The over 40's all burst into laughter. The young coach blushes. Charming Charlie says, "I can get down but I can't get up." I tell her, "Wait 'til you're 60. You'll look back on this day and laugh too." Hockey Harold gives it a manly try, rams into the boards and pulls himself up. "That's not gonna happen." Poor coach, stuck with a curriculum for kids and teaching it to adults.
Some weeks later came shoot the duck. This was introduced to us with great enthusiasm. The over 40's laughed again. We didn't even try. (However, this doesn't mean that
So even though I'm in private lessons, and I'm testing, I still take group lessons. What wonderful fun!
Members of the adult group have been skating together at this rink for several years. The rink doesn't use the adult program, but sticks with the kids program. We do Basic 1-8 not 1-4. There's a distinct advantage to this for the rink; Their coaches don't have to keep two separate programs in their heads. For the skaters there's an advantage too; We're learning the program as it's meant to be taught.
We're also fortunate that the coaches don't make us do every skill to pass. I don't jump or spin; The coach substitutes something else. The guys in hockey skates are reluctant to do spirals; no problem, do something else. This is really an excellent example of how an adult program should be run, with flexibility and innovation. Adults are there to have a good time. We don't have a deadline for our triples; We know our limits and we want to have fun while learning a skill. I've had some really good times in the adult Basic class.
Then one day, they passed me into Freestyle. Oh, I was miserable. I'm in Ice Dance, I don't jump. The class is filled with little kids wanting to jump and three adults who are also willing to try. I stuck it out for one round and went back to Basic 8. There's stuff I can work on at that level: waltz 8s, and back edges, and maybe even a lunge. I just didn't want to spend my time in Freestyle. In Basic 8 the coach can send me to a corner and let me practice dance stuff so I can get mid week ice time. I'm so not worried about getting my patch.
Surprise! Surprise! The new coach came in and said to those of us who had been in the program for a while, "You guys are ready for brackets!" So she taught us.
That's what I'm talking' about! A program that says, 'Not everyone fits in the USFSA mold. Let's keep the adult customers by acknowledging not everyone wants an axel. Let's have fun!"