The Learning Process
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General Physical Training Principles

Established Training Principles  
        Every highly trained individual who excels in a specific sport after accumulation of many years of extensive physical and psychological training. 

        Training is a process of repetitive exercising that is designed to increase the level of the athlete's skills and body strength in increments. Training involves learning new skills and modifying old skills with the goal of ultimately improving and optimizing the physical performance.

        A critical component necessary to improve athletic performance is to develop a comprehensive and well organized system of training. Whomever designs the training program must understand and support training phases that are structured and sports specific to enhance the athlete's energy requirements of the sport.

       Technique is considered to be critical in the sport of figure skating because of their complex nature. Strength and flexibility are tools that allow skaters to respond well to training. However, the fatigue factor requires muscles to rest and recover as part of the training, plan.

       Training is a form of stressing the body, which causes it to adapt and respond to future demands at a higher performance threshold. If the stress of training is consistently and correctly applied, the body will adapt in a positive way. Improperly and/or inconsistently applying stress will cause the body to either not adapt or adapt negatively.

        Successful coaches prescribe drills that are based on the following commonly accepted Principles of
  • Progressive Overload manipulates the training load by combining intensity and volume. Increasing either over time produces adaptation to the specific exercise activity promoting physiological improvement. Volume and intensity are mutually exclusive as it is not possible to pursue both simultaneously.
  • Specificity of any sport, including figure skating, places specific demands on the body:
    • Specific patterns of joint and muscle co-ordination.
    • Specific adaptation of the cardiovascular system to the activity with little or no crossover benefits to other sports
    • Targeting a particular muscle for training to perform a specific activity does not generalize to all muscle fibers.
  • Variability in the sport figure skating is exhibited by the proficiency in the variety of movements by those in the sport seeking to increase their agility and over-all co-ordination. Advances in sports medicine have helped reduce the risk of injury and forms the foundation for the continuing the expanded artistic expression in the sport.
  • Individual Differences exist between individuals exposed to an equivalent training program. Progress will occur at different rates and levels achieved will vary because of genetic differences.
  • Reversibility is the body naturally de-conditioning when training ceases. This process can occur rapidly when skaters stop training and pushing their body to achieve higher perform- ance levels.

        It is very important that coaches base their training programs on well established training principles when developing their training program. These generally agreed upon guidelines can consistently be successfully applied to all sports, including skaters.

       The following information summarizes the best recommendations from the sport scientists and generalizations good coaching practices that have evolved in the sport of figure skating.

       It is advisable consider these principles as a collective body of data and not rigidity apply them them to figure skating. Experience and good judgment are essential in order to optimize the on-ice training and maximize the benefits of off-ice exercise guidelines.

       The three commonly used training principles are based on exercise physiology:

  • Specificity
  • Overload
  • Recovery

       Exercise physiology is the study of the effects of exercise on the human body. Unfortunately the principles are sometimes misapplied in sports. It is essential that coaches understand how these principles operate in sports practice and competitions.

       While it is important to know how to use these principles, skill learning, movement mechanics, and other areas that strengthen sports performance must be integrated into the training programs of athletes at their respective levels of competition. See Mental Training and Sport Biomechanics.

Training Principles
        Training Principles for ice skating include:

The Balanced Principle is a broadly applied principle that concerns achieving the right proportions of training activities.

The Individualization Principle  concerns adjustments in training based on needs of individual athletes.

Overload Principle provides guidance about training intensity and progression.

The Recovery Principle concerns rest and recovery between training bouts.

The Reversibility Principle  provides guidance about detraining when athletes stop working out.

The Specificity Principle dictates how training changes athletes' bodies to prepare for the demands of their sports.

The Transfer Principle provides guidance on how training activities can speed up sport learning and performance in competition.

The Variation Principle provides direction about training cycles that prevent problems such as plateaus and over training effects.

Recommended Reading List:

Skating Workshops

Sample Workshop Registration Application

Principles of Training Athletes

Developing Course Materials


The Law of Counter Force | Team Lovato   April 21, 2011  Counter Force is an important concept in all martial arts such as jiu jitsu, boxing, and muay thai.

PPT Forces & Newton's Laws  The Law of Inertia; The Law of Acceleration; The Law of Force-Counterforce; Normal force, Tension, and friction; The vector nature of forces.

PDF Chapter 4  This chapter is about Newton's Three Laws.

The History and Philosophy of Astronomy Lecture 14: Isaac Newton July 27, 2010  Founding Father of Physics. Book 1: Basic Laws. Newton's 3rd Law of Motion: Force = Counter-force.

Training Plan for Success

Program Development

Training Principles

Mental Training:

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:

Sports Seminars
On-Line Seminars
Seminar Ideas
Off-Ice Seminars
Enhancing Endurance Training
Enhancing Coordination
Basic Skating Skills Courses
Video Clips of Basic Skating Skills
PDF  Weekly Off-Ice Workouts

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.

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