Figure Skating
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Evaluation Standards for  Skating Elements

Evaluating Performance against a Standard
      The sport of figure skating has a mental and emotional factor that can not be ignored as a skater attempts to acquire a package of skills to be successful in taking tests and winning competitions.

      It is very helpful to fully understand the judging system and prepare a short term mental strategy to maximize your strengths and minimize areas that are weaker.  In the long term a skater must correct weaknesses as soon as possible. They longer they exist, the more difficult it is to correct a physical and/or mental problem.

Parents and coaches should encourage skaters to strive to be their very best.  Obviously
there are physical and mental factors that affect performance. An enormous factor in
acquiring skating skills is the determination, desire, and focus of the skater which is
reflected in the quality of practice time and consistent high level performance under the
stress of test and competition conditions.

  • Judges assume that the skills for each element will be performed with a minimum of errors for the test level.

  • When seminars or workshop demonstrations are conducted, the skaters demonstrating the element should be an advanced skater who has excellent technical and presentation skills. The goal is to stress the positive attributes that skaters should aspire to achieve, not to establish a minimum passing level that does eliminate problems that inhibit their development and goal of achieving a gold medal in MITF, Free Skating, Pairs, Dancing, or Synchronized Skating!

  • Sometimes demonstrators are available who can also perform possible errors. If an amateur skater is not available, a coach should demonstrate errors in technique.  It is not advisable to ask skaters, who have just passed or who are working on the test, to be a demonstrator as commenting on their performance in a public forum is very personal.

  • Critiquing a skater or couple should be performed in a private conversation between the judge, coach, and skater.

  • Critiques should be scheduled prior to scheduling a test. These sessions generally require 30 minutes for lower test levels and longer for more advanced tests. Critique sheets for each MITF element, free Skating program, or compulsory dance are recommended.

  • The following focus points should be evaluated:

  1. Continuous Power
  2. Core Body Positions
  3. Edge Control
  4. Turn Quality
  5. Pattern, Balanced Ice Coverage
  6. Quickness, Continuous Tempo or Rhythm
  7. Presentation Skills
      The following numerical scoring system makes it easier to convey skill levels:

(-3) Lacks concept of the fundamental technical skills - requires a major effort to understand the basic concepts and physical implementation of the concepts.

(-2) Demonstrated some understanding of the basic concepts, but considerable improvement of the technical (physical) skills is needed.

(-1) Understands the basic concepts, but need minor improvement of the technical (physical) skills.

(✓checkmark or "0") Meets minimum basic skill level.  Is equalivent to a "C" grade in school.

(+1) Demonstrates GOOD skill level and understanding of concepts.  Equivalent to a "B" grade in School.

(+2) Demonstrates VERY GOOD skill level and understanding of concepts.  Equivalent to a "B+" grade in School.

(+3) Demonstrates EXCELLENT skill level and understanding of concepts.  Equivalent to a "A+" grade in School.

Skaters should continue to be evaluated until they feel confident in performing the entire test in front of judges who will be evaluating their progress.
      Practice sessions should stress the skater developing technical and presentation skills, plus strength/endurance to finish the test strong.

      A coaches' evaluations sometimes miss something that can be detected by judges who see the MITF for the first time.  Judges on a test panel are not able to propose solutions to correct a problem they have observed. A critique can provide more opportunities to analyze a skaters performance.

      Evaluation sheets should be used that reflect the “Focus” of each skater's short and long term training plan.  A record of the marks that reflect the individual strengths and weaknesses for specific elements allow a check on progress based on establishing a bench mark of skills.

The mission of U.S. Figure Skating is to provide programs to encourage
participation and achievement in the sport of figure skating.



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:

Developing Training Plans for Athletes
Evaluation of Training
Age Training Guidelines
Components of Training Plan
Stages of Acquiring New Skills
Strategies for Training
Strategies for Competing
Fitness Training & Sports
Advanced Training
List Daily Training Tasks
Construction of a Training Plan
Developing An Annual Training Plan
Principles of Global Training
Competitive Training
Starting to Seriously Train
Skating Environment
Peaking Performance
Benefits of Cross Training
Principle of Varying Training
Varying Training Improves Results
Approaches to Training
Approaches to Jump Training
Transference of Knowledge & Skills
Aerobic Activities
Anaerobic Activities
Exercises to Develop Coordination
Off-Ice Activities For Skaters
Fitness and Conditioning
Off-Season Conditioning Activities
Tips for Long Distance Traveling
Mental Barriers to Training & Competing
Mental Considerations for Athletic Training
Mental Considerations of Training
Mental Strategies for Training
Endurance Training Activities
Flexibility Training Activities
Bodyweight Exercise Training
Weight Training Activities
Brian Grasso Articles
Evaluation Assessment

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