I am NOT a skating coach: Ringette Coach

Ringette players on the ice were going through an obstacle course. It included a number of core skating techniques used in ringette: two foot stop, backward C-cuts, forward cross-overs and the tight turn.

Skating obstacle courses offer variety, use all of the ice and allow many athletes to practice at the same time.

A parent said he liked the way coaches were guiding players in how to move their arms and legs while skating. He had not previously seen the C-cut drill along the blue lines. He liked it a lot.

Ringette is a sport requiring skating agility.

Ringette players are celebrated for their skating prowess.

Spectators and players love the “speed” of the game.

A recent workshop brought together experienced ringette coaches from across Canada. One of the most well known and successful Ringette coaches said “ I am not a skating coach.” This coach sends her players to a “specialized skating” program. This leaves her to focus on ringette skills and tactics.


Which is better: skating in your annual plan or delegating it someone else?

Coaches need to think about this and make a decision.

There is a plethora of specialized training programs for ringette players: goalie clinics, power skating, learn to skate, spinning classes, yoga for ringette and more.

While the Head ringette coach is taught to be responsible for the full annual plan, delegation of specialty roles is one way to survive and thrive.

If you are going to delegate some coaching role, make sure your sub-contractor understands your goals and your athletes.

Guidance for ringette coaches:

  • Get to know the skills matrix and the skating items;
  • Read this great book by Laura Stamm about teaching skating (focus on body position, key teaching points and progressions);
  • If you want to delegate skating: shop around, talk to providers, share your goals and follow through to ensure accountability;
  • If you build skating into your annual plan, cover all the skills in the matrix, and watch your players to see where they need the most work;
  • Ensure a good skating role model is available to demonstrate;
  • Engage with athletes – don’t just watch and yell – offer feedback about body position: posture, feet, which edges are used, and balance;
  • Try this new technology for use with iPhones and iPads to offer video feedback to athletes – fantastic;
  • The best skating programs have a variety of assistant instructors to engage with athletes and offer individual guidance (4 athletes per instructor);
  • If you don’t know about teaching points, review your NCCP certification books or read the Laura Stamm book;
  • Practice good skating technique, SLOWLY at first, then faster, then game speed;
  • No matter what level of ringette is played, there is always room to practice and improve skating technique.
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