What it’s About:
This program is only 30 minutes and is designed for skaters aged 3+. Lessons are taught by Skate Canada Certified Professional Coaches and trained Program Assistants in a group format so children must be somewhat independent and not require one-on-one supervision. Skaters are taught in a lightly structured group formation due to the age and ability of the child.
In the PreCan session, our goal is to get the children moving, getting up on their own and to view skating as a FUN activity. We use music and toys to make the session a playtime on ice. Our Coaches and program assistants are not there to hold a child or pick them up but to teach the techniques for the child to do independently. Skating can be a scary experience for small children and all children progress at different stages. As parents, please have patience and watch your children and the session developed.
In the beginning weeks, kids will lay, crawl, try to “break out” of the open gate and cry. This is all very normal and expected. This is like learning to walk all over again and the floor is pretty slippery! Give them time to adapt as they will be frustrated that they can’t just “go” and you may be frustrated they aren’t learning as fast as you would like to see, but you will be amazed at how quickly they do figure things out. Just give them praise every chance you get even if they crawled or cried as it’s a huge accomplishment to just step on the ice. Plus for many, this is their first kick at doing an activity and being “away” from mom and dad.
During the first 1-2 classes of the session, Coaches will use their discretion to evaluate and place skaters into the appropriate group levels according to their skating ability. Some skaters may be moved up into CanSkate groups.
There are 8 basic skills for the skaters in this program:
- Fall down and get up
- Balance on 2 feet
- Move forward
- Make snow
- Move backward
- 2-foot twist
- 360° march
- 2-foot jump
Dress in layers – it may get warm! Skaters should wear long pants, gloves, warm sweater or jacket.
All skaters MUST wear a CSA approved hockey helmet. PreCanSkaters are required to have a full face mask/shield, this is mandatory for participation in this program. Any other type of helmet is not allowed to be worn. No exceptions.
MHSC and Skate Canada DO NOT recommend the “adjustable or expandable” skates. These types do not offer the support needed for developing skaters. If you need help selecting proper fitting skates please speak with the professionals at Sports Connection, talk with our Coaching staff or our Club staff for recommendations.