San Diego Figure Skating Communications
a non-profit educational organization
Approaches To Training
There isn't just one "Right" way to acquire information and skills
For some purposes, creating linear and relatively large complex training modules is the appropriate choice, However, it is also possible to organize the information in ways that increases the opportunities for accessing associated groups of "learning nuggets". This concept allows the learner to explore at their own pace, fosters interaction, discussion, collaboration, networking, and participation.
Learning involves the teacher or presenter establishing common ground, understand the differing motives for learning, and to form learning groups who share their objectives, expectations, and their main ideas about the discussion content. The real world objective of presenting the information should be to faciliate learners in linking up and networking to obtain feedback and reactions of others in their peer group/circle of friends.
Even in a competitive world for better grades in school, advancement in a job, or winning sports competitions, training should provide opportunities for the learners to network, discuss, and collaborate. The training should be relevant to managing life challenges and opportunities that exist outside of sports circles.
High quality training is memorable and unique because it provides the tools to discuss relevant information threads that surround key learning objectives. This provides an opportunity for learners to ask questions, debate ideas, and share insights that makes their participation in training more effective.
There is no reason why learning should start and stop at designated periods of our lives. Acquiring knowledge should continue each and every day from the cradle to the grave. It is a valuable human trait to listen, observe, assimilate, analyze, and act on information. Some individuals filter such information through preconceived ideas that preclude an objective analysis. Too many minds are automatically closed to the possibilities that there are multiple ways to view the world.
Trainers need to present information representing differing viewpoints and perspectives and that the learners can adapt and apply to their needs and learning styles. Sometimes there is a directive that outlines the information and how it will be presented. The trainer/presenter must be clear on what the primary purpose is in conducting the training. Failure to be in agreement with the individual or group who is hiring you can cause the audience to be pleased, but the group hiring you become very distressed!
Systematic, formal training
This method includes careful assessments and attention to determining training goals, designing and building methods and materials that are directly aligned (and often pre tested) to achieve the goals, implementing training, and careful evaluation to ensure that training is carried out effectively and that training goals were reached. In systematic, formal training, each phase of the process produces results directly needed by the next phase.
A systematic approach to training requires considerable time and energy to analyze what is expected from the learner to accomplish stated objectives, and defining the training and development approaches that are needed to accomplish accomplish those results.
An important part of a systematic approach is incorporating evaluation techniques before, during and after training to determine is there was a benefit from the training in terms of measurable results.
Instructional Systems Design (ISD)
A formal approach to training requires the training goals to be carefully determined through the use of:
Students regularly study subjects such as science, language and mathematics that are taught in courses scheduled to last half or the full school year. Students progress through the subjects in a time based structure. The teacher is expected to have covered a specific amount of course material (course content) by the completion of the semester or school year.
The traditional, time based approaches to education have proven to be an ineffective system when the goal is to train individuals to perform specific, job related skills.
The problem is that students usually do not progress at the same rate; however, the teacher is required to move to the next class lesson despite the fact than a percentage of the students have not acquired a basic understanding of the material. Typically the child who doesn't acquire the information quickly enough will be left behind.
Currently the big thing is education and politics is "no child left behind", Tests are administered periodically to determine if the students understand the concepts and principles. Test scores often are compared to determine the grades of the students. Unfortunately, by the time a student does not do well on a test, valuable corrective time has been lost. The time for intervention must occur earlier to allow time for corrective assistance from a tutor or small study groups. Requiring a "one size fits all solution" forces the teacher move on in order to adhere to the established schedule of class lessons.
Both the Ice skating Institute (ISI) and the United States Figure Skating Association (USFS) have developed instructional plans for "Learn to Skate" group classes and workshops for recreational skaters who are in transition to become full members in the USFS tests and for qualifying and non-qualifying competition events.
As skaters become more proficient in developing their skating skills, the challenge of testing and competing leads ultimately to taking private lessons and practicing on special sessions for dance, free skating, MITF, synchronized skating, and Theater on Ice.
Skaters need to develop fundamental skating skills - forward and backward edges, one and two foot turns, stroking, etc. prior to exclusively concentrating on any one figure skating discipline.
Most skaters generally want to learn how to jump and spin once they have acquired the basic skating skills. Attempting to free skate - jump and spin - without being able to skate solid edges with full control is possible; however, this may result in acquiring serious technical errors that must be corrected a some later date. Rushing to learn skills can be a huge waste of time, energy, and money compared to taking the time to learn and master the proper technique the first time.
There seems to be a sense of urgency in parents and some coaches, that skaters must achieve a high performance level of multi-revolution jumps, advanced levels of spins, step sequences, and extreme flexibility by the age (12 and under) to qualify for juvenile free skating events.
Unlike public school, skaters start at various ages and the level of their training is highly variable. This makes it impossible to have a standardized national performance norm as used in the K through 12 public education system (math, english, spelling, etc.) in which attendance is required and the instruction is free.
The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:
All materials are copy protected.
The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.