What is CanSkate?
CanSkate is a dynamic learn-to-skate program that focuses on fun, participation and basic skill development. Based on Sport Canada’s long term athlete development (LTAD) principles, CanSkate centers on physical literacy and the fundamental skills needed to take part in any ice sport or to skate as a recreational activity.
Who’s it for?
For beginners of all ages, children or adults, as well as for those wishing to improve their basic skills whether their focus be for figure skating, hockey, speed skating or just skating for fun.
Who teaches it?
NCCP-trained professional coaches, assisted by trained program assistants.
What will you learn?
A complete series of balance, control and agility skills taught in six stages of learning that pertain to hockey, ringette, speed skating and figure skating as well as general recreational skating. CanSkate uses nationally-tested and proven curriculum and delivery methods that guarantee skater success in developing stronger basic skills and developing them faster.
What can you expect?
Action, movement and fun! Lessons are given in a group format with a coach-to-student ratio of a maximum 1:10. Skaters progress at their own rate and coaches make sessions active using teaching aids, upbeat music and a wide variety of activities that create a motivational environment and promote learning. Badges, ribbons and other incentives are used to benchmark skaters’ progress and reward effort and participation.
What do you need to participate?
All you need are skates, a CSA-approved hockey helmet, long pants, mittens, warm sweater or jacket. Dress in layers – it will get warm!
Beginner skaters are required to be able to stand on the ice by themselves.
Choice of lessons once or twice a week. Skaters do improve much faster if they skate twice a week.
Figure or hockey skates can be worn but must provide good support. If the skater can stand in their laced-up boots on a carpet with the skates perpendicular, i.e. not leaning in or out, the support is adequate for this level.
Figure skates have a toe pick which is needed for jumps. However, when wearing figure skates children often push with the toe pick and so can move without bending their knees, a very bad habit which is difficult to break. Hockey skates are useful in that the child has to push with the whole blade and in doing so has to bend his/her knees. We want skaters to progress as far as possible even if they do not go on to figure skating or hockey. If a child learns on hockey skates and wishes to become a figure skater they have to adjust their technique slightly.
Skaters may prefer to have private lessons after getting Stage 4 or Stage 5 badges and should contact the coach of their choice. Another option would be to join the Junior Prep program (figure skates required) once skaters have obtained the Stage 4 badge.
Parents are requested to sit in the bleachers rather than the player hockey boxes. This is to avoid distracting the skaters.