San Diego Figure Skating Communications
a non-profit educational organization
There is a Difference Between Test and Competitive Training
People may may have different opinions on this subject. One camp feels it is not necessary to attempt to master the elements as the important issue is to pass the test to "Qualify" for competition. Others view passing ice skating tests as they view passing academic subjects - the tests cover important elements that need to be acquired to do well at the next grade level.
Academic subjects span twelve years (1st through 12th grades) as preparation to enter college. The ice skating tests do not require the same technical levels and performance abilities as is necessary to place in all levels of competitions. However, there is no reason that any test skater should be satisfied with passing a test with the minimum marks by two judges of a three judge panel.
Academics and sports have specific training and competitive dates that may not favor those who are born a few days before the cut off date to qualify to enter a specific grade or sports event, In elementary schools, the delay in starting kindergarten for boys is very helpful in providing the extra time to become better in handling social interactions and developing emotional maturity.
A major problem is that some coaches will take short cuts by not stress the mastery of fundamental edges, forward and backward power stroking in CCW and CW directions, stopping, plus one and two feet turns,
Another concern is that cheated (under rotated) jumps are not just tolerated, but actually encouraged by some coaches who fear they will lose lessons unless they constantly push testing at the next level despite major bad habits of the skater.
Mastering a foundation of essential skills will shorten time necessary to acquire advanced skills
It takes much longer to correct technical errors that have not been learned properly. There are no short cuts in learning how to control the basics - edges, turns, and power stroking.
Jumping skills are predicated on learning how to jump as high as possible from secure edges at full speed and having an upright gyroscopic position in the air that does not wobble. While some skaters prefer to jump rather spin, the ability to perform multi-rotational jumps requires the ability to perform and have controlled exits from fast forward and backward scratch spins.
Skater who lack the flexibility to perform an excellent spiral position will have difficulty performing forward and backward camel spins.
A well rounded skating ability should be the goal of skater and coach. Performance and presentation skills should at the same level to consistently receive high scores in competitions.
Competition is a primary motivation of parents and possibly their children
Competition motivates athletes, parents, and coaches to strive put their full effort into achieving their goals. A beginning skater becomes more comfortable competing when they have increased opportunities to perform.
A practice competition can consist of skating skills or program run-throughs or exhibitions.
Work with your skating club to organize sanctioned events such as:
Coaches should recommend to skaters that they participate in as many exhibitions, critiques, and competitive opportunities as is affordable.
It make good business sense for a coach to have as many skaters, as possible, entered into an open competition considering that traveling and over night stays cause a loss of lessons at their home rink.
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.