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Info Centre


2012/08 - CanSkate Communication 2

The September 2012 soft launch of the CanSkate program is fast approaching and excitement is building as the final touches are being made.


What You Can Expect

  • New CanSkate manual
    • Contains all the information needed to operate a successful new CanSkate program from off-ice planning and preparation to on-ice program execution
    • Contains sections for both coaches and club administrators
    • Available in a PDF colour version at no cost in Members Only and sold as a printed black and white copy through Skate Canada’s online store
  • New CanSkate program video clips
    • Include program components in action, e.g. warm-up, lesson time, group activity, cool-down, coaching on a circuit, assessing skills, teaching aids, etc.
    • Available at no cost in Members Only or for sale on DVD through Skate Canada’s online store
  • New program materials
    • Award ribbons – for purchase through the online store
    • CanSkate report card – for purchase through the online store
    • Pre-CanSkate report card – for purchase through the online store
    • Group progress sheets for coaches – available in Members Only at no cost, hard copies available for sale through the online store
    • Program Assistant Workbook – available in Members Only at no cost
    • CanSkate Awards Chart (overview of the ribbon and badge awards available to skaters) – available in Members Only at no cost or hard copies for sale through the online store
  • New on-ice signage
    Four Skate Canada-branded signs to identify the four main stations on the ice – Balance, Control, Agility and Fun Zone. Skate Canada is looking at the different options available for cost-effective production of these materials and hopes to have further details shortly. In the meantime, if you require printing of the signs, please contact to request the artwork. Please note that these signs are 2’x3’ each and will need to be printed professionally.

Timeline: The new CanSkate materials will be rolled out throughout the month of August.


CanSkate Coach Online Training Module

Skate Canada is thrilled to be offering a unique learning and training experience for coaches who plan to teach the new CanSkate program this coming season. This training module will provide coaches with the necessary tools to develop, execute and maintain a standardized delivery of the new CanSkate program.

All coaches intending to teach the new CanSkate program must complete the online training module successfully prior to offering the new program at their clubs. The training includes the following four modules:

  • Module 1: Program Preparation
  • Module 2: Pre-CanSkate
  • Module 3: CanSkate
  • Module 4: Self-Check

Training modules 1-3 consist of video/audio clips followed by question & answer summaries. Module 4 (self-check) offers a series of questions on the content covered in modules 1-3 that are randomly selected by the system. Upon successful completion of all four modules (training and self-check) coaches will earn the following CEP credits based on the overall result achieved in the self-check module:

  • 12 questions (100%) = 5 CEP credits
  • 11 questions (92%) = 3 CEP credits
  • 9-10 questions (75-83%) = 2 CEP credits
  • 8 questions (67%) = 1 CEP credit

The English training module will be available to all coaches on Wednesday, August 8, 2012. The French training module will follow shortly and both will be posted in Members Only (under Coaches main menu) on the Skate Canada website.


See It For Yourself Now!

For a sneak preview of components of the new CanSkate program in action, click this link to view the following video clips:

  • Old program vs. new program
  • On-ice group identification
  • The importance of skill progressions and repetition
  • These coaches will inspire you! Take a listen.

We’ve also captured the thoughts of some of our CanSkate pilot coaches on their experiences with running the new CanSkate program pilot and the differences they have seen between the two programs.


Background Information

The following is some background information in case you missed it in our previous communications:

Soft launch reminder

The revised CanSkate program is being soft-launched in September 2012; however, clubs will have two years to implement the new program. Each club and their coaching staff will need to evaluate their readiness to implement the revised CanSkate curriculum and build an implementation plan based on their requirements, e.g. the club may have existing CanSkate supplies that they may wish to use up before starting the new program.

Deadline for implementation

By September 2014, all coaches who teach CanSkate must be trained via the CanSkate Coach Online Training Module and all clubs offering CanSkate must operate the new program.

NOTE: All coaches teaching CanSkate must have completed the CanSkate Coach Online Training Module prior to their clubs’ implementation.

Program Overview

The revised CanSkate program consists of:

  • Stage 1 to 6 badges (same as current badges)
  • The current fundamental movements plus four new components (Speed, Extreme, Spins & Spirals and Hockey/Ringette) that have been reconfigured into three Fundamental Areas called Balance, Control and Agility (the ABCs of skating!):
    • Balance: Skate Forward and forward moving Extreme, Spins & Spirals and Hockey/Ringette skills
    • Control: Stop, Skate Backward and backward moving Extreme, Speed, Spins & Spirals and Hockey/Ringette skills
    • Agility: Turn, Jump and turn and jumping skills from Extreme, Spins & Spirals and Hockey/Ringette skills

Delivery concepts

When revisions were made in 1998, we recommended and emphasized various delivery concepts including dividing skills into fundamental movements, using circuits and stations to teach skills, introducing the Fast Track to explore stride and incorporating music and teaching aids to add fun and variety. We are now taking a more deliberate approach to engrain these same concepts as well as to emphasize a more effective way to teach and deliver the program for better results, stronger skaters and long-term member retention.

Technical changes

Here is a summary of the technical changes we are making:

  • More emphasis on speed and flexibility - In accordance with LTAD philosophies it is important to build in components that address the development of speed and flexibility in a more concrete way. Speed is more of a focus with features such as the Fast Track and specific speed-related drills. Activities highlighting flexibility are incorporated into the sessions to ensure appropriate development of this skill.
  • Earlier introduction of edges, turns and stroking basics - Upon reviewing the program it was determined that these basic skills that are the foundation of quality skating should be given more emphasis. Therefore, more focus is placed on edges, turns, strong pushes and glides. Sport-specific skills are introduced later in the program.
  • Emphasis on skill progression and repetition– Better skill progressions are reinforced as the skaters develop skills. Skills are repeated at various stages throughout the program with gradually increasing performance requirements.
  • Learn-to-skate for all - In addition to ensuring that CanSkate meets LTAD principles we also want to ensure that CanSkate provides the opportunity for clubs to reach all prospective clientele including hockey and ringette players and speed skaters in the community who are looking for a quality generic learn-to-skate program.


Additional awards in the form of ribbons that correspond to the new Fundamental Areas have been added to provide skill bench marks and to help motivate skaters. Once a skater achieves the Balance, Control and Agility ribbons for a certain stage, they are awarded the badge for that stage.


What will a new CanSkate session look like?

We are very excited with the changes that are happening on the ice. With the colourful teaching aids, signage, circuits, station rotation, Fast Track, Fun Zone and upbeat music, there is a great deal more movement, action and fun! If your club has already adopted these concepts then it will be a smooth transition to full implementation. Our pilot clubs, coaches and parents are also noticing remarkable progress in basic skating abilities and speed as well as a decrease in skater absenteeism and an increase in CanSkate membership.

Should you have any questions on the new CanSkate program please contact us at coaching& or at 1.888.747.2372.

The Coaching and Skating Programs Department

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