years of teaching experience, my answer is always based on the student's
lifestyle. Habitually active folks can expect to become advanced beginners
in one lesson and working on stride technique after
3 lessons. Non active beginners may need two lessons to achieve the basic
stride and turn
and possibly a third lesson before they're ready for braking skills.
No matter how far back you practiced roller or ice
skating, rode your bicycle to and from school, took gymnastics lessons
or enjoyed downhill skiing—even if this all happened 20-30 years ago—a history of these activities built up your overall balance, and that
balance is still with you today.
You are likely to become comfortable with striding, turning and the mechanics
of braking within one lesson (however, confident stops usually
require more practice). Along with learning these new skills, you will
be surprised at how quickly you lose your nervousness, as coordination
and balance from your past emerge during that first lesson. To take
your skills to the next level, focus on mastering a solid Scissors
Coast to prepare for more advanced skills further up the learning
What if your past life has been filled with academic
pursuits or other sedentary activities? (Congratulations on your healthy decision
to change that!) Your body has missed out on the gradual building of balance.
During your first beginner lesson, you are likely to
feel discouraged by all the "natural
athletes" around you. Terror may even keep you on the lawn or carpet long
after the first part of the lesson, or for the entire time.
Never fear! With your help, your instructor can get you rolling confidently
and safely with a few more lessons. Success comes faster when you keep
up the learning momentum between lessons. Motivated
beginners can do
balance-building homework and drills on the
living room carpet to conquer
I am proud of my non-active beginners' success stories. To join them,
find a qualified
instructor nearby and sign up. Be sure to ask
about discounts for multiple lessons regardless of your starting abilities,
because every skater should consider taking what I consider to be the three
The Anti-Aging Effect
Keep practicing, and skating improvements will come. Balance improvements
can continue indefinitely for skaters at every level, which is known to help
slow the aging process. We can all use
that major benefit of inline skating!