by Marta Nilsen, PSA Master-rated coach
As ice skaters we are always looking to improve, especially over the previous season. The New Year is as good as time as any to evaluate our situation and finds ways to become a better figure skater. Below are five recommended steps for improving your figure skating and making better progress over the course of the next season.
1) Add another day of skating to your week.
Adding another day of skating per week can speed up your progress dramatically. If you can’t add another day, the next best thing would be to add two more hours per week of skating time. Instead of skating one hour per day for two days per week, instead skate two hours per day, two days per week.
2) Take a ballet class at least one day per week.
Ballet increases flexibility, strengthens body alignment and placement, and teaches proper jumping technique. This is a great way to get that super spiral or increase your jump height.
3) Participate in off-ice classes at least one time per week.
Off-ice class is not just another workout. You will be practicing simulating skills that are done on the ice. Practicing off ice allows you to feel, see and understand the basic positions that your body must attain during skating moves. You will also learn exercises and stretches that can do at home. Check out tools such as the Spinner for off-ice training.
4) Go to at least three competitions away from your home rink this season.
Competitions push you to increase your skill level faster than any other method of training. Striving to do your best in a competition helps you to reach the goals that you have set for your skating.
5) Set figure skating goals.
You need a plan for where you are going and a process for how to get there. You decide where you would like to be, which you discuss with your skating coach, and then he or she makes a plan to help you reach it. All successful people set goals to help them reach their greatest potential, and successful ice skaters are no exception.
Best of luck in 2013!