Skating Workshops
Hosted by

San Diego Figure Skating Communications
a non-profit educational organization

On-Ice Workshops -
Communicating is the Key to Success

Communicating Information is the "Key" to being successful in any workshop or seminar!

       Informational topics and workshop lesson plans are provided to serve as examples and provide a starting point for USFS clubs, ice rinks, and schools to begin hosting on and off-ice workshops for specific ice skating disciplines designed for Summer Skating Workshops.

       Workshops can be scheduled as individual events, as part of a series of events over several days, or as weekly events that occur over several weeks. The goal should be to provide written support materials, including exercises that can be performed to assist learners in having fun without providing a sense of frustration and reduced self esteem.

Note: A series of sessions is much more effective than one extended length
presentation, even one that has one or two breaks per morning, afternoon,
 and evening session.  Every one has a tolerance to the amount of inform-
ation that can be absorbed as short term memory before it spills over and
is lost. The preserve this information the short term memory must be con-
verted into long term memory during a recovery period.  This process is
similar to the muscle memory conversion that occurs is skill development.

Complex tasks must be broken into the simplest, most basic tasks
       It is extremely important that complex tasks of performing each skill set be broken down into its simplest and most basic action and gradually progressing through the necessary individual steps to accomplish the ultimate goal.

       Gross and fine motor skills vary widely in type and complexity; however, the learning process of acquiring various motor skills is similar. Paul Fitts (1964; Fitts & Posner, 1967) postulates three stages (or phases) of learning:
  • The Cognitive Stage is characterized by a learner trying to figure out what is expected. The considerable cognitive activity typically occurs as a ressult of relatively conscious process. During this phase, learners often experiment with different strategies to discover which ones work or don’t work for them to achieve the desired goal. A step-by-step execution of the skill requires mental concentration with the result that the body movements are relatively slow, jerky, and inefficient which causes the performance to be inconsistent.
  • The Associative Stage is characterized by more subtle body movement adjustments also known as Fine Motor Skills. The outcome of the body movement is more consistent and reliable. Inefficient muscle/nerve response are gradually reduced, and the movement becomes more economical and fluid which takes less physical and mental energy to accomplish. Parts of the movement are becoming controlled automatically by subconscious memory which allows more attention can be directed to other aspects of performance.
  • The Autonomous Stage is characterized by effortless and seamless body motions. The movements are becoming very consistent and reliable, with few or no errors. The movements are very efficient and requires relatively little muscular energy. The skill is performed largely as an automatic process at this stage, and the execution occurs without conscious attention which allows more attention to developing the performance/interpretive aspects of the body movements.
Table 1.1 Stages of Learning

Stages of Learning
Attentional Demands
Movements are slow, inconsistent, and inefficient Large parts of the movement are controlled consciously
Considerable cognitive activity is required  
Associative Movements are more fluid, reliable, and efficient Some parts of the movement are controlled consciously, some automatically
Less cognitive activity is required  
Autonomous (motor) Movements are accurate, consistent, and efficient Movement is largely controlled automatically
Little or no cognitive activity is required  

    It is necessary to design workshop materials that take into consideration the following factors:
  • Learning Processes associated with skill development
  • Variation in processing skills
  • Prior development of necssary basic skills
  • Abilility to stay on task is variable according to age, variable in processing skills, as well as social and emotional maturity
  • Lacking short term memory skills
  • Difficulty in comprehending/understanding abstract concepts
  • Expending too much energy compared to results achieved
Recommended Reading:


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:


Summer Workshops
On Ice

Free Skating
Dance Turns
T of C
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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