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. 

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. Here you will find information on how to become a coach, as well as various resources to help coaches be the best they can be for their athletes.

Become a Coach

Become a U.S. Figure Skating Coach

Female coach helping a young female athlete with a spiral
                                     

(For the 2024-25 season) 

All coaches and those interested in becoming a coach must start by completing the U.S. Figure Skating Core Certified Coach course, now available through Members Only.  The 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.   

Click here for U.S. Figure Skating coach compliance requirements. 

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

Click here for Learn to Skate USA® instructor compliance requirements,

Coach Development Pathway

Accreditation program that assures a measurable level of knowledge ad expertise

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 launched the Coach Core Certification program in February 2024, and Coach I.C.E. will be available starting in 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 accreditations and keeping those accreditations 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.

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:  

Accreditations 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 granted an accreditation at their parallel level, after having completed the U.S. Figure Skating Core Certification.  PSA Ratings must be active by June 30th, 2024 (through PSA educational credits) in order for a coach holding them to be Accredited by U.S. Figure Skating.

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

 

Coach Education

Provide affordable and individualized opportunities for professional growth

Coaches sit in an information session at 2023 Humans Skate America
                          

Coach Education is delivered to Coach ICE members in the following formats: 

The Coaches Studio 

Live, interactive webinars or discussions on pre-determined topics for coaches. All webinars are recorded and posted to the Video Vault and Community. Registration information is distributed in the U.S. Figure Skating coaches newsletter. 

These sessions will take place at the following times: 

  • The third Wednesday of each month at 8 p.m. ET 

  • The second or fourth Tuesday of each month at 8 p.m. ET, for discipline/program specific information 

  • Additional virtual coaches colleges or workshops throughout the season

eLearning Platform 

Asynchronous, interactive online courses that coaches can take on their time to enhance their learning. Coaches can access through their Coach Profile on Members Only. (Summer 2024) 

Coaches Video Vault and Community 

Video platform that stores webinars, videos and documents for coaches to access on their own time. Coaches can access through their Coach Profile on Members Only.  Also included is a community feature for discussion. (Summer 2024) 

In-Person Seminars, Conferences and Workshops 

U.S. Figure Skating will announce in-person learning opportunities and workshops soon!

Coming May 2025: Access to Excellence National Coaches College.  

CoachConnect Live! 

Coach I.C.E. members receive discounted all-event tickets with practice passes to major U.S. Figure Skating events. Seating is in the same area and includes guided discussion and networking.  

Dates Event Location
Oct. 18-20, 2024 2024 Skate America Allen, Texas
Jan. 23-26, -2024 2025 Prevagen U.S. Figure Skating Championships Wichita, Kansas
Feb. 27-March 1, 2025 2025 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships TBA

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

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.  

Timeline:  

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

  • Starting June 1, 2024: After you have completed step 1 and joined U.S. Figure Skating through a club or as an 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.

Coach Information

Relevant real-time access to high-impact resources

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 will receive regular newsletters and eblasts with needed information as it occurs.

Coaches should be familiar with the following: 

Coach Support

Tools to promote and facilitate business growth

Coach I.C.E. Resources

U.S. Figure Skating Coaching Standards of Professionalism

Coaches are entrusted with a wonderful duty. They are a huge influence on all skaters in their rink, and they are a representative of the sport. As such, coaches are expected to conduct themselves with integrity and hold themselves to the highest standards of excellence and professionalism. U.S. Figure Skating requires each coach to adhere to the following Standards of Professionalism.

U.S. Figure Skating Coaching Standards of Professionalism

Coach Recognition

Public acknowledgment and celebration of quality coaching and achievements

Coming in October 2024, U.S. Figure Skating will announce awards for our coaching community, recognizing a wide variety of coaches throughout the skating community.  This will be in addition to Coach of the Year, Developmental Coach of the Year, Choreographer of the Year, etc.  

Three U.S. Figure Skating Coaches Honored Through USOPC Coach of the Year Recognition Program

Coach Impact

Provide a voice and representation within U.S. Figure Skating

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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