Sports are a great way to get the kids off the couch and involved in something. But, signing up for sports is just another task, on a long to do list, for today’s parents. Wading through the seemingly limitless options can be a chore. And how do you find the right fit for your child?
We will be spotlighting different sports here on dsm4kids to help you out. We want to look at the win/loss record of each sport, who it’s best for, the time commitment and costs involved. Today we are highlighting Ice Skating & Figure Skating.
Every four years during the Winter Olympics ice skating takes center stage as one of the more popular sports. Who can resist all of the twirls, jumps and the beautiful costumes? Figure skating can provide an opportunity for kids to learn physical and mental skills and engage in a sport that is fun, creative and challenging.
Very young kids can give ice skating a try, but most complex figure skating techniques are better mastered when a child is at least five or six. When starting out, kids can participate in group lessons and need minimal equipment, skates. And those can be rented, if you don’t want to purchase right away.
There are only four ice rinks to take figure skating lessons at in the Des Moines metro area. It may be a bit of a drive to get to lessons, if you’re not located near one of these locations. With limited ice time, early morning or late evening practices are not uncommon.
If you’re just starting out, don’t expect your kid to glide for a while. They will practice falling and getting up over and over again and some tears may be involved. At the other end of the spectrum, more advanced figure skaters will need to take private lessons and commit a large amount of time spent on the ice year round.
There is no shortcut to learning a physical skill and ice skating is not an easy sport to master. Kids will learn many disciplines including: basic turns, edges, footwork, jumps, spins, spirals and combine them into patterns and steps set to music. Figure skaters need to be persistent and committed to practicing.
Beginner Skater: minimum one hour per week, plus performances
Intermediate Skater: minimum one hour, three days a week, plus competitions
Advanced Skater: minimum of two to three hours per day, plus competitions
- Costume (for performance or competitions)
- Gloves or mittens
- Helmet (optional for beginners)
- Snow Pants (for beginners)
- Practice Clothes (long pants or tights, light sweater or jacket)
- Lessons: average $10-20 per group lesson
- Skates: $35-75 (can look for used skates or rent them)
- Costumes: $35-$100 (can look for used or trade with other skaters)
- Skates: $75-$250 (may need more than one pair)
- Costumes: $100-$300 (may need more than one)
- Skating Association Fee: average $100 per year (introductory memberships are available)
- Club Registration Fee: average $100 per year (introductory memberships are available)
- Rink Fee: average $5-$10 per skating lesson (may be included in club membership)
- Instructor/Coach Fee: average $15-$45 per 30 minute skating lesson
- National Skating Test Fees: average $35-60 per test
- Competition Entrance Fee: $50-$100 per event
- Coach Competition Fee and Travel Expenses: $100 – $500 average per event
- Travel Expenses: $100-$500 average per event
- Off-Ice Training (yoga, pilates, strength training, dance/ballet): average $35-60 per session
Please keep in mind that most people ease into skating with many never spending the large amounts listed. As with anything, as your child progresses, only your family can choose what you will spend in relation to your child’s specific goals within the sport whether competitively or recreationally.
Clubs & Venues
- Brenton Skating Plaza – Learn to Skate – http://brentonplaza.com/learn-to-skate
- Buccaneer Arena – Central Iowa Figure Skating Club – http://centraliowafsc.org/
- Metro Ice Sports Facility – Des Moines Figure Skating Club – http://www.desmoinesfigureskatingclub.org/
What do you think, is ice skating a fit for your kid?