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c. Planning




Each Club will have a STAR program delivery team that consists of:

  • Coach(es)
  • Coordinator (may or may not be a coach)
  • Volunteer Member(s) to assist if necessary
  • Test Chair (to help ensure assessment records are filed accordingly)
  • Program Assistants (may also be used in this program under the direction of a coach).






Parts of a session

Every STAR Session should begin with a warm up and conclude with a cool down. These parts of the sessions may be done on or off the ice. The middle of the session should contain the teaching and learning components. 

Warm up:

  • MUST include exercises that increase blood flow to the major muscle groups and increase the skater’s heart rate.


Specific examples of warm up class content can be found here:

STAR 1-5 On and Off Ice Strategies


Teaching and Learning:

  • MUST include periods of review and new skill acquisition or development. This “Learn to Train” stage of development requires a strong focus on “coach directed” time.  The strategies outlined in bold below are examples of “coach directed” time.


*Please note: Assessments may take place at any time of the year and at any frequency. Coaches are expected to develop the quality of the skill prior to performing any assessments.

Specific examples of these teaching and learning activities content can be found here:

STAR 1-5 On and Off Ice Strategies

STAR 1-5 Terms and Definitions

Cool down:

  • MUST include exercises to lower the heart rate and stretch out the major muscle groups.


Specific examples of cool down class content can be found here:

STAR 1-5 On and Off Ice Strategies 

For examples of sample schedules, please see: STAR 1-5 Sample Schedules


BUDGETING for Maximum Coach Directed Time:

There are 3 main strategies available to assist clubs and coaches in offering a program that maximized coach directed time.

CLUB DIRECTED: All fees are organized by the club and included in the registration fee. This would include ice fees and all coach’s fees for the entire program. No additional fees would be required by the skater’s families for lessons.

COACH DIRECTED: All fees for the ice would be covered by the club’s registration fees. All fees for the lessons would be organized by the coaching staff. Coaches can organize a group lesson/class structure or a combination of group and private/semi private instruction for the skaters’ development. Coaches may opt to work as a team for this delivery model or choose to offer all discipline training themselves.

CLUB – COACH DIRECTED (Hybrid Model): This model is a combination of both the Club Directed and Coach Directed options listed above. The club would decide how much coach time they could cover in their registration fees and the remaining time would then be organized by the coaching staff to ensure skaters are receiving the maximized amount of coach directed time.

Some clubs only offer a Private Lesson Model on figure skating sessions. The traditional version of this model limits the amount of coach directed time for skaters and is the costliest. It also requires more coaches per skaters which can be difficult for remote clubs.

Below is a comparison model to identify the advantages in comprehensive programming.








Classes are a great way to direct the skaters’ work and effort in a very cost effective and work productive manner. Classes may be offered to direct a number of development areas. Examples include:

  • Edges & Turns
  • Power
  • Spins
  • Jumps
  • Creative Movement
  • Field Moves
  • And more

Classes can be any length of time and may vary depending on the topic. Suggested times range from 10 to 30 mins.

Examples of format and content of suggested classes can be found here:

STAR 1-5 On and Off Ice Strategies

Clubs may have more coaches available than needed to run a “class” during a portion of the session. Below are some strategies that may assist the workload of the extra coaches.

  • Allow coaches to teach lessons through a class. Encourage those coaches to rotate their students so the skaters will have the opportunity to benefit from the classes on a rotational basis
  • Split the group of skaters in half and offer 2 classes, 1 off ice and 1 on the ice. Set up a rotation schedule so groups will alternate through the classes. Benefits of this scenario include:
    • Allows the opportunity to incorporate on and off ice programming in the same time slot
    • Allows skaters an opportunity to have more quality time with the coach (less skaters per group)
    • Allows the opportunity to use more than one coach for the same time slot
  • Rotate the coaches who are instructing the classes. This allows the skaters to reap the benefits of being exposed to the different coaches’ strengths while sharing work time amongst the coaching staff.
  • Coaches could also use the class time as an opportunity to provide one on one or small group planning sessions off ice. Again, it is suggested that coaches rotate their skaters to enable all skaters to take part in the classes on the ice as much as possible. Content for the off ice sessions could include: goal setting, monitoring, mental performance, off ice jump technique and more.



There are 3 main types of lessons given by coaches for discipline development.

Private Lessons

  • This lesson format is a 1:1 ratio between coach and skater
  • This type of lesson is good for technical content in all disciplines

Semi-Private Lessons

  • This lesson format is a 1:2 ratio between coach and skater
  • This type of lesson is ideal for technical content
  • Good for motivating skaters to push development in areas of:
    • Speed, performance, acquisition

Group Lessons

  • This lesson format is a 1:3+ ratio between coach and skater
  • Technical content can be given easily
  • Group strategies activated to ensure individual feedback is given
  • Good for motivating skaters to push development in areas of:
    • Speed, performance, acquisition



Team coaching can describe many different scenarios’. Essentially, team coaching is more than one coach working together to assist the development of a skater or group of skaters. Team coaching has many benefits including:

  • Maximizing or capitalizing coaches’ strengths
  • Creating an environment of experts
  • Allows skaters to be introduced to many different coaching styles
  • Allows an environment for more coach directed time
  • Enables more perspectives to contribute to individual training plans. 

Sample scenarios of team coaching:

Base Coach Directed: A Base Coach (manager and decision maker) will work with and coordinate with other coaches to give skater direction in the areas identified by the Base Coach.

Team Directed: Two (or more) coaches working together to plan and direct the skaters’ development in all areas. All coaches would be able to make decisions and be involved in lesson planning and direction.

Specialization Coaching: This scenario would see a coach lead their area of speciality. Communication needs to exist between coaches for maximum benefit to the skater. Each coach would make decisions for their area of development.


*Support Coaches: Coaches or clubs may decide to bring in a coach(es) on a regular or as-needed basis to enhance skater development and provide support to the core coaching staff.



Music will be an integral part of the STAR 1-5 program. Coaches will use music for warm ups, cool downs, edge and turn sessions, power classes, dance step sessions, music interpretation, programs and more.

Music can also be used as a motivator or teaching tool to help:

  • Increase energy on the session
  • Increase or decrease speed or tempo of exercises
  • Teach rhythm or timing of steps
  • Explore movement, creativity and musicality

Look to many different sources, genres and time periods of music to keep sessions fun and add variety.


PROGRAMS (Solo’s):

The main focus in “Learn to Train” is on skill acquisition. With the recognition that many skaters will have various time commitments they can give to skating during this phase of development, it is important that the coaches time on the ice is spent on skill development vs choreography.


Programs in the STAR 1-4 program have been designed to be the same length to allow for easy transition through the skill development stages.  Coaches are encouraged to allow skaters to share programs, enabling many skaters to skate the same program in the early stages of development. This eases financial burden and allows for easy implementation in a group lesson format.  As the main focus is on the individual skill performance at this level, programs will be designed to be simple in nature, using choreography to instill the basic strategies of music interpretation and highlight accents.


To facilitate the easy distribution of music for programs at this level, coaches and clubs may decide to have a library of “stock” programs to use for skater’s/group lessons.  Advantages include:

  • No additional cost to skaters
  • Easy to teach in a group lesson format. All skaters learn the same program.
  • Easy to ensure all skaters have a chance to have their music played on sessions for practice. For example:
    • 10 skaters divided into 2 groups, each group learns 1 solo, therefore 2 solos played facilitates the needs of 10 skater’s practice.
  • Programs customizable to meet the development needs of the skater. For example, in the STAR 3 program, one spin can be a camel or a sit; one jump can be a flip or a lutz.
  • Skaters may use the same program in the STAR events. This is highly effective and cost efficient at the STAR 2 level in particular.


Scientific studies have shown that the skill of performance and music interpretation develops with age. The STAR program has integrated this philosophy into the assessment criteria to match the natural development of the skaters.  Skaters will be assessed on composition (choreography) at the next level in development.


Skaters and coaches have some choices when deciding what music to use for the pattern dances in STAR 1-5.

  • Skate Canada Dance Music (Series 1-8)
  • Skate Canada identified Contemporary Music



Using music in class formats will help skaters develop their sense of timing, rhythm as well encourage development of power and artistry.

Below are some examples (not mandatory nor limited to). Coaches are encouraged to use a variety of music throughout the STAR program to increase the skater’s awareness, knowledge and adaptability to different styles of music.



Due to the fluid and more accessible nature of assessments in the STAR 1-5 program, clubs may need to consider new classification strategies other than “tests passed” to organize skaters on sessions. Some suggestions are listed below:



Allocating sessions for skaters of the same age range and level may be a good option. This strategy is very helpful when arranging off ice training for the athletes, as different age ranges require different attention. For example: Strength training for a 7-year-old looks much different than strength training for a 14-year-old. 


Clubs could use the skater’s freeskate event level, or the average of all 3 disciplines to establish level. For example:  If a skater is STAR 3 Dance, STAR 4 Freeskate and STAR 5 Skills, they would be considered a STAR 4 level skater.


Clubs may consider organizing skaters by level of Freeskate they are performing at Events or Competition.


Open sessions allow for skaters at different levels to skate on the same ice. This is a great option for clubs that are trying to encourage skaters to pick up more sessions during the week to gain development, or for clubs who do not have a lot of skaters to make different sessions.



Due to the nature of the cross training involved in the STAR 1-5 development, clubs may choose to offer discipline specific class time with open discipline training time. This will allow skaters the opportunity to practice or focus on their areas of need regardless of session title.

This is the preferred option for training schedules at this level.


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