ASK THE SKATING PRO

Q. My daughter is turning 6 yrs old and has been figure skating for the past four months. She passed Basic Level 3 skills test. She has a lot of speed, does a good waltz jump and spiral. Her instructor says she has progressed quickly and is ready to compete. Since I have nothing to compare her skill level to, it sounds a little soon to me to talk about competition skating. What do you think?

A. It sounds like your daughter is progressing quickly! Four months does seem a little soon, but realize that it may take several more months to get a program perfected enough to compete with. Most competitions do break down the groups by level and sometimes by age. In other words, she probably won’t be competing against someone with a far superior skill level. Many coaches encourage competitions early to keep students motivated and give them goals to pursue. Frequently, a competition will add new excitement and enthusiasm to skating. Explain to your coach that you want competitions to be an encouraging and a confidence building event. Knowing this, hopefully, they will make sure that your student is prepared before that very 1st competition!

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