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This week's tip:

Becoming a Skate Instructor

By Trish Alexander

Skaters duck walking

Candidates practice the duck walk during a certification weekend in New York.

photo: Trish Alexander

Need a little extra cash? ... Want to do something to grow inline skating?

Become a certified skate instructor!

As an instructor certified by Skate IA, you’ll be able to create a little side business while helping to grow our sport.

The truth is that interest in skating has fallen in the last 10 years. Millions of people still skate, drawn by the sports unparalleled health, fitness and fun benefits. But the fear of falling is keeping a lot of potential skaters away.

That’s where you come in.

We’ll teach you to get people skating safely at one of our weekend certification classes. Then you’ll be ready to train new skaters. And that will help our sport grow!

If that sounds overly optimistic, consider what happened to tennis.

The sport exploded in popularity in the 1960s and 1970s, but declined in the 1980s. The tennis association fought back with its Play Tennis America program, which provided free lessons to people all over North America. The strategy worked. Tennis rebounded and today boasts 18.5 million participants in the United States, according to the most recent SGMA topline report.

Education could do the same thing for inline skating (which has dropped to 8.2 million participants in recent years).

In the early years of inline skating, 1980-1995, the sport attracted lots of 20-somethings who didn’t mind a few spills on their way to proficiency. But these days, adults prefer to learn without road rash or hospital visits. And parents are also more cautious. They prefer their kids to have some kind of instruction before they start skating.

That’s where we need your help. By becoming an instructor, you can bring new skaters into our sport. It won’t make you rich. But it can put a few dollars in your pocket and provide you with a way to give back to the sport you love.

It’s not hard to become an instructor. We can teach you everything you need to know during one of our two day certification clinics.

During the clinics, we:

  • review basic skating skills
  • teach you our time-tested method to get new skaters rolling
  • explain safe skating practices
  • and teach you the body positions that you need to recognize to diagnose skating problems for both you and your students. (All the candidates at last year’s trainings said they became better skaters.)

At the end of the weekend, you take your finals: a written exam to test your knowledge of the 32-page manual; a skating exam to test your skills on wheels; and a practical exam in which you prove you can teach.

We schedule certifications all over North America. Recent weekends have been in Seattle, Miami, Washington, DC, and New York. We will be posting a new schedule soon. One of our 2011 certifications will coincide with the Great EsSkate in Miami.

Send me an email if you are interested. Together, we can keep inline growing.


trishIIflattenedTrish Alexander is the head of the Skate IA and director of the Skate Journey Skate School in Bellevue, WA. She started ice skating as a child and was a competitive figure skater as a pre-teen. She started inline skating in 1994 and began teaching two years later. She is certified to teach Level I, Level II, Master Fitness, Blade Fitness and Fitness Inline Marathon Training. In a former life, she was a paralegal and private detective.

Trish's blog



Related reading:

Skate Tip of the Week Archive
Beginners Guide to Outdoor Racing
Beginners Guide to Inline Skating




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