Coach

Coaches are responsible for teaching and inspiring competitive and recreational skaters, sharing the joy of figure skating and creating a lifelong love of the sport. A coach is an instructor, a role model and a support system, and U.S. Figure Skating adheres to high standards of excellence for its coaching community. 

U.S. Figure Skating Coach I.C.E.

Female coach helping a young female athlete with a spiral U.S. Figure Skating will soon launch a coach education, certification and development program, U.S. Figure Skating Coach I.C.E., for Inspiring Coaching Excellence.

The integration of coaches into U.S. Figure Skating, as members of Coach I.C.E., will be a key component in growing the sport by requiring that coaches are active, engaged partners of U.S. Figure Skating.  Coach I.C.E., will include a Coaches Council for governance and a headquarters team that will focus on implementing coach education, certification and development.  

Key Timeline:  

  • Starting February 2024: Members can log onto Members Only, and click “U.S. Figure Skating Coach” to complete the U.S. Figure Skating Core Coach Certification course. It must be completed no later than June 30, 2024.

  • Starting June 2024: After you have completed step 1 and joined U.S. Figure Skating as a club or individual, purchase “U.S. Figure Skating Coach I.C.E.”

  • By July 1, 2024: From your new Coach I.C.E. profile, complete any remaining coach compliance requirements, such as your background check, SkateSafe training, insurance and waivers.

  • After July 1, 2024: From your Coach I.C.E. profile, coaches can participate in any learning activities you wish, take courses, etc. These will count towards your CEUs that keep your certification/accreditation active.

Educational opportunities and activities will be available in a limited capacity beginning in the spring of 2024. 

Become a Learn to Skate USA® Instructor

A common step in becoming a figure skating coach is to join Learn to Skate USA® as an instructor and work with your local Learn to Skate USA® program to introduce new skaters to the ice. Each program has its own coaching requirements, but basic requirements set forth by Learn to Skate USA® include a Learn to Skate USA® instructor membership, background check and completion of the U.S. Center for SafeSport’s online SafeSport™ Training for all instructors over the age of 18. All Learn to Skate USA® instructors 17 and younger must have a Learn to Skate USA® instructor membership and must take the instructor certification course and exam.

Become a Learn to Skate USA® Instructor

Become a U.S. Figure Skating Coach

(Beginning Feb. 2024) 

All coaches and those interested in becoming a coach must start by completing the U.S. Figure Skating Core Certified Coach course, available through Members Only.  This core course provides all of the fundamentals needed to become a coach. After earning the core certification, coaches are eligible to join U.S. Figure Skating Coach I.C.E., the program for the education, development, and certification of coaches (beginning July 1, 2024).  Beginning with the 2024-25 season, in order to coach at sanctioned events, all coaches must complete the core certification and join U.S. Figure Skating Coach I.C.E. 

In addition to those professional requirements, coaches must also complete a background check, complete training through the U.S. Center for SafeSport and have coaches liability insurance.  All will be available through the Coach I.C.E. portal.   

Education

Coaches sit in an information session at 2023 Humans Skate America

As U.S. Figure Skating transitions to delivering coaches certification, development and education during the 2023-24 season, we are committed to providing robust educational opportunities for all certified U.S Figure Skating coaches through the Coach I.C.E. (Inspiring Coach Excellence) program, which will officially launch on July 1, 2024.

All coaches will first earn a Coach Core certification, available beginning February 2024. Beginning, with the 2024-25 season, all coaches wishing to coach at sanctioned U.S. Figure Skating events must join Coach I.C.E.

Educational opportunities will be posted on this website and will consist of programs such as:  

  • In-person education opportunities
  • eLearning
  • Virtual learning via workshops, webinars and seminars
  • Networking and communications
  • Opportunities to earn higher accreditation levels

Upcoming Events

Access to Excellence - May 15-18, 2024

Access to Excellence logo

U.S. Figure Skating is excited to announce Access to Excellence, the first national training and education program to bring together competitive athletes, coaches, officials and parents for a multi-day event focusing on skill development, performance development, character development and pursuing excellence in the sport!

When: May 15-18, 2024

Where: Colorado Springs, Colo. 

The Basics:
Wednesday, May 15 – Classroom sessions for coaches and officials and welcome reception
Thursday, May 16 – Classroom sessions and on-ice demonstration sessions for coaches; (optional) awards dinner, sponsored by PSA.
Friday, May 17 – Classroom sessions and observation of athlete training camp
Saturday, May 18 – Observation of athlete training camp (optional for coaches)

Registration is now open! Click here to register. 

Note: PSA will be awarding 24 educational credits to PSA rated coaches wishing to ensure their rating is active prior to PSA ratings transferring to U.S. Figure Skating’s accreditation system July 1.

National Coaches College
Coaches from all disciplines are welcome to attend a three-day National Coaches College featuring classroom sessions, on-ice sessions for coaches only, and observation of athlete sessions from some of the top faculty in the U.S. and the world. Click here for more information

Athlete Acceleration Training Camp
The Athlete Acceleration Training Camp will be held in conjunction with this program. Registration is now open. Click here for more information and criteria for athlete participation.

 

Starr Andrews sits with her coaches in the kiss and cry and reacts to her score with a big smile on her face

Rules and Rule Changes

One of the key responsibilities of a coach is to guide their students’ skating programs and skill progression to ensure that they are both satisfying the rules for competition and test entry, for the content of their programs, as well as maximizing and showcasing their strengths for maximum success.

Coaches should be familiar with the following:  

 

 

 

A coach helps a young skater.

Coach Development Pathway

U.S. Figure Skating is committed to providing coach development pathway for all certified U.S. Figure Skating coaches through the Coach I.C.E. (Inspiring Coach Excellence) program.  After earning their core certification, all coaches wishing to coach at sanctioned U.S. Figure Skating events must join Coach I.C.E.  

We will be launching the Coach Core Certification program in February 2024, and Coach I.C.E., June 2024. Click here for more information on the new U.S. Figure Skating coach pathway.

U.S. Figure Skating coaches participate in professional development by earning increasingly higher level certifications and keeping those certifications active through Continuing Education Units (CEUs).  

Step 1

All coaches start by taking the U.S. Figure Skating Core Coach Certification, to become certified coaches.  This online module is designed to teach coaches the core fundamentals of everything they need to know about coaching, including understanding the process, coach and athlete well-being, coaching best practices, coaching essential fundamentals, and general technique concepts.  

Once a coach passes this core certification, they are eligible to join Coach I.C.E. and coach at sanctioned events.  

Step 2

After completing the U.S. Figure Skating Core Coach Certification, coaches join Coach I.C.E., to open access to education and a development pathway.  Annually, to keep their certification active, they must complete CEUs of their choice.  Options include all the education opportunities, including in-person seminars, eLearning courses and virtual webinars and seminars, as well as earning an appointment as a test judge or technical specialist.  All virtual options will be included in the Coach I.C.E. member package.  

Step 3

Coaches are encouraged to pursue higher levels of certification within the Coach I.C.E. program:  

Certifications will be offered in multiple disciplines including singles, pairs, ice dance, synchronized skating and specialty areas such as choreography, skating skills, theatre on ice and Learn to Skate USA. 

All coaches who previously held an active rating through the Professional Skaters Association (PSA), will be welcomed to U.S. Figure Skating Coach I.C.E., and granted a certification at their parallel level, after having completed the U.S. Figure Skating Core Certification.  Coaches that have a rating that is no longer active may re-activate it by taking the Core Certification and an online refresher course.  

  • U.S. Figure Skating Certified Coach – Level 1  
  • U.S. Figure Skating Certified Coach – Level 2  
  • U.S. Figure Skating Certified Coach – Senior  
  • U.S. Figure Skating Certified Coach – Master 

 

Resources

U.S. Figure Skating encourages a culture of actively engaged learning, through not only the coach development pathway and education, but through various methods. Check back for coaching articles and tips!

Coaching Leadership

The U.S. Figure Skating Coaches Council consists of 27 coach members, including a chair and leadership team of six vice chairs.  The council reflects the broad experiences of the coaching community within U.S. Figure Skating, including coaching at all levels, from Learn to Skate USA, through high performance development, national and international, as well as all skating disciplines and programs.  

The current council was appointed by the U.S. Figure Skating Board of Directors and will hold office until May 2025, at which time, all certified U.S. Figure Skating coaches with active Coach I.C.E., memberships will elect a council.  

The Coaches Council acts as a repository of knowledge and ideas of coach members, facilitates and supports the appointments of coach members on all U.S. Figure Skating committees, serves as an advisory group and partner with the appropriate U.S. Figure Skating staff departments to develop strategy for coach certification, education and development and provides input into athlete development strategies.  Finally, members will serve as delegates representing coaches at the annual Governing Council meeting.

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Tim Covington headshot
Tim Covington
Chair
Coaches
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Darlene Cain headshot
Darlene Cain
Skating Programs Vice Chair
Coaches
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Joel Dear headshot
Joel Dear
High Performance Vice Chair; Athlete
Coaches
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Phillip DiGuglielmo headshot
Phillip DiGuglielmo
Pacific Vice Chair
Coaches
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Heather Paige headshot
Heather Paige
Midwest Vice Chair
Coaches
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Becky Stump headshot
Becky Stump
Eastern Vice Chair
Coaches
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Denise Williamson headshot
Denise Williamson
Development Vice Chair
Coaches
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Scott Brown headshot
Scott Brown
Council Member
Coaches
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Alex Chang headshot
Alex Chang
Athlete
Coaches
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Jeff DiGregorio headshot
Jeff DiGregorio
Council Member
Coaches
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Tammy Gambill headshot
Tammy Gambill
Council Member
Coaches
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Michelle Hong headshot
Michelle Hong
Council Member
Coaches
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Christy Krall headshot
Christy Krall
Athlete
Coaches
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Naomi Lang headshot
Naomi Lang
Athlete
Coaches
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Matt Lind headshot
Matthew Lind
Athlete
Coaches
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Drew Meekins headshot
Drew Meekins
Athlete
Coaches
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Patrick O'Neil headshot
Patrick O'Neil
Council Member
Coaches
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Stephanie Roth headshot
Stephanie Roth
Athlete
Coaches
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Russ Scott headshot
Russ Scott
Council Member
Coaches
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Jill Stewart headshot
Jill Stewart
Council Member
Coaches
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Cindy Sullivan headshot
Cindy Sullivan
Council Member
Coaches
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Nani Tanaka headshot
Nani Tanaka
Council Member
Coaches
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Mary Vaughn headshot
Mary Vaughn
Council Member
Coaches
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Lindsey Weber new
Lindsey Weber
Council Member
Coaches
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Megan Williams Stewart headshot
Megan Williams-Stewart
Athlete
Coaches
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Ikakia Young headshot
Ikakia Young
Athlete
Coaches

Your contacts for this area of interest

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Headshot of Heidi Thibert. She is a middle aged white woman with short blonde hair. She is wearing a blue collared shirt and a beaded necklace
Heidi Thibert
Director, Coach Development & Education
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Kelly Vogtner headshot
Kelly Vogtner
Senior Director, Sport Development & Strategy
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Headshot of Cassandra Lock. Cassandra is a young African American woman with black curly hair. She is wearing a black collared shirt and a gold necklace
Cassandra Lock
Manager, eLearning Design

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