This blog is a collection of my thoughts and experiences from ten years as a skate dad. For those of you sitting with your jackets in the bleachers, first I salute you, but second I want to give you an honest sense of what you are in for and what to expect. Ice skating is both a trying and a glorious sport, but it doesn't happen without the special group of folks who cheer, support, and console the participants. This is dedicated to you.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

- dilemma

I got a sense from many of the parents at Sectionals that they were a bit, well, conflicted. Like most parents they have a whole slew of wishes for their kids, and sometimes these don't perfectly align. This raises to the forefront at Sectionals: it places the parents right smack on the ledge of considering the expenses associated with having a national-level skater. For many of them Sectionals will be the first competition where they purchased plane tickets to accompany their hotel room (and with bringing the coach along costs spin up fast). Of course by this point most of them are well aware of the situation, at least by the osmosis of chatting up other skating parents.

You love your dear skating child and want her to be successful in her endeavors, but if she qualifies today then you are definitely spending a boatload of money to buy airfare and accommodations for most of the coaches and immediate family for Nationals. That on top of all of the other worries about your kid skating safely and dealing with the stress and pressure and timelines (and did we make enough copies of the music CDs and what kind of high-def video should I purchase). It's a delicate balancing act for a parent and quite a dilemma.

As an aside though, if you feel that your kid really could start competing on a national level regularly, and your are fully on-board with their continued ambitions, then there's nothing wrong with some outside fundraising. Most skaters nowadays attempt this with varying levels of success.  For an idea of what is possible, check out the results from this Google query.

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