Category Archives: Figure Skating Education

Kate McSwain’s First Choreography Reel

by Kate McSwain

Okay! So here it is. My first choreography reel: a “collage” of a lot of my work thus far! Thank you so much to the skaters who supported me and skated for me in this.

You are the reason I do what I do. Special thanks shoutout to: Jeremy Abbott, Rachael Flatt, Wesley Campbell, Alex Johnson, Sarah Zanolli, David Ings, Garrett Kling, Sean Marshinski, Jodi Porter Haller and Kimberly Felton!

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How Do I Choose a Coach?

by Candyce Mairs

Skating Coach

copyright Bruno Rosa

The selection of a figure skating coach is an important one and should be thoughtfully considered. The combination of personalities between the skater and the coach is very important in determining whether the arrangement is a successful one. The coach should be a good role model both on and off the ice and foster positive growth in the skater. Your skater will spend a lot of time with their coach. Many skaters go their entire career with the same coach.

If you are considering a coaching switch, the method listed below can assist you in choosing a new coach. Never switch coaches if you are in a highly emotional state. If you are presently unhappy in your situation, go through the checklist below to help you determine if a coaching change is really needed. Plan a conference with your present coach to discuss the situation and try and work it out. A coaching change can be very disruptive to the skater. A good suggestion is to take a month to walk through the steps below carefully before making any major decisions.

Before approaching any coaches, go through the following questions and document your answers to determine your needs. Even if you are a beginning level skater, the steps below will assist you in finding the coach that is right for you.

  1. Determine the present goals for your skater. Do you want to test and advance in levels or do you want to be highly competitive?
  2. Are you willing to compete? If so, how far are you willing to travel?
  3. What are your long-term goals? Is it Olympic level competition, judging, professional shows, or teaching? The coach you choose must be prepared to help your skater reach his/her goals.
  4. How much time and money are you willing to commit to the sport of figure skating?
  5. How far will you travel to a rink on a daily basis? Make a list of rinks you are willing to travel to. (If you are unfamiliar with rinks in your area, the Ice Skating Institute (ISI) at http://www.skateisi.com or the United States Figure Skating Association (USFSA) at http://www.usfsa.org, can supply you with a list of rinks.)
  6. Determine the Professional Skaters Association (PSA) ratings level you require for a coach. These ratings assure that the coach is qualified to teach that level. Call the (PSA) at 507-281-5122 if you are not familiar with the PSA/USFSA coaches ratings system. They can give you a list of coaches in your area who are PSA rated and can answer any coaching related questions you may have.
  7. Determine your minimum requirements in a coach in terms of the test qualifications of the coach, past student levels, ratings, commitment, availability, etc.
  8. Obtain a list of coaches and their resumes from your rink list above.
  9. Narrow down the list of potential coaches. Eliminate coaches without the appropriate skating background, test level qualifications, PSA membership or rating qualifications that you require.
  10. Go to the various rinks to observe each coach on this list.Make a log of the following observations for each of these coaches:
    • Observe them on the ice from a discreet area of the rink to determine their teaching style and present student-coach relationships with various students.
    • Observe various students of each coach during their practices. Does the skater appear happy? Is there a positive situation? Are the skaters able to structure their practice time?
    • Observe the coach off the ice. Are they available for questions? Are they open to comments? Do they appear to get along with the other coaches and people around them?

Eliminate coaches based on your observations. You now need to begin the phone interview process to get a feel for their personality. If you presently have a coach and are definitely looking for a new one, have you notified your present coach you are planning to switch? If not, be sure to mention in the phone interview that you are only considering your options at the present time. Do not go into the details of your present coaching arrangement with any potentially new coaches.

Here is a list of questions to ask a potential new coach:

  1. Their personal skating background.
  2. Are they a PSA member? This ensures the coach abides by the PSA Code of Ethics & offers a grievance procedure if there are problems.
  3. PSA ratings. Are they rated, and if so, for what level? If not, do they have extensive experience in the field?
  4. Do they attend educational events regularly to ensure their teaching methods are up to date?
  5. Are their present students reaching their goals?
  6. What is their personal availability and commitment level?
  7. What do they require of their students?
  8. Are their present students able to get enough lesson time?
  9. Can lesson times be added throughout the season?
  10. Previous students’ test achievements.
  11. Injury record of past students.
  12. Inquire of names and phone numbers of previous students no longer skating (for reference).
  13. Do they offer a trial lesson without any form of commitment?
  14. Are they accepting new students?

Once you have interviewed your entire list, review using the following criteria:

  1. Personality compatibility of skater & coach. Would your skater and this coach be compatible?
  2. Teaching style of the coach. Would your skater respond well to them?
  3. Coach’s communication skills. Are they easy to talk to?
  4. Ask around about the reputation of each coach in the community. Are they respected?
  5. Do they meet your coaching requirements?
  6. Call at least two prior students to get a feel for their experiences with this coach.

It is important to follow the PSA guidelines regarding switching coaches. Do not start lessons with the new coach until you have notified the previous coach and all lessons are paid in full.

Going through the steps above should help match your needs to the coach who can best fulfill those needs. Nothing can ensure that every situation is perfect, but rest assured that by following the above methods, you have done everything you can to ensure the chances of a positive and rewarding experience for your skater. As in any good relationship, the skater-coach relationship must be built on trust & respect.

Candyce has served as PSA State Education Director for Minnesota and is Master-rated in Figures, Freestyle, Group and Program Director.

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What You Need to Know About Skate Sharpening

by Eric Neubauer

How frequently should skates be sharpened?
Typical sharpening frequencies range from every 5 weeks for a daily skater to every nine months for a once-a-week skater. In general, skates need sharpening about every hundred hours of skating as long as care is taken to avoid damage from stepping on metal, concrete or any other hard or abrasive material. Pond ice may contain dirt and stones. One accidental step on concrete will probably ruin the last sharpening. Hard guards and soakers can be used to protect the blades while walking to and from the ice and when the skates are carried in a bag. Always dry off the blades after skating to prevent rusting and make sure the hard guards are also dry if they are going back on the blades. Skates need sharpening when they start to slide sideways too easily. An experienced skater can often tell when the skates are getting dull but beginners can’t, so look for feet skidding sideways when pushing or doing crossovers.

sharpening ice skatesWhat do I need to know about getting skates sharpened?

The first thing to find out is where. The right place in your area might be the rink, a skate shop or a sharpening specialist. The simplest approach is to ask several more advanced skaters where they go. At a minimum you should make sure that you can get a correct hollow radius and level edges. If the sharpener doesn’t know what a hollow radius is or have a square to check the levelness of the edges after sharpening, it might be better to go some place else. The grinding stone is dressed to a circular shape to make a hollow along the bottom of the blade. The hollow radius usually ranges from 3/8″ (deeper) to 3/4″ (shallower). Beginners usually prefer a 5/8 or 3/4″ hollow. Advanced skaters usually use a 3/8 to 1/2″ hollow.

Can I tell if my skates have been sharpened correctly by looking at the blades?

You can compare the radius of the hollow with the edge of a penny. If the penny fits exactly, the radius is 3/8″. If it can roll back and forth a bit, the radius is greater than 3/8″. If it touches at both sides but doesn’t reach the bottom, it is less than 3/8″ and a beginner will have a lot of trouble stopping. You can also check the levelness by balancing a pen or pencil across the blade. If the pen slopes toward either side, the edges are not level. Two other easy things to check are to make sure the bottom of the blade curves smoothly from front to back with no sub-curves and that the bottom toe pick hasn’t been ground off. Both of these problems will make the blade virtually useless for edges, spins and jumps.

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What Things Do I Look For in a Coach?

by Gina Oesterlei

Coaches are usually former competitive skaters; while no former training is necessary to be a coach, most coaches have passed tests as well as competed during their skating career. Being in group classes at your facility is a great way to get to know some of the coaches on staff. Be sure you read any information on the coaches in your facility as well as talk to the skating director.

When looking for a coach be sure to ask for a few of the following details: Is the coach a PSA member and if so do they carry any ratings through the PSA? The Professional Skaters Association offers continuing education in the sport of figure skating. A coach with a PSA rating is one who has maintained their training and is constantly working to better their teaching as well as their students. A good coach should be professional and serious about their job. They should constantly come in when he or she plans to, and are always prompt for their scheduled lessons.

Watch a lesson with a coach and see if you like the way that coach conducts themselves. Ask them questions about their skating history as well as the level of students they teach now. You want to find someone you think you can develop a rapport with. Be sure you state your specific needs, you want to make sure they know your goals. Good Luck!!

– Gina is the Skating Director at U.S. Ice Sports Complex in Fairview Heights, IL and PSA Master-rated in Group and Senior-rated in Freestyle.

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How Can Synchronized Skating Help my (or my child’s) Figure Skating?

by Dierdre Dizon

Drill teams and precision have received a bad wrap. While some parents may have let their daughters join a team for a year for fun, if your child was serious and had a future in skating (read “Olympics”), you would never waste her time or your money on a team. It was for skaters who couldn’t hack it. Right?

Well, it never really was. But that’s the reputation synchronized skating seems to have. It’s for those who just aren’t good enough to compete individually and it’s a waste of time for anyone who is. That is completely untrue.

If your daughter (well, actually it is a co-ed sport, but its like 90% female in the US) has a passion for skating and the talent to go with it, spending some time on a team may actually improve her skating and move her ahead of her peers.

Consider this. You’re shoulder to shoulder with a line of skaters zooming down the ice–crossovers, three turns, edges, mohawks and everyone is still standing and in line at the other end of the ice. This takes incredible control from every member of the team

Adult National ChampionshipsSkaters learn how to do neat footwork right under their own bodies, not sprawled out all sloppy and crazy. You can’t get away with that in a line or you will trip your neighbor. Learning how to skate at exact speeds and put each step at the correct time in the music (so everyone does the steps at the same moment) will improve a skater’s accuracy and performance in an individual routine. The skaters are having fun while practicing moves in the field and other maneuvers at the same time.

Team practices also help stamina. Skaters have to skate for 2 to 4 minutes or more straight through. There is usually no “slow” part in the middle for catching one’s breath. And during precious on-ice practice time, you repeat sections and finally the entire program over and over. After that kind of workout, an individual program is a piece of cake.

Serious USFSA teams also know the importance of performing. The coach probably says “smile” almost as often as “keep those lines straight.” And since the judges sit high up in order to appreciate the formations, team members learn from the beginning to keep their heads up and smile. Skaters also need to maintain excellent posture and strong arms to look good and maintain the proper formations.

These are just some of the benefits. Being on a team also has other advantages. Single skating is an individual sport–one that often puts “friends” or acquaintances against each other. Being on a team not only gives skaters the opportunity to work together and learn from a team experience. It also get ever member (and parent) of the team routing for teammates, anxious for their success and improvements. After all, as each individual skater improves, it brings up the level of the entire team. So don’t scough at team skaters and don’t ignore it until you give it a try.

Dierdre is member of LA Express, an adult synchronized skating team. In 1995 they took the silver at Pacific Coast and the pewter at Nationals

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Web 2.0 Offers New Stages to Young Skating Choreographers

By Kate McSwain

Until recently, young figure skating choreographers had few opportunities to expose their work, promote progressive creative ideas, or connect with elite artists in the field. However, with the increasing popularity of websites such as YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook—as well as the development of pioneering programs like Audrey Weisiger’s  “Young Artists Showcase” and Jodi Porter’s  “Master Choreography Techniques for Figure Skaters,”—more artistic opportunities are now available to young choreographers than ever before in the history of the sport. A new wave of young artists in the figure skating world are rapidly emerging, and with these fresh faces comes a vigorous desire to connect, create, and  share their work.

“…with social media and so many other new program opportunities readily available, promising young choreographers can gain reputation and influence in skating choreography simply by staying innovative and involved.”

Social media has facilitated the steps toward freeing the stage so young choreographers could come forward.

  • Facebook has become the world’s gateway to connecting with people; and it’s the online networking system for this sport, as with many others.  Choreographers have an unprecedented opportunity to list their accomplishments, as videos or pictures of their work. Colleagues and peers can communicate across long distances and can share their artistic vision with one another.
  • YouTube’s all-video website is at the core of a choreographer’s new ability to self-promote. By uploading videos of their work, an artist’s choices in movement, music, and expression can automatically be shared, and their vision can be more clearly understood.  And the public has the opportunity to easily respond via comments, “likes,” and shares.
  • Similarly, even with the 140-character limit in one tweet, Twitter offers a young choreographer the ability to market their work on YouTube, or even their personal website, to a group of followers who have selected themselves for interest in the sport. They can also build a following, stay up-to-the-minute on news in figure skating, and connect with other likeminded peers and institutions such as USFSA, PSA, or figure skating clubs nationwide.

Examples of young choreographers using social media to their advantage, especially on YouTube and Facebook, include Tommy Steenberg, the winner of the inaugural Young Artists Showcase; Adam Blake, the second champion; and Garrett Kling, a second-round contestant.

Two interactive cutting-edge programs are also leading the way for figure skating choreographers pursuing careers in the field. One program challenges its contestants to stay creative and share their work weekly, while the other teaches students to identify and understand the fundamental elements of movement.

  • The “Young Artists Showcase,” or YAS, is an international competition for budding choreographers, wherein they can display their work for some of the leading artists in skating.  Kurt Browning, Sarah Kawahara, Doug Webster, and Cindy Stuart have all served as judges for YAS. This program provides the ideal platform for young choreographers to gain exposure and receive constructive criticism for their work.  Audrey Weisiger founded YAS in honor of one of the most talented choreographers in figure skating history, Brian Wright. Audrey’s goal is to challenge young artists to pursue creativity and to help them connect to the rest of the skating world. The Young Artists Showcase website quotes, “YAS offers the opportunity for selected choreographers to participate in an online contest which will be a series of challenges as designed by top choreographers to help the young choreographers develop their craft.”  With the third annual competition approaching this summer, Audrey has successfully built a reputation for her project; this time around, the young contestants chosen to compete in the five weekly artistic challenges online are expected to have YAS’s largest audience yet.
  • Another groundbreaking platform for emerging young choreographers is Jodi Porter’s distance learning class, “Master Techniques in Figure Skating.”  This is a live web-based master class offering 20 weeks of course study. Jodi developed this class to educate skaters in the foundational techniques of choreography. According to Jodi, “The main objective for this course is for [my] students to gain deep knowledge of compositional elements and advanced choreography techniques as they relate to figure skating.” At the end of the semester, each student who completes the curriculum receives a Certificate in Choreography for Figure Skaters. Unlike future classes, who will be able to pay for entry, the inaugural class was invited from among the ranks of young artists with an established commitment to choreography.  Their class’s focus has been on the use of cross-over techniques to apply concepts of movement in dance to movement on the ice. Jodi hopes to see her students elevate their demands of themselves, both in skating choreography and the creative process.  She is helping to yield a younger generation with higher standards in movement on the ice:  movement with no boundaries and with a more progressive, complex, and contemporary vision.

In the past, young skaters with the goal of becoming elite choreographers depended wholly on word-of-mouth marketing and waited patiently for years to gain greater exposure. But at present, with social media and so many other new program opportunities readily available, promising young choreographers can gain reputation and influence in skating choreography simply by staying innovative and involved. The art of figure skating is evolving into an increasingly advanced form of dance movement, and with so many outlets and platforms to promote their work, a new surge of skating choreographers have the potential to push artistic expectations even higher, and now, thanks to these new opportunities, more efficiently.

Kate McSwain

Photo by Sarah Brannen

Kate McSwain travels to choreograph for competitive skaters, perform in professional ice show productions, and.direct artistic seminars with her business, ‘Sk8tivity.

Get all the latest figure skating news, great articles like this and much more – every day – by following IceSkatingWorld on Facebook.  Twitter @IceSkating

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Gratitude from an Ice Skating Fanatic

Support the Tornado victims at Redcross.com

by Katherine Ruch

In terms of being dedicated to the cause, I have thought about whether or not I’m just really dedicated, slightly nuts, or a happy mix of both? The month of March has held snow, heavy showers and tornadoes around the state of Kentucky. On the day of the Tornado watch while most were running errands and preparing to hunker down, I decided to head to the ice rink like any dedicated crazy person! With an ice rink that is below ground, you can’t be any safer in your basement than at the locker room at the rink! It was a great day to figure skate because there was almost no one there and at it reminded me of what is really important. My friends and family were all safe and I get the gift of doing what I love pretty much every day. Crazy or not, I sure did feel lucky that day.

The month of March holds not just a Competition for me but also a Moves in the Field Test! The competition is going to be interesting simply because I have been putting so much of my effort into this test! It can’t possibly be a good sign that I can count the number of times I have done my program during the last two weeks on both hands! The competition happens to be the weekend after the test so maybe after a breathe a very short sigh of relief I can put all my focus into that!

I know that regardless of how the test pans out, I will be able to say that I put all the preparation into it that I possibly could. I have literally gone through each of the moves countless times, especially those darn Brackets! I’m even thinking about the test while I’m trying to sleep! With a little less than a week before the test, I have devised some goals of my own!
1. Regardless of how the test goes, I will keep skating and giving it my all!

2. Keep smiling regardless. Maybe the judges will be so disturbed they won’t notice what my feet are doing!

3. Remember to Breathe. It wouldn’t be so very funny to pass out in the middle of the test!

Above all, I think I need to remember why I love this sport so very much and reflect on how lucky I am that I get to be a part of it! Already crossing my fingers though!

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Welcome Back to Figure Skating

by Marta Nilsen

Ann Margreth-Frei ice skating coachDid you take ice skating lessons when you were younger? Maybe you stopped because of financial resons, or possibly logistics.  Whatever the reason, you never realized your aspirations . You are among thousands of adults wanting to return to your childhood passion, figure skating. You now have the time and financial capability to explore activities that you always wanted to when you were a kid.

Welcome back to figure skating!

As a figure skating coach I embrace adults who want to get re-introduced to the sport. Let me assure you that you are a welcome change from ice skating classes full of six year olds! You are interested in learning, enthusiastic and willing to try. Come on into the ice rink and try group or private lessons. Most rinks offer adult classes, which I recommend as a great place to start. If you want a more personalized approach, look for a private figure skating coach.

It’s never too late to learn! See you on the ice.

Marta Nilsen is a PSA Master-rated coach teaching at the Tampa Bay Figure Skating Academy (TBSA)

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Common Sense and Fun Approaches to Teaching Basic Skills

by Rebecca Nagle

Snowplow 1, 2 & 3 or learn-to-skaters can be very playful with a creative coaching mind. As we all know, attention spans are very short and the best solution is to keep their feet moving and their minds off how tired they are becoming. Games such as Hokey Pokey incorporating snowplows and two foot hops are terrific exercises.

Group skating lessonsGather your group in a circle and begin singing “you push your right foot in, you push your right foot out…”, and let them shake their foot all about; end the verse with a two foot hop and you’re on to the other side! A full snowplow into the circle and back skating out completes the last verse of the song and you’ve just started developing their balance and snowplows as well as a lasting desire to come again next week.

Four and five year olds love to pretend so introduce silly ideas. Pretending to have animal parades by using forward and backward swizzles along with one foot glides keeps the class moving and imaginative. Koosh balls are a great trick for the extremely timid two, three or four year old skater. Toss the soft waterproof balls out of their reach and your little skaters will have fun trying to bend down and scoop them up. This is a great way to give your beginner students the confidence and falling practice they need.

Kids love stickers. Besides being used as a reward method, they can be used to demonstrate many a point to a basic skills skater. Place a sticker on the inside of their skate (usually the inside toe area) and tell them to squeeze the sticker when trying two foot glides (forward or backward). This works well with scullies also.

Other game suggestions that work well on the ice are Red Light, Green Light for forward or backward snowplows; Simon Says or singing “If you’re happy and you know it do a…” incorporating any basic skills move being learned. Remember, little people want to have fun yet need to learn.

Basic 1-6 levels or the non-jumpers, depending on your program structure, are the levels where skaters learn their basic turns, edges and crossovers-the vitals of skating! How to accomplish such a task and stay interesting requires a technically creative mind over silliness. Permanent markers, skateguards and the boards can be tools used to demonstrate.

Drawing with waterproof markers on the ice gives the children a very descript visual. A rocking horse is challenging to trace. Three or four small circles drawn for a group of ten gives the skaters the spacing they need (2-3 per circle) to practice an outside/inside edge, three turns or Mohawks.

While attempting backward one foot glides hold a skateguard in front of the torso in two hands. Have the skater think of bringing their knee up to the guard from the two foot glide position.

Another exercise that the kids enjoy is balancing a pencil or water bottle on your clipboard. Use this trick for outer swing rolls, forward edges or one foot glides. See who can go the farthest down the ice without spilling!

The boards are a terrific way to teach the bend and stretch feel of pumps. For example, have the group line up with their right side against the boards. Press right hip and ankle against the boards. Stretch right hand back and left in front. Have the Beginner skater bend their right knee over their skate while pressing their hip and ankle against the boards. Extend the left leg out to the side while bending. Repeat several times and then transfer to a circle. This should keep the skaters from doing scullies and produce real pumps instead.

Relay races incorporating two foot turns, hockey stops, t-stops, one foot glides, Mohawks and slaloms are a great way to end a group and develop strong skating.

Low level freestylers ready for spins and jumps can either be over anxious or timid in the beginning. Some commence Moves in the Field at this time and some a basic figure program. There are many creative teaching tricks at this level that can keep skating fun.

Balancing quarters on top of the hands, placing a mitten on top of the head or stickers on the palms of the hands help control those fly away arms or the leaning over of the upper torso.

Stickers again can be used for scratch spins. Place a sticker on the outer heel of the free toot in the spin. When bringing the free foot across on the scratch spin have the skater place the sticker on the outside part of the knee of the spinning leg and slide the sticker down the outside of the leg to the tight crossed position.

Airturns on the ice right from the start of the waltz jump or a half flip jump is a terrific way to get kids to lose their fear of leaving the ice (jumping). Start with simply rising up to the toes and down in conjunction with the proper arm positions. Have the group pair up and face each other while doing this. Then do a few two foot jumps with no turns. As the comfort and ability level increases so should the airturn. Begin to do a 1/2 turn with 8 repetitions and so on. A group of ten can accomplish this exercise easily.

When introducing a sit spin have each skater put a glove/mitten in the hand of the free side of the spin. After entry the skater will take the glove and place it between their knees and have the arms extend to the sides. They need to spin three times around holding the glove with their knees. They will be in a semi-sit position. This exercise is simply to have the skater understand the closing of the inner thighs and to not lean way over with their back in the spin. It is a very challenging exercise but once again great for a group of ten skaters learning sit spins.

Music, as we know, is very much a part of skating. Singing, humming or playing a variety of music can help develop rhythms or flow at this level. Back edges or the waltz eight to waltz music slows the child down and aids in the counting. Split jumps or flips to rap gets them motivated to jump high! Seasonal music once in a while, such as a scary tape at Halloween or holiday music, can uplift the attitude of a group class lesson.

At low level freestyle introduce the stopwatch which will be ever so present in their skating career. Time the skater going into their waltz-toe loop jump and have them beat their time the next skate around.

The advanced groups have fun with an introduction to hydro-blading. Use this to strengthen their muscles for the up and down motion of a sit spin or develop a better understanding of lean into the circle for crossovers, spirals or the tightening of an outer edge into a spin. Have the group challenge each other to see who can hydro blade the longest.

For additional ideas refer to the Creative Teaching Section in the PSA Coaches Manual.

Reprinted with premission from :

The Professional Skater Magazine
May / June 1997 - pp. 13 – 14.
©1997 by Professional Skaters Association

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Following My Own Instructions: A Plan for this Skating Season.

By Katherine Ruch

Fall is in the air. I make this statement for a whole variety of reasons. The kids are back in school, the school supplies have been bought, Labor Day has come and gone and, most importantly, the ice rink has already been open this season for a few weeks!! While it was closed, it sure seems like I did my fair share of driving to other rinks, complaining about how I missed skating as well as plotting my return.

Looking back on it, is seems that summer flew by faster than ever this year. As the skating year gets off to a fresh start, I must begin to consider where I’m trying to go with skating this year. How in the world do I expect to get anywhere if I don’t put some thought into where it is that I’m trying to go? It would be somewhat like taking a trip without knowing where you were going or having directions.

What is your plan for this skating season?

I’m finding it slightly comical that I told my students they had to make a list of goals they would like to accomplish this year, while I am having trouble making myself do the same thing. I know the rules – you want to make goals that are short and long term and for all areas of your skating.

In terms of this year, I’m having trouble because what I have come up with so far has either been too vague or too pie in the sky. Goals that are too vague include: improving my jumps and spins. What does that really look like? In terms of pie in the sky: landing that elusive Axel seems to come to mind. It really doesn’t get more pie in the sky than wanting to land an Axel before the Mayan calendar runs out in 2012 if I haven’t even started seriously working on it!

So, down to brass tacks! Here are some legit goals for the year and the future:

  1. Find a few competitions to go to this year for myself, and pick a couple to take my students to. I think it may be best to coach at a couple and compete at a couple. I get nervous enough for myself and my students, that combining the two doesn’t seem like a great plan.
  2. Work on the Gold Moves so that I can hopefully at least test them at the end of this skating year. The keyword here is “test” not complete. Although, it would be delightful to pass them the first time!
  3. Finish the Bronze Dances this year- Hickory Hoedown down, the Willow and the Ten Fox still to go.
  4. Improve jump height on all singles and eventually land that darn Axel.
  5. Improve spin positions on sit spin and camel, learn layback and flying camel. Place the emphasis on eventually for that flying camel
  6. Move towards my goal of only teaching Moves in the Field. I’ve discovered this has to be my niche. I love the technical side of skating!!

Now the question goes to you! What would you like to accomplish during this skating year?

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