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Thread: Lesson Fees

  1. #1
    Senior Member seak's Avatar
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    Lesson Fees

    In my area (DC metro) most semi - serious coaches seem to charge 30 dollars for a half hour lesson.

    What about in your area?

    What is an apropriate fee for a coach? Multiplying 60/hour out over a 40 hour work week a full time coach would be making well over 100,000 a year (granted there are other factors in play like not working a 40 work week). Should anyone but the top level coaches to be getting paid more then teachers or even Doctors?

    Just some things to discuss
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    Senior Member RebelFencer's Avatar
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    $25/half hour. Worth every penny.

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    Senior Member telkanuru's Avatar
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    $25/20 min
    "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit." -Aristotle

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    Senior Member fencerbill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poulet
    Supply and demand, just like how pro football players will always be paid more than teachers.
    It depends on, for example, the time period available to earn it. Football players have a game and practice but it is probably about 40 hours a week. Coaches more.

    Doctors: say 8 hours a day once they are in practice.

    Lots of fencing coaches only have 10 hours a week or less to earn money.

    Each of them has to bring in enough to live on.
    Whoopee! My avatar is back.

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    First off, I'm not sure how many coaches actually have the students to teach 40 hours worth of lessons a week. Secondly, you have to understand that your calculation doesn't take into account the fact that any benefits the coach may want to provide (health coverage, vacation, retirement plan savings, etc.) come out of this $100k. Those costs can be significant and are usually taken care of by the employer for a teacher.

    Additionally if the coach has to pay for (or contribute to) the cost of using the fencing facility, then it all of a sudden isn't looking quite so lucrative.

    That said, I think most fencers would agree that an excellent coach is worth their weight in gold!

  6. #6
    Senior Member seak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xlr8
    First off, I'm not sure how many coaches actually have the students to teach 40 hours worth of lessons a week. Secondly, you have to understand that your calculation doesn't take into account the fact that any benefits the coach may want to provide (health coverage, vacation, retirement plan savings, etc.) come out of this $100k. Those costs can be significant and are usually taken care of by the employer for a teacher.

    Additionally if the coach has to pay for (or contribute to) the cost of using the fencing facility, then it all of a sudden isn't looking quite so lucrative.
    well its actually 124,000 I rounded down a little bit to take things like healthcare into account. Most of the coaches around here own the club they are fencing at and charge dues to cover the costs of using the facility. Also the assistant coaches get paid by the lessons they do they don't have to pay to use the facility for lessons.

    This may be different in other places though, and I was curious about outside practices hence why I started this thread : )
    What's the "real" world again? I don't think I can see it from my window

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    Quote Originally Posted by seak
    well its actually 124,000 I rounded down a little bit to take things like healthcare into account. Most of the coaches around here own the club they are fencing at and charge dues to cover the costs of using the facility. Also the assistant coaches get paid by the lessons they do they don't have to pay to use the facility for lessons.

    This may be different in other places though, and I was curious about outside practices hence why I started this thread : )
    I have fenced at a few different clubs and visited with others. I've also read a few threads like this one on this board....

    Everything you're saying seems to be about average. $30 is a bit steeper than I'm used to seeing, but $1/minute isn't far off. Many coaches give 20 minute lessons and change anywhere from $15 - $30 dollars for it. That cost is normally after the student has paid some sort of membership fee.

    The real question that you have to ask is this one: given the fee the coach charges, is he able to fill all available time slots that he wants to make himself available for private lessons. If the answer is "yes," then the fee is appropriate...or maybe a bit too low.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Joe biebel's Avatar
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    Personally, I think $30.00 for a half hour lesson is minimal. This would depend on how well organised your coach is, and how well they present the material to be learned. A half hour lesson is a very long time. This would mean you are already in very good shape or you are receiving a fair amount of lecture during the half-hour session. When I give lessons, they are fairly long. My students are medium strength to "lightweight" in shape and skill level. A long (half hour) lesson needs to have short lectures for the student to be able to finish. It is incumbent on the instructor to keep notes on what is covered, notice weaknesses in bouting/tournaments to "tailor" lessons for the student. I prefer shorter lessons (for less money) until the student is very strong and advanced and can concentrate for longer periods of time. If you are paying too much for lessons, perhaps you are in the wrong length of lesson.

    When I was taking lessons regularly, I would never take more than one a week. They did seem very expensive, so I would work extremely hard to "master" the concept or technique of the lesson. Often it would take more than week to achieve. The lesson is only expensive if you don't learn it in a reeaonable amount of time. If you can't learn it in a reasonable amount of time, perhaps group lessons or a different instructor are right for you.
    I'm a foil fencer, and I can change, if I have to, I guess.

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    Member labelle's Avatar
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    All the coaches at my club are volunteers. Of course, Iowa fencing is a lot more relaxed than out East.

  10. #10
    Senior Member D+F+P=Hadouken!'s Avatar
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    If the best epee coach in the country, charges $X for a lesson, then I don't think a lesser coach should ever charge as much, or even close. Its ridiculous for a scrub coach to charge $25 a lesson, when a better coach does not charge that much more.

    Then again, lesson prices are determined by the law of supply and demand, not by the law of charge what you're worth in comparison to the best.
    "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. And from this side only! The flight of a half-man, half-bird. Dinosaurs nuzzling their young in pastures where strip malls should be. Cookies on dowels. All those moment, lost in time. Gone, like eggs off a hooker's stomach. Time to die" -Phil Ken Sebben

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    Senior Member jdoiv's Avatar
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    Really

    if you think about it, most coaches probably get 20 -25 hours a week of individual lessons in if they are lucky. Salle opens at 4 or 4:30 and closes at 8 or 8:30 for lessons. Somewhere in there, they probably give a group lesson or have down time. Heck even need to get a bite to eat. So if he's lucky he gets 4 hours of lessons in Monday through Thursday. Friday nights are usually slow, so figure he get's half a scheudle in, say 2 hours. That's only 18-20 hours a week at $50-60/hr. Then you have summer come along and lessons drop off for a couple of months. If the guy cracks $30k before expenses, he's lucky. If he's in a big market, he probably can fill out his schedule a little bit more and make some extra money. If he's in a small market, he has another job to make ends meet. I don't think I've ever met a fencing coach that I would say is financially well off (i.e. rollin' in the dough). Most make less than public school teachers but have more passion about what they do for a living than most other people. I'm happy to pay $25-30 bucks a lesson. If they weren't there giving lessons and spreading the love of fencing (good coach or bad), we wouldn't have fencing. So, next time you go into the club, take your ol' coach a little somethin' somethin'. Bring in donuts, bring in dinner, offer to help out with repairs, sweep the floor, just show them you appreciate what they bring you by being there. [/rant]
    fencing hack....

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    Senior Member Mr Epee's Avatar
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    Does anyone have any idea what 4+ hrs of lessons a day would do to your arm?

    It'll destroy your body, and then what'll ya do?
    Take your time. Read carefully.

  13. #13
    Senior Member JasminaJ's Avatar
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    My coach says he likes to give lessons, and then bouts afterwards with anyone at all. He says he needs the exercise.
    And I pay him @ $1.00 per minute, but he always does more than the half hour. He is a great coach! He can even make me a better fencer, and I'm
    going along with his lead there.
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    I've taken lessons with two coaches, and they were both, if I remember correctly, about $20 for a half hour.

    (it's not exact because they had discounts for club members and such...but it was about $20)

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    Senior Member El Chucko's Avatar
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    Just a few minutes ago I was reading an e-mail that coincides with this discussion. I found a coach I was interested in in Toronto, but he asked me to contact the director of his club about fees. I did, and he wants $100/hour (Canadian) for lessons, PLUS he required $200 to join the club. I live over the border, so I just wanted to take maybe one lesson a week from the guy. I didn't expect to pay full club fees plus (what I consider to be) excessive lesson fees.

    For that kinda scratch, I'd better learn to thread a needle with my epee from 50 feet.

    I consider $20-25 (US) to be appropriate for a 20-30 minute lesson. If the student is not a full-time member of the club, there should be a reasonable compromise for a temporary pass or something, says I. What if I am visiting from out-of-town, and just wanted 1-2 lessons from a respected local coach?
    "All things must pass. All things must fade away." - George Harrison

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    My coach charges $15/half hour for private lessons, which she gives one day a week (considering she teaches at the university two other days and has to commute for I think an hour to get to town).

    Definitely worth it in my opinion, and she makes sure I get my money's worth, if not more.

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    Posting Hound Zilverzmurfen's Avatar
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    Lessons are included in club membership fee. (I would say this is common practice at all fencing clubs in Sweden.) Time may vary depending on my mood and form, but are usually 15~20 minutes long.

    Last summer I paid 10 €/15 minutes from a coach at the fencing camp in Hungary. It was good lessons and well worth the money, but I probably wouldn't pay more than that.
    Fencing is my only PvP.

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    lessons are also included in the club fees at my club. the length is a bit dependent on how many people are wanting lessons, but are around 15-20 mins.

    at honved, where i went to train for a week they charge about £7/30 mins for a lesson, and they have some really really good coaches there.

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    I generally charge about £14 for an individual lesson of 30mins in length but most of the time i'm paid through the various clubs/organisations that hire me.

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    Just Joined mar2372's Avatar
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    My coach sells a 10 lesson pack for $130 - worth every penny. Lessons last about 20 minutes and I always learn something or correct something I have been doing wrong. The improval I see b/c of lessons and the confidence I gain have been excellent for my Fencing.

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