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Contacting the Rinks



Step 3


Contacting the Rinks



Flowchart: Process: Contact the Rink







Send Letter



Follow-up phone call



Personal visit



One technique is to contact each of the rink owner/operators by mail first. There’s a good chance you will get a response from an interested rink if you have a well-written letter and presentation.  Iif you do not receive any calls within one week, follow up with a phone call or personal visit to each rink.


If you receive interest from just one rink, proceed to step 4 “Making the Presentation.” However, if you receive interest from multiple rinks, you may want to visit each rink (discreetly) to give it a good “look over.” You’ll want a rink that is conducive to running a good speed program. Here are some things to look for:

  • Safety – is the rink well maintained? Do they follow a structured routine during sessions or do they just let the kids run all over the place unsupervised? How they run their sessions is a pretty good indicator of the type of relationship and level of support you will receive from them.

  • Floor condition – Is it large enough? Concrete or wood… either is okay and both have their advantages and disadvantages.

  • Session schedule – If you have to work around the session schedule, will you end up running practices late in the evening during school nights, Sunday morning competing with church, etc? Assume you will have to work around the rinks schedule and try to find a rink that has sessions schedule either before or after the “premium” time slots (I.E. 10am – 1pm Saturday would be a premium time slot to run a speed practice). This way the rink does not have to make a special visit to open or close for your practice. In many cases, once you and the rink owner/operator have established a relationship, they may allow you to open and close on your own.

  • Session dynamics – Visit the rink during a Friday night session. Do the sessions draw quad skaters, speed skaters, recreational skaters, ”Gothic” dressed kids hanging out, etc… Your chances of being successful with recruiting skaters from a rink where kids do not skate and just hang out are minimal. Additionally, rinks that do not rent inline skates or roller blades are difficult to recruit in… not impossible, but it does take more effort on your part to transition them from quads to inlines.

  • Owner/operator support – Critical. I would caution you from being too overzealous in the beginning. Just because a rink owner says “yes” to a new speed program does not mean they will support it wholeheartedly. It’s best to sit down during your presentation and define the “mutual expectations.”  Show them the benefits of having a speed team at their rink. You may find that many owners/operators have “tried it before” and had a bad experience in the past. They may be reluctant to allow a speed team to begin for fear of the same thing happening again. Coaches “skimming the pot”, coaches showing favoritism, coaches who were disorganized or who did not keep parents informed, teams who did not take care of the rink, etc… the coach is the key person to a successful team.


You’ll also need to consider the benefits of having more than one rink involved in your program simultaneously. Wouldn’t it be nice to have 2, 3 or even more rinks, all with their own coaches involved in your program? That’s usually not the case although having one coach in charge of coaching at more than one rink for the same team is very possible. So, if you have multiple rinks interested in joining your program, make sure your coach is able and willing to travel between the various rinks and that the practice schedule does not conflict with the coach’s personal schedule.


Okay, you have the interest from a rink or multiple rinks. Now it’s time to meet with them and sell your idea of starting a new speed team.


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