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  Training Program
No Test through Pre-Juvenile Events


The typical  time of year to start learning a winter sport typically was when the show started falling
      This changed dramatically with the advances of refrigeration and dehumidification equipment that allow ice skating facilities to operate year round even in the hot and humid climates.

      Beginning skaters may enter a group class learn to skate program at any time of the year; however, in most cases the bulk of skaters begin in late fall and winter. They may take a class and practice once or twice between lessons.

      After the initial series of group lessons, most skaters will enroll in an additional series of group classes. Skaters are socially promoted to help in maintaining their interest with the goal of enrolling in additional classes. Many rinks sponsor a series of advanced classes during the school summer vacation. The classes generally meet two or three times a week to foster an dramatic increase in skating skills that would prepare the skaters in transition from group to private lessons, testing, and competitions hosted by the ISI and/or USFS Basic Skills.

      Early morning sessions generally attract dedicated skaters seeking ice time before school starts. After an enhanced schedule of practice sessions and lessons during the summer, most skaters will experience a constrained schedule of practice sessions when starting school in late August or early September.

      Usually elementary school age skaters have the latest start in the morning with Middle school or Junior High skaters generally starting an hour earlier than elementary schools. High schools usually have the earliest start around 7:00 to 7:15 am. 

      An early start means students get out of school earlier and may be able to take advantage of public sessions at the rink with light attendance until middle and elementary schools let out.

      No and low test skaters, who have achieved sufficient skill development, may continue practicing in afternoon sessions. A few may elect to practice before school, but may be intimidated by the speed and advanced jumps of the advanced skaters.

Competitions -
      The end of summer usually marks the end of one season and the start of another for skaters who are not qualified to enter the fall qualifying competition events.  Both ISI and USFS Basic Skills programs ramp up their competitions during the summer when parents may combine vacation plans with entering a competition. After Labor Day, the thrust of both groups is starting a new season of group classes.

      Late March and early April usually marks the start of club's hosting open competitions which feature many events for beginning skaters who have not passed any tests through Juvenile test levels. Skaters are generally allowed to skate up an event to allows skaters who have not yet passed the required MITF and free skating test to compete at the level they are practicing.

      To encourage advanced skaters to enter open competitions early in the season, rules usually use the preceding requirements for short and long programs. Usually in June the competitions will start using the new rules that will apply for qualifying events after Sept. 1 of each year.

      The start of each figure skating training year will depend upon they level of the skater and when they complete their final competition. The Synchronized Skating and Adult Championships are usually in late winter.  Deadlines to qualify to enter Synchro events is later in the fall. The adults usually have until early January to pass tests to quality for their events. The National Showcase's Championships occur in the summer with the date depending on the hosting club.  Skaters immediately begin to qualify to enter the next National Showcase after the close of entries for the current season's national championship.

    The number of practice sessions and private lessons vary from beginner to Juvenile test levels:


hours per day Days per week Total hours per week
Weeks per season*
24
26
28
30
32
34
36
38
40
42
44
46
48

No Test
    
.75 to 1

5
3.75 to
90
97.5
105
113
120
128
135
143
150
158
165
173
180
5 120
130
140
150
160
170
180
190
200
210
220
230
240

Pre-Pre
  
1 to 1.5

5
5 to
120
130
140
150
160
170
180
190
200
210
220
230
240
7.5 180
195
210
225
240
255
270
285
300
315
330
345
360

Pre-Juvenile
      
1.5 to 2

5
7.5 to
180
195
210
225
240
255
270
285
300
315
330
345
360
10 240
260
280
300
320
340
360
380
400
420
440
460
480

Juvenile
 
2 to 3

5
10 to
240
260
280
300
320
340
360
380
400
420
440
460
489
15 360
390
420
450
480
510
540
570
600
630
660
690
720

      *Remember there are 10 federal, state, county, and city holidays, and school breaks plus the summer vacation that generally cause rink schedules to change. Don't forget that you family may have activities and trips scheduled which will preclude regular practice sessions. A competition will also affect a skater's normal practice sessions. Families that lack full time custody can especially have a difficult scheduling practices and lessons.

      Coaches generally recommend extra practice sessions and lessons as a test or competition date nears. The chart below reflects the type of training activity for different skill levels.


Basic Training
Stage

Training for Competition
Stage

Training to Win
Stage

Peaking to Win
Stage

Intensity Medium Medium High Very High
Volume High High Medium Medium
Recovery Low Low Medium High

      There is less emphasis on lower level skaters scheduling a rest period for physical, mental, and emotional recovery followed by the preparation of a training plan for next season.

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References:

Course and Lesson Plans:


Resources:

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.


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