Finding Instructors and Coaches
There are many ways to learn to inline skate. Preparing to participate in any of the specific roller sports disciplines can be a challenge without accurate knowledge and proper training.
Group Inline Skating Classes
Group lessons are great place to start for beginners, return skaters, anyone who wants to learn a specific technique or skaters who are not ready to commit to serious or expensive training. The downside is group lessons offer very little individualized one-on-one skating help and there is usually no flexibility in scheduled lesson times. However, they do provide opportunities for social interaction and sports networking in a safe learning environment.
Most local roller rink offer Learn to Skate Program based on USA Roller Sports (USARS) or Roller Skating Association (RSA) training. These programs usually teach both inline and quad roller sports basic skills, but you may need to look outside of your rink when advanced instruction is needed. A few ice and roller rinks also have World Inline Figure Skating Association (WIFSA) coaches and instructors. You should check with your local rink to find out what programs they offer. Below is a description of typical learn to skate programs that are offered at most rinks. One important thing to consider in group lessons is how many skaters will train with each instructor in the same session. Consider dropping in to watch before signing up.
Typical Learn to Skate Program: Contact a roller sports facility near you and ask about RSA, USA Roller Sports or WIFSA based Basic Skills group classes, schedule, registration information and costs. Most group beginner lessons are structured in 4 to 6 week sessions. Most classes are divided into levels based on age and/or ability, too. Skaters learn basic and advanced skating skills and earn certificates or badges for each completed level. RSA, USA Roller Sports and WIFSA all host competitions and shows in member clubs and rinks across the country. WIFSA
Inline Skating Workshops and Camps
Workshops and camps are a good choice for intermediate skaters who just need a refresher or advanced skaters who need in-depth help with specific techniques. These camps are usually offered by guest instructors or coaches and typically run for 1 to 5 consecutive days of accelerated training. Workshops and camps are sometimes expensive (especially the residential ones) but usually pack a lot of information in a short period of time. Workshops and camps provide a combination of some individualized inline skating help and group training activities. They provide plenty of social interaction and sports networking for participants.
Semi-Private Inline Lessons
Want to learn to skate with a small group of friends or peers? Semi private lessons have much of the flexibility and benefits of a private lesson with the added fun of learning in a small group of two to five skaters. These lessons are specifically designed for small groups of family or friends and provide the benefit of shared fees with a lot more one-on-one instruction than a workshop or group class could offer.
Private Inline Skating Lessons
After progressing through several levels of group lessons you will discover if you or your child is serious enough about the sport to move passed recreational skating. At that point you may want to consider private lessons. Individual or private skating lessons give skaters a chance to advance at their own speed. All ages and ability levels can benefit from private lessons because they provide one-on-one instruction, and anyone who is serious about a specific inline skating discipline, considering competitive skating or just needs personalized help for any reason is a candidate for private instruction. Private inline skating lessons are more expensive but usually more productive. If you do decide to pursue private instruction continue reading our selecting a coach section for some guidelines.
Selecting a Skating Coach
The instructors who teach learn to skate programs, workshops and camps almost always give private lessons. Their lessons may range in price depending on the skill level of the instructor and their expenses for facility use, insurance and association dues. USA Roller Sports (USARS), Roller Skating Association (RSA) and World Inline Figure Skating Association (WIFSA) coaches and instructors have been tested, background checked and reviewed for performance to validate their knowledge and teaching experience. Since some coaches specialize in certain aspects of skating (moves, dance, spins,,,) it is a good find a coach that works well with other coaches,
Practice, Practice, Practice...
To make progress in the sport of inline figure skating you will need to skate at least two times a week. Just showing up for you half hour lesson once a week will not make you a great skater, Practice your skills at public sessions if you are a beginner. If you are starting to work on jumps you will probably need to attend a freestyle session, since most public sessions do not allow jumping.