Tag Archives: figure

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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Filed under Figure Skating Education, Ice Skating Coaching, IceSkatingWorld.com

Change in the Life of a Figure Skater

By Katherine Ruch

No matter how you slice it, switching coaches is really hard. Don’t get me wrong, I know that change is part of life. I’m almost positive that everyone’s parents have always preached that motto since the beginning of time. I’m pretty positive that people were talking about the fact that change is a part of life before ice skating was ever invented.

Over the course of the eight-plus years that I have been skating, I have taken lessons from a slew of coaches. I am actually struggling to count the number in my head as we speak. I believe the number is approaching ten at this point which I know sounds like a lot. The reason I have had so many coaches you may ask? Before you jump to any conclusions, I promise I’m not THAT hard to work with. The real answer in a single word is CHANGE. During the time that I have been skating, I have graduated high school, moved to a different state for college, started coaching students myself, graduated college, moved back to my home state, etc. The list goes on because a lot can happen in eight years! Coaches I have worked with have also moved, gotten married, as well as both moved after getting married.

I know that changing coaches can be a great decision but that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard. It is a decision that can get a skater out of whatever rut they may be in, help them to learn more challenging skills like that ever elusive Axel or simply propel their skating to new heights in all kinds of ways. For me, I’ve never really had to make the decision to make a change. Change it seems has often forced my hand.

As someone who started skating during High School, I have sometimes been fairly close in age to the people I have taken lessons from which has certainly made for an interesting dynamic. In the past I have had a coach who ended up becoming a friend, another was a friend who I ended up taking lessons from later and yet another who was my coach but ultimately became both a friend and a mentor over the course of time. Recently that coach has moved to a different state and I find myself back at the drawing board once more. She was someone who I knew would help me be a better skater, a better coach and ultimately a better person. How do you fill the void of someone who helped to guide you for over five years? I almost feel as if my left arm is missing.

While I wait for the rink to reopen, it’s down to thirteen days but clearly I’m not counting, I have some decisions to make. What is it that I’m looking for in a coach and are my expectations absurdly unrealistic? Have I been looking for the nonexistent “perfect” coach when I should have just been looking for the person who I feel like I can learn the most from? I have often heard the quote “When one door closes, another opens.” It would be futile to remain in the past and spend time focusing on what I have lost when I can instead spend time focusing on the opportunities that are coming. Confucius did say that “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

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Ice Skating Books & DVDs

Check out a complete list of ice skating-related books, dvds and more in our Associates Store.

Also, don’t miss our recommended movie “Soul Surfer,” available in DVD or Blue Ray. Thanks for looking and happy skating!

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Ask the Skating Pro: What is the difference between a Mohawk and a Choctaw?

Q. What is the difference between a Mohawk and a Choctaw?

A. When doing a Mohawk you remain on the same edge after the change of feet and continue to travel on the same circle after the change. When doing a Choctaw you change edge when changing feet. For example, if you go into the turn on the outside edge, you exit on the inside edge, and change lobe or circle when turning.

IceSkatingWorld.com

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Summer and the Closing of an Ice Rink

By Katherine Ruch

I would be the first to admit that I have a love hate relationship with ice skating. It really seems to depend on the time of year. Summer means a bunch of different things to different people. Most associate the summer with the kids being out of school, family vacations and rising temperatures. Lots of people enjoy the slower pace of summer while others are counting down the days till the kids go back to school so that things can go back to life as “usual.” I hate to admit it, but I am one of those people. It’s not that I have anything against summer, it really just says more about the fact that my life pretty much revolves around ice skating.

 

The concept of summer has changed a great deal for me since I was a kid. I used to long for the day when I could have a couple months off without having to worry about school. I could do all the things I dreamed of doing and had what seemed like endless stretches of time to fit it all in. Ever since I became involved with ice skating, I have begun to associate the climbing temperatures with the annual season closing of the rink.

 

Everyone knows that you always want what you can’t have. I find that a great majority of my time during the summer is taken up by skating and yes I know that sounds hypocritical since I just mentioned the fact that the rink is closed. While I’m not spending hours on the ice each day during the summer months, that doesn’t stop me from thinking about skating almost all of the time, even while I’m asleep.

 

While I am working at that pesky part time job, I can also be found figuring out the logistics of what it looks like to keep skating during the summer. The questions that often swirl in my head involve: “where to go skating next and when? Who can I talk into taking a few lessons during the summer? Are there any conferences, seminars and competitions that I want to go to either for my own skating or to help with my coaching endeavors?” The most looming question of all has been “what possessed me to want to enter a competition during the off season and how am I ever going to get in enough practice time?”

 

For those of you whose rinks don’t close during the summer, consider yourself very lucky. It is quite common when the pools open for ice rinks to just close up shop for awhile. Most don’t want to go skating when they can go to the pool. If your rink is open, try to get in as much practice time as you can this summer. If your rink is not open, don’t let that discourage you. If you are a skater, talk to the other skaters or your coach about carpooling somewhere to get some ice time in. If you are a coach, round up those students and take trips to other rinks. As somebody who has skated at lots of other rinks over a number of years, it is not nearly as scary as it may seem to go skate somewhere else for a couple of hours. While each rink has its own set of unwritten rules, one thing holds true and that is that there are people everywhere who love skating. That is something that will hopefully never change!

 

@IceSkatingWorld

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5 Ways to Make Better Progress this Season

by Marta Nilsen, PSA Master-rated coach

Here are five steps for improving your figure skating and making better progress during the upcoming 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.

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 set for your skating.

5) Set 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 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.

Best of luck this ice skating season!

www.iceskatingworld.com

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Figure Skater Joannie Rochette – Olympic Courage Despite Tragic Loss

by Phyllis Goldberg, PHD

Just hours after learning that her mother had died of a sudden massive heart attack, Canadian figure skater Joannie Rochette was back on the ice. One of the favorites to win an Olympic medal, she practiced her jumps over and over again while her father watched with tears in his eyes.

Joannie’s fellow athletes concurred that she was doing the right thing by staying in the competition. They spoke about her inner strength, remarkable courage and determined attitude. Fans around the world appreciated that, with a heavy heart, she was facing the most difficult skates of her life. If, like Joannie Rochette, you are in shock or have been numbed by an unexpected loss, what follows are some tips that may help you begin to turn your upside down world right again:

1. Take control of what is within your reach. Joannie had the drive to win for her mom. She kept herself emotionally insulated, and the fact that she is a superior athlete helped her succeed. You, too, can keep going, no matter how hard it is. Identify your strengths and make them work for you. And have the wisdom to know the difference between what you can manage and what you cannot.

2. Relish the support that comes from those who care about you. Joannie’s loss resonated for athletes and fans alike. And everyone in the Pacific Coliseum was cheering her on. She said that all the love and support made it easier to give her best. Recognize that family and friends want to see you succeed and will be there to help sustain you. You can also find comfort in your spiritual community, a therapist or a bereavement group. You do not have to do it all alone – make the decision to ask for help whenever you need it.

3. Face your uncertainty with the best attitude you can muster. Despite the unthinkable, Joannie still maintained a single-minded focus in the skating competition. And now she will be able to grieve her loss. You cannot change what has happened but you can have some control over the way you handle it. Of course, you may be feeling angry, sad or afraid of what is to come. Be aware that your reactions are normal and common. And try to face them directly as you work through your feelings.

4. Make a public commitment to those who want to see you do well. Joannie’s exquisite performances, and the standing ovations, said it all. You can tell others about your intentions and create a strong reality that will motivate you. The initial goal is to uncover the courage to begin. Re-establish routine in your life, both at work and with family. Set new long range goals and short term objectives. Enlist your staying power. Your positive experiences will give you the incentive to continue. Although there may be stumbling blocks along the way, never give up.

5. Listen to others but primarily rely on your own instincts. Joannie believed in what she was doing and concentrated on the competition. She felt that she was where she belonged. That’s what her mother would have wanted her to do. What is familiar can be calming – have faith in what you are doing to heal. Realize your hidden internal strength as you trust yourself and look inside for answers. Emotional discomfort can be an opportunity and serve as an invitation to grow.

6. Increase your capacity to be resilient. It must have been extremely difficult for Joannie to maintain her composure and grace under these circumstances. Just as she has, take it one day at a time. Begin to develop strategies to manage stress and release tension. And you can call on your faith or spirituality Step by step, you will be able to turn your hopes and dreams into reality.

In both programs, with not much sleep or energy, Joannie hit the ice with determination. She proceeded to skate what turned out to be her personal best during the most trying time of her life. She felt as if her mother was there helping her. Skating through her emotional pain, she won the bronze medal. Joannie was stunning on the podium – responding to the cheers of the crowd, smiling as she wiped away the tears. Hers was a symbol of a poignant victory, and she touched the emotions of people across the globe.

In the news conference, Joannie repeated that her mother was her greatest fan and her death a monumental loss. Just like for her, you may feel that you are standing alone on the biggest stage you have ever been on, carrying the weight of losing your very foundation. But you too can get back on the ice and skate like you never have before.

© 2010, Her Mentor Center

Phyllis Goldberg, Ph.D is the founder of http://HerMentorCenter.com, a website for midlife women and http://NourishingRelationships.blogspot.com, a blog for the Sandwich Generation. She publishes a complimentary monthly newsletter and is the author of a forthcoming book about family relationships. As a psychotherapist, she has over 25 years of private practice experience.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Phyllis_Goldberg,_Ph.D.

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Ice Skating – Taking Up the Sport After Winter Olympics Inspiration

by Martha Dickinson

Feeling inspired by the excitement of the Winter Olympics? Many people have been entranced by the grace and physicality of Ice Skating after watching the sport unfold during the Winter Olympics, and are looking into taking up the sport themselves. This is a great idea, as Ice Skating can have very positive physical results as well as being a ton of fun, but there are things to keep in mind when you set about starting to go Ice Skating.

First up, you will need to be sure you have the right skates and safety equipment. Will you require any special pads when you start skating? Check out the various dedicated ice skating websites and blogs that are easy to find online for advice on how best to start out.

Once you have the gear to get started with, the next phase is to take some lessons by a certified and experienced skating tutor. The first things you need to be taught are safety issues, how to stay upright, how to fall if you have an accident, and other essential matters that you need to be familiar with.

Once these issues are ingrained in your mind you can move onto the basics of the skating sport and then onto greater moves as your experience and confidence builds. You may not be able to pull off the graceful moves of your Olympic heroes, but soon you will have the basics mastered and be able to see just what you are capable of, while becoming fitter and healthier due to the powerful workout that this kind of skating can give the body.

It’s a great sport to share with friends, so how about you ask around and see if anyone else you know would like to join in? To a beginner, skating on ice can seem daunting, but by finding good ice skating rinks and tutors, and with the right gear, you can start ice skating with confidence.

Martha is a health, exercise and lifestyle expert who loves to help people discover more about life and what it can offer. Are you feeling inspired by the Olympics? Check out more information online!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Martha_Dickinson

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How to Dress for Ice Skating

by Ryan English

If you are just an average ice skater and you only skate for fun, probably any type of clothing will good enough as long as it will keep you warm. But for professional ice skaters, dressing appropriately is very important. It is included in the whole package of being an ice skater. Sometimes, one still has to consult the experts on how to dress for ice skating. Below are the steps on how to properly dress for ice skating:

If you are dressing competitively, you need to consult a seamstress for your competitions. They will customize the dress with the perfect cut, color and fabric that will suit you best. You cannot just buy dresses like these from the stores because they are not perfectly fitted to your body. it needs to have the exact size of your body shape.

You also need to sharpen your blades right before the competition. There are blade sharpeners that you can buy. Having a sharp-bladed skate will ensure that you movements on the ice will have less friction. It will allow you to move faster in a more precise manner.

Next step is to buy top-quality tights for ice skating. Thicker tights are best for use because they will keep you warm while on the ice. Ice skaters need to be exposed with such cold temperatures because of the area they are skating but they cannot wear pants. With thick tights, it will give them the warmth they need to avoid cramps with the cold.

Women ice skaters usually have skating dresses and leggings while the men wear fitted tops and leggings as well.

For the casual ice skating, the only important thing is to cover the limbs so that it will be warm enough while they skate. If in case they fall off the ice, they have pretty warm clothes to cover them.

It is also important to layer clothes before hitting the rink. You don’t need to wear such thick winter clothing because you will eventually get warm as you skate. Just layer your clothes so that if you stop skating, you can tolerate the chill.

The hair needs to be tied back. This will enable you to stay focus on the ice without being distracted by your waving hair.

Gloves are also good for the ice. It will keep your hands warm while you skate.

No matter how you dress when you are going for casual skating will be fine. As long as it is going to be warm enough for you and that you will be able to skate properly. It is actually better than of the professional skating dresses. They actually feel really cold while skating and still have to manage to skate well on the ice.

If you dress for ice skating, safety, warmth and being able to skate correctly is the most important.

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Ice Skating Tips For Figure Skaters

by Francis Murphy

While some novice ice skaters decided to learn ice skating all by themselves which are possible, it is actually recommended to get some professional skating lessons if possible. There are many advantages of taking these lessons and it is not hard to find a skating rink which is near to your home.

Here are what we can share on Ice skating tips:

a. How to fall: Falling is unavoidable especially for new learners in ice skating but falling can be risky at the same time. Thus it is valuable to learn how to minimize the risk of injury when falling. Some good tips would be to wear ice skating protective gear set such as helmet, wrist, elbow, knee and hips pads to minimize the impact of the injury.

b. Getting professional guidance on ice skating if you are a beginner is the most important tips of all. This is the only way where the beginner can learn how to fall without injuring himself, how to stand still and how to skate properly.

c. If you are skating outside the ring, making sure that the ice is thick enough to support your weight is some basic pre-skating checking to safe-guard your safety.

d. Learning how to make an abrupt stop swiftly is one of the key tips for every ice skater – this is called the Hockey Stop. Then there are T-Stop, Snowplow Stop, and also backward T-Stop and other kinds of stopping tips which one gets to learn to be a good ice skater.

e. Wear warm, comfortable clothing and appropriate socks made of microfiber or synthetic are the best for ice skating. Keep in mind that the rink’s temperature is 50-60 degrees, therefore a light jacket, sweater, windbreaker is advisable. Get some gloves or mitten made of wool or acrylic type is best.

f. It is important to make sure you tie your ice skates the correct way. It is best to tie your skates fairly loose at the bottom part. In the middle part of the skate, where the ankle is, it is good to pull the laces tight. This will give the support that your ankles need to hold you up while you are skating. And at the very top part of the skates, it should be the loosest part so that it will be easier for you to bend your knees which is very important in ice skating.

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