEW CanSkate Program
CanSkate, Skate Canada’s flagship program is one of the most sought-after skating programs in Canada. CanSkate was developed by experts to teach the fundamentals of skating in a progressive manner. Designed for beginners of all ages, the focus is on fun, participation and basic skill development. Participants earn ribbons and badges as skills are mastered. Skaters are taught in a group lesson format by Skate Canada professional coaches and supported by trained program assistants. CanSkate is the foundational and feeder program for all other Skate Canada club and community ice sport programs.
Skate Canada is pleased to present some exciting changes, based on findings and feedback from coaching, sport science and Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) experts in the field.
Summary of the Changes
- More emphasis on speed and flexibility: it is important to build in components that address the development of speed and flexibility in a more concrete way. Speed is more of a focus with features such as the Fast Track and specific speed-related drills. Activities highlighting flexibility are incorporated into the sessions to ensure appropriate development of this skill.
- Earlier introduction of edges, turns, and stroking basics: upon reviewing the program it was determined that these basic skills that are the foundation of quality skating should be given more emphasis. Therefore, more focus is placed on edges, turns, strong pushes and glides. Sport-specific skills are introduced later in the program.
- Emphasis on skill progression and repetition: better skill progressions are reinforced as the skaters develop skills.
- Learn-to-skate for all: provides the opportunity for clubs to reach all prospective clientele including hockey and ringette players and speed skaters in the community who are looking for a quality generic learn-to-skate program.
CanSkate Has a Fresh New Look ON and OFF the Ice!
Technical revisions include a renewed focus on teaching and mastering strong basic skills earlier to prepare skaters for all ice sports including hockey, ringette, speed skating and figure skating.
- On-ice delivery focusing on continuous movement emphasizes the use of newer and more dynamic group teaching concepts including the Fast Track, Fun Zone and station rotation all of which has been proven to increase practice opportunities and improve the rate of skill acquisition among skaters.
- More visual aids and music are used to create a fun, stimulating and welcoming environment.
- The new look also includes new report cards and an exciting new series of award ribbons to achieve, in addition to the Stage 1 - 6 badges.
CanSkate Program Objectives
- To provide participants and families with a safe, welcoming and inclusive first experience to the sport of skating
- To develop skating and motor skills through natural learning phases (introduction, acquisition, retention/mastery)
- To use skill progression and repetition throughout the stages to introduce physical literacy and establish quality basic skating skills
- To foster personal achievements and satisfaction through skill acquisition, reward and recognition
- To evoke an interest in life-long participation in skating
Program Structure and Awards
The CanSkate program curriculum is organized into six progressive stages of learning. Each stage is broken down into three Fundamental Areas:
- Balance: concentrating on most forward skills, pushing technique and edges
- Control: concentrating on most backwards skills, stopping and speed elements.
- Agility: concentrating on most turning and jumping skills.
The awards consist of:
- Three Fundamental Area ribbons for each stage
- Six stage Badges
Four Parts to a CanSkate Session
- Warm-up 2. Group lesson 3. Group activity 4. Cool down
The CanSkate delivery team consist of the CanSkate Coaches, Program Assistants (PAs) and the CanSkate Administrator. Following are their roles:
CANSKATE COACH: The CanSkate Coach is an individual whose status in the National Coach Certification Program (NCCP) is CanSkate Coach Trained or higher and who has complete the most recent updates as required by Skate Canada.
The role of the CanSkate Coach may include:
- Teach CanSkate skills using progressions and assess skills via the CanSkate program delivery methods
- Adhere to the CanSkate delivery standards
- Direct the program
- Provide skaters with a fun and encouraging learning environment
- Train, supervise and evaluate program assistants
- Lead parent information sessions
- Educate/provide advice on skating matters to club volunteers and parent resources
Also very important in maintaining customer satisfaction is the ongoing communication with parents about the programs, the objectives and expectations. Parents are looking for value and professionalism, e.g. yearly plans, monthly newsletters and weekly posters.
PROGRAM ASSISTANTS: Program Assistants (PAs) are individuals who have been trained by the club CanSkate Coach to assist in the delivery of the CanSkate program. They may vary in age and background (figure skating, hockey, adult). They must have adequate skating skills and knowledge to be of service. Roles assigned to each PA must be appropriate for his or her age and ability.
The role of the PA may include:
- Assist or lead warm-ups, group activities or cool-downs
- Lead circuits and rotations
- Assist with the set-up of circuits and stations
- Provide assistance to skaters who may have additional needs
- Take attendance
- Time speed skills
- Provide general assistance to the coaches on the session
- Provide encouragement and general feedback to skaters
- May assist with tracking of skill acquisition
CANSKATE COORDINATOR: This individual is responsible for the administration details of CanSkate. He or she may be a volunteer or a paid staff who may or may not be a coach.
The role of the CanSkate Coordinator may include:
- Organize registration for the program
- Collect date from registration and place skaters into groups as per the session format indicated by the coach
- Ensure there is stock on hand of badges, supplies, teaching aids, props
- Work with the CanSkate coaches to ensure proper delivery of the program and ensure delivery standards are met
- Assist with any materials needed for PA training
- Coordinate and assist with grouping, name tags and possibly record-keeping
- Ensure Parent Information sessions are scheduled, assist with set-up as required.
Sharing Ice / Private Lessons
CanSkate is a group lesson program. Group lessons have been designed to accelerate skaters through the program and ready them for the ice sport of their choice in a fun, interactive environment. Skaters at this level learn best alongside their peers. As well, cost effectiveness for parents at this stage of learning is a key consideration. In light of this, private lessons in CanSkate are strongly discouraged. Private lessons may be offered in special circumstances in which a skater has special needs and requires extra attention for skill development. In cases like this, coaches may deliver private lessons during the warm-up or group activity/cool-down portion of the session. The number one priority for a club is to ensure that the essence of this program remains true to its objectives; therefore, the needs of the program come first.
For more information or to join a Skate Canada skating club, call the Western Ontario Section Skating
Club nearest you today!
Recruiting New CanSkate Members
- Participate in community program "registration"
- Approach schools regarding offering learn to skate in Phys.
Ed. and suggest that a coach will come in for those sessions
- Hand out brochures outlining programs offered to DayCares,
Play School, local schools
Partner with Hockey
- Focus on developing the CanPowerSkate program.
- Encourage the idea that it is better to take CanSkate prior
- Promote use of hockey players (male and/or female) to work
as Program Assistants.
- Use testimonials from local hockey players that came out of
your CanSkate program, i.e. NHL/Junior A hockey players.
Offer CanSkate Sessions
- Run a Moms/Dads & Tot program in the afternoon or morning when
ice costs may be less
- Offer CanSkate sessions in the off-season school (Spring,
Summer or Fall)
- Adult Learn-to-Skate and/or Power
- 'Bring a Friend' day
- Promote public awareness - "Blow Your Own Horn"!
- Promote activities to all club members, no matter what level
- Club website.
- Monthy information session held during the sessions with
Club Executive and Adminstrator/Professional coach available
to answer questions and hand out newsletters
For more information contact your local
WO Skating Club
Carol Moir, WO Skating Programs Coordinator
519-686-0431, ext. 23