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Recruiting Skaters



Rink public sessions are often the best places to recruit indoor skaters in the USA.  Here are the people who love to skate.


A start is to let people, skaters and parents, know that speedskating exists; many have never heard of it. Posters, brochures, and PA system announcements are one tool. Another is demonstrations by good speed skaters, in race uniforms.  An ideal situation is when speed team practice is just before or after session skates, so session skaters can see the fun of speed.


After people know a little about what speed skating is, the next step is one-on-one discussion.  If someone expresses a little interest, perhaps by paying attention to a speed skating demonstration, take the initiative to talk with that person. Tell them a little about the excitement that speedskaters can have, volunteer a little information about what it takes to become a medal winning skater.  Ask if the person has questions, and what their thoughts are regarding skating.


Sometimes public sessions have a skate race, or are willing to do so to make the session more fun.  Talk with the skaters who do well in those races.  Perhaps a race prize could be a free lesson with the speed team.


Generally be on the lookout for good skaters, and people who enjoy skating.  Let them know that they are good, and that the speed team can increase their speed and fun.



To recruit outdoor skaters, go to where they skate.  Often outdoor skaters are found on paved bicycle trails, and roads which bicycles use.  Some industrial parks have little traffic after business hours, so are used for outdoor skating.


Outdoor skate meets sometimes draw hundreds or thousands of skaters. Look for outdoor meets within a day’s drive of your club’s location.


Once you’ve found outdoor skaters, the same recruiting techniques as indoors work well.  Posters and brochures are effective; some outdoor races will, at low cost,  put one of your brochures in the packet each skater receives.  One-on-one talks are most effective.



Remember that most beginning skaters are most motivated by fun.  Wanting a first place medal comes later, after they’ve been skating, but it’s generally not a useful motivation for recruiting.


Many people join things to be with friends.  So sometimes you’ll need to recruit a group to try speed together; one person in the group will not do it alone.  And look to skaters on your team; work with them to recruit their friends.


When recruiting kids, don’t forget their parents.  Parents not only must give permission for the kid, but parents often provide transportation, and must wait during practices, and pay the expenses of the sport.  Parents can understand speedskating’s building of self-discipline and pride of accomplishment, and the desirable peer group which a good speed team provides, so let parents know of these benefits.


Don’t rush to change a skater to fit your mold, but build on what they enjoy and do well. Try to expose indoor and outdoor skaters to the other venue, but don’t try to force them to give up what they enjoy.