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Sometimes, existing staff members are identified and recruited to be coaches. “Our staff members will go through the training and that’s a step up for them as far as job responsibilities, too,” she says. A complete document is available on the RSA website called How To Teach A Non-Skater How To Teach Roller Skating. “Having access to the resources and support of the SRSTA is a benefit of being a certified coach with the RSA,” Finley explains. “We are currently recruiting new teachers or returning teachers as there is a need for them across the country,” says Jacques. “The RSA hosted seminars this past fall in Georgia and Washington that involved many sectional operators who attended or sent staff to learn more about training and certifying teachers for their facilities.” The RSA SRSTA has a Facebook page with additional information about teachers’ trainings to give support to their members.

4. Enter to Win While the Super Skater program is used yearround to teach basic roller skating skills, every year during the months of March 1 – April 30, the RSA encourages coaches and rinks to employ the Super Skater program in their rink and to submit their test results to the RSA for this time period to enter to win the Super Skater Contest. The RSA member rink and certified SRSTA coach with the most winning tests receives a $50 gift card and plaque. Forms must be submitted no later than May 10 for consideration.

5. Working Out the Super Skater Class Details If the group is large enough, it helps to have more than one coach assisting the students. Marlayna Harney, coach at Foothill Skate Inn in Sacramento, CA, has coached the Super Skater program for 24 years and has won the SRSTA Coach of the Year award two years in a row. She has revitalized the skating lessons since coming to Foothill. “Our Saturday morning classes will have 30 or 40 kids,” she explains. “We charge $6 per class. We’ll divide the floor up into three sections—the walkers in the front, those who can roll but still have some balance problems in the middle, and the advanced skaters in the back. We have a coach for each section.”

Harney suggests doing the monthly testing during public skating. “People want to see what’s going on,” she says, which can bring in additional students. During the testing, level one students (red super skater pin) must master three of five techniques—stopping or braking, maneuvering, forward crosspulls, balancing on one foot, or limbo. Level two students (blue super skater pin) must complete four of six techniques—forward crossovers, backwards scissors, jump, spin, race, or hockey. Each skater is judged by a panel of three judges brought in by the rink owner. The judges should be at least 15 years old and be familiar with different skating techniques. Graduating is a big accomplishment, Harney says. “We make a big deal about the skaters who are graduating,” she says.

6. How to Market Your Learn-to-Skate Lessons Using the Super Skater Program With the coaches in place, it’s time to get the word out. Finley has relied upon tried-andtrue marketing methods to help promote the Super Skater program at her rinks. “We have banners hung up in the rink, we have flyers posted, and, of course, word of mouth,” she says. “If we see a skater struggling we’ll pull them aside and tell them about the lessons. We also have our deejays make announcements during public skating. Most of our promotion has been in-house, but we also have it posted on our website.” Some rinks offer additional incentives, such as coupons for a free class, a “two-for-one” pass, or a free item from the snack bar, if a child signs up for a lesson. Some offer punch cards to Super Skater students. After so many punches they earn a reward; at Finley’s rinks, it’s a pair of roller skates! Students are busy with sports and various after-school activities, so flexibility is key with scheduling classes. “We run two sessions a week—one on Saturday mornings and one during the week after school. We encourage one session for level one and the other for level two,” Finley says. Skaters not only learn effective techniques, but how to skate safely, including the proper way to fall. Level one gets the student more comfortable on skates. “It focuses on the new skater who goes from walking or to the wall to independently moving on their own, balancing, and maneuvering around pylons,”

Jacques explains. The skills test is given at the end of each month to accommodate skaters’ different levels of progression. Level two teaches advanced techniques like skating backwards. Here, the coach can incorporate some games that require different skills—for example, Finley’s coaches will have the students play Red Light, Green Light to work on balance and stopping. Most classes are anywhere from an hour to 90 minutes long, such as at Finley’s rink. “Our coaches will work on technique for the first 45 minutes, then teach the students popular games or let them practice for fun in the second half,” she says.

7. The Achievement Program: Taking the Next Step The Super Skater program often feeds into the RSA’s longtime Achievement Program, which is targeted at more advanced skaters without the added stress of competition. The test is open to any skater, regardless of RSA membership. This program has been in existence since the 1940s and has been adjusted and revitalized over the years. Some skaters don’t just want to go in circles – they want to learn how to dance and do tricks – this is where the Achievement Program comes into place.

8. Advanced Lessons in Roller Skating “There are four main disciplines that skaters can choose to work in—dance, figures, freestyle and speed,” Dickerson explains. “Within these disciplines, there are different options and levels to master. American Dance and International Dance have solo levels, as well as team levels. Figures is made up of Circle Figures and Loop Figures. Freestyle and Speed can encompass quad or in-line skaters. All skaters must begin at level one and can work their way to a Gold Medal. After they pass each test, the skater is awarded an achievement pin for that level in their discipline.” “When it’s time to take the tests, skaters don’t have to worry about losing or being judged unfairly. They’re competing against themselves, and judges know exactly what they’re looking for. Achievement tests are the fairest way to evaluate a skater, “ says Jacques. “It’s a pass or fail system. There’s no room for biased judging.”


For roller skating coaches, accepting the challenge of creating skaters is the key to longevity. However, coaches can’t toss beginning skaters into competition and expect them to survive – they must first establish a foundation on which each skater can build. The RSA Achievement Test Program is a successful tool used to transform beginning skaters into powerful competitors. Many skaters choose to participate in the program because it allows them to be involved in the sport without the pressures of competition. However, other test candidates use it to establish sound skating backgrounds before entering competition. Achievement Tests build strong basic skating skills, physically as well as mentally, and enable skaters to begin successful and meaningful careers. The RSA Achievement Tests (originally called the RSROA Proficiency Tests) were established more than 40 years ago to provide incentives for skaters to increase their skating skills. If you’re looking for a new program to attract skaters, try growing your business through a ready-made program that benefits skaters, coaches and your bottom line.

• Judges Scoring Form for Single Test per skater • Judges Scoring Form for Multiple Tests per skater • Judges Roster Form • Coaches Test Summary Form • Gold Medal Test Center Information • Gold Medal Test Center Director Checklist • Gold Medalist – Medal Information Form • Artistic Test Form – QUICK GUIDE • Judges Scoring Form – QUICK GUIDE Under Booklets/Requirements you’ll find RSA Achievement Test Requirements for: • American Dance

11. Going for the Gold

• Circle Figures

For students who are at the top of their roller skating game, there are a variety of options available once students have worked through both the Achievement Program and Super Skater Program. USA Roller Sports takes roller skating to a competitive level in a variety of disciplines with regional meets and a National Roller Skating Championships held every year. For more information visit www.teamusa.org/ usa-roller-sports

• Loop Figures

9. Getting the Necessary Forms and Materials

• Inline Freestyle

So now that you know all about the Achievement Program, how do you know what is necessary to accomplish each level in various roller skating disciplines? To start, the RSA’s website, www.rollerskating.com, has a section labeled SRSTA, which stands for the Society of Roller Skating Teachers of America. Roller skating coaches are, by default, members of the SRSTA. Under this menu you can find information on the Achievement Program (as well as the Super Skater Program, Coaches and Judges information). Here you will find:

• Roller Hocking

• Speed Program Booklet • Achievement Test Fees Chart • Achievement Test Director Checklist • Summary of Achievement Test Form • Artistic Form for Single Test per skater • Artistic Form for Multiple Tests per skater • Speed Form for Single Test per skater • Speed Form for Multiple Tests per skater

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Students then attend on the specified date, location and time to complete the tests.

• International Dance

• Quad Freestyle

• Achievement Program Booklet

move to the next level in the program. (Note that permission to test at a non-RSA member rink should be obtained, in writing, by the RSA President or Executive Director and the SRSTA Chair to conduct and Achievement Test at a non-RSA member rink.) A date will be set for the testing and judges who hold commissions (certifications in various levels of roller skating in which they are eligible to judge a skater) in the respective disciplines will be invited to evaluate the skaters. The Test Center director will be responsible for the testing logistics—collecting the fees, distributing and collecting the scoring forms, sending completed paperwork to the RSA, and paying for and ordering the pins for those students who have passed their respective tests.

• Speed Skating As well as requirements for the Super Skater levels one and two. You’ll also find USARS Skater Requirements should your skater wish to advance to the competitive level. While these requirements are on the USARS side of roller skating, we have made them available here for you. Here you’ll find: • USARS Dance • USARS Figures • USARS Freestyle

10. How to Participate There is a minimal cost to participate in the Achievement Program; the fee structure is based on RSA membership or nonmembership. To give the test, the rink owner or coach will name a Test Center director who will establish a test center. A time and an RSA member rink where tests will take place will be decided upon for students who wish to

/ March/April 2015 / Roller Skating Business Magazine

12. It’s Time to Teach… Roller Skating! Both the Super Skater and Achievement programs are meant to encourage a lifelong love of roller skating by focusing on timeless techniques. “Remember, an activity you do well is one that is more fun. These learn-to-skate programs give your customers a chance to come back and enjoy skating, not just try it,” Jacques says. For more information on the Super Skater or Achievement programs, contact Tonya Dickerson at achievement@rollerskating.com or 317-347-2626 Ext. 112 or visit the RSA website at www.rollerskating.com and click on SRSTA Program to get started.

www.rollerskating.org


Profile for Roller Skating Association International

March / April 2015 Roller Skating Business Magazine  

In this issue of Roller Skating Business Magazine, readers will learn more about how roller skates and parts are made to be safer and easier...

March / April 2015 Roller Skating Business Magazine  

In this issue of Roller Skating Business Magazine, readers will learn more about how roller skates and parts are made to be safer and easier...