Basic Skills Program (Group Lessons)
Each class includes 30 minutes of group lesson time and 30 minutes of supervised practice.
The Ohio University's Bird Arena is proud to host a U.S. Figure Skating Basic Skills Program. The program teaches the fundamentals of ice skating and pre-hockey. Skaters age 3 through adulthood learn basic elements such as stopping to more advanced elements such as jumps and spins. The Basic Skills program is designed to be fun, challenging, and rewarding.
Objectives of the Basic Skills Program
To provide a fun and safe skating experience for skaters of all ages and abilities
To teach correct technique for basic skating elements
To develop a finer degree of coordination and balance
To promote physical fitness
To have fun!
The skating instructors divide participants by skill level into groups of 8-10 people to ensure quality instruction. Lessons are thirty minutes weekly for a predetermined number of weeks, and are available on Wednesdays and Saturdays. As part of the group lesson program, skaters are registered as a United States Figure Skating member and provided a Learn to Skate pass for access to EVERY recreational skate (this does not include skate rental). Passes must be presented at the skate rental counter.
At the end of the quarter, skater's skills are reviewed by an instructor. Skaters who have mastered the skills receive a patch and advance to the next level. Skaters who have improved through the season but are not ready for the next level yet will receive a certificate explaining what skills need to be polished before advancing. Instructors teach the skills, but it is up to the skater to practice and master each skill.
Bird Arena offers hockey and figure skates for rental. Instructors are available at the beginning and end of each session to assist with proper fitting of the skates. A quarterly or daily rental fee can be added to your registration fee for group or private lessons if you chose to use Bird Arena skates.
Classes are first-come, first serve, register early to ensure your skaters spot in the session of your choice. Pre-registration will ensure that the first day of class is smoother for you and your skater. If you are unable to make a class, contact the Learn to Skate office at 740-597-1458 so we may inform the instructors. Make-up classes are not offered for the group lesson program due to the use of Bird Arena by other programs. Registration forms are accepted up to the 3 week of the session.
Snowplow Sam 1-3, Tots ages 3-6
The Snowplow Sam levels are designed to help the preschool age skater develop the primary coordination and strength needed for skating. Elements included in the level are falling correctly, standing up, stopping, skating forward and the ever favorite swizzles. Helmets are strongly recommended for all new skaters.
Basic Skills 1-8
Basics 1-8 begin to teach the fundamentals of the sport, such as forward and backwards skating, three turns, mohawks, edges, and crossovers. Levels 4-8 begin to incorporate jumps and spins. After working through the 8 skill levels, skaters have a basic knowledge of skating and can advance to more detailed private instruction or hockey programs if they wish. Private lessons are also available for those still working through the Basics.
The Bird Arena group lesson instructors are from skating programs all around the country with different levels of experience in skating and instructing. Each instructor brings a different style of teaching to the program and has attended clinics to expand their knowledge of latest and most innovative teaching techniques. All instructors are affiliated with the United States Figure Skating Association as well at the Professional Skaters Association if they teach private lessons. They are committed to the development and advancement of the skaters. Please pick up the instructor brochure on the Learn to Skate bulletin board near the concession stand for more information about each instructor.
There are a wide variety of skates in today's market. Skaters need to find skates that best suit them, either hockey or figure skates. To prevent injury to the skater's ankles or feet, skates must be stiff at the ankles to have support and fit properly. Bird Arena offers rental skates, hockey and figure, which fit these criteria. Instructors are available at the beginning and end of each session to help in finding the right pair and fit. A quarterly or daily skate rental fee can be added to the registration fee for group or private lessons.
Please see the Skating Director about information about purchasing skates. Since children grow at an astonishing rate, don't be afraid to buy used skates as long as they are not broken down and have support around the ankles. If you are unsure of size, ask a member of our staff to assist. Bird Arena offers skate sharpening for hockey and figure skates. To learn more, visit the Pro Shop.
Since children are less tolerant of cold conditions we encourage parents to dress their children in thin warm layered clothing. Bulky attire such as, winter coats, do not allow the skater to move freely which makes it hard for our instructors to see body position. Wind pants, tighter sweatpants, skating skirts and pants are encouraged.
Mittens, gloves, and knit caps are also highly encouraged to keep the kids warm and make the sport enjoyable. For the younger tots we recommend some sort of helmet, either hockey or bicycle, to protect their fragile heads until they learn how to fall correctly. Hockey helmets are available in the skate room at no cost, if you do not have a helmet or forgot one. Safety of our skaters is our number one priority.
PREPARATION FOR GROUP LESSONS
For the maximum experience in group lessons please be dressed and ready to skate at least 10 minutes prior to class, visit the restroom or talk to the instructor before lessons begin. With only 30 minutes of instruction, every minute counts. Missing the beginning of lessons will result in slower progress.
Dress in thin, warm, layered clothing to stay keep warm on the ice. Bulky attire such as winter coats do not allow skaters to move freely and make it difficult for the instructors to see body positions. Jeans and shorts are highly discouraged, while wind pants, tight fitting sweatpants, skating skirts and pants are encouraged. Mittens, gloves, and knit caps are also highly encouraged to keep kids warm. Hockey helmets are available in the skate room at no cost and are recommended for all first time skaters.
Since children of all ages are easily distracted, we ask parents and friends to watch from the stands or Mezzanine. Please wait to take pictures of your child until the end of the session and ask the instructor for permission. Flash photography is a distraction and a hazard for other skaters and instructors.
CANCELLATION DUE TO WEATHER
All programs will be cancelled when Athens County issues a Level 3 weather advisory. These programs will not have a make-up date.
Program Registration Policies
1 All skaters/parents must complete a liability waiver prior to taking the ice.
2 Parents must be present through the duration of lesson time if the participant is under the age of 14.
3 Refunds are only available up to the 3rd class of the session if the participant decides skating is not for them. Refunds are not available for missed classes.
5 Bird Arena reserves the right to revoke participant facility privileges.
Registration sheets will be accepted before the first day of class and throughout the quarter. Visit the Bird Arena Office, Mon-Fri, 8:30am-5pm or print the registration form and liability waiver. Forward the completed forms to the Bird Arena address prior to the start of lessons to insure your child's spot for group and private lessons. Accepted forms of payment are credit card or a check payable to Ohio University, Campus Recreation.
Mail registration form and liability waiver to:
Learn to Skate, Bird Arena, Room 102
Athens , OH 45701
Be sure to check in with the Learn to Skate Director on your first day for placement of the skater in the appropriate level.