Figure Skating
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Principles of Training Athletes

       Each sport has established the criteria that must be present before a coach, instructor, or trainer can add necessary additional layers of skill sets for a prospective athlete to become proficient enough to enter competitive activities in the sport.  Note: Most sports establish both age and minimum skills that are necessary to provide a positive environment that stimulates a love for the sport and a more "balanced" field of skaters in beginning competitive events.

       It is essential that athletes, interested in participating in a prospective action sport, have previously developed a minimum degree of:
  • Balance,
  • Coordination,
  • Quick Twitch Muscle Response,
  • Endurance/Stamina,
  • Communication and Comprehension,
  • Acquisition and Retention - Processing short term memory into long term memory,
  • Socialization (People) Skills,
  • Manageable Athlete's Personal Expectations,
  • Ability to Handle Stress and Disappointment
  • Maximize Consistent Performance Execution while minimizing the occurrence of errors
       Figure Skating is a sport that judges both physical and artistic performances. It also is a sport that requires the athlete to perform choreographed elements set to music. Skaters have a pre season training phase followed a condensed series of competitions to select a junior and senior team the represent the USA in international, world, and Olympic competitions.

       Upon selection to a counties team, there is an even more intensive training period in which the training is designed to peak at actual event of the final competition.

       The experience that is gained by proceeding through the progression of exhibitions and training phases that add additional stress to the athlete. Even experienced athletes can be negatively affected in the days preceding and during a competition with more than one performance that occur over several days. 

       The escalation of stress levels is a major factor in whose performance is actually the best on that specific day and time. Sometimes a winner is actually determined by whose performance contained the fewest errors on any given day.

      The sport of figure skating includes the following disciplines that are organized as non qualifying and qualifying competition events hosted by the United States Figure Skating Association:
Competition Requirements

Free Skating - Singles
Free Skating
Free Skating

Pair Skating

*Ice Dancing
Compulsory dances
Free Dance
Solo Dance
Compulsory dances
Free Dance

Synchronized Team Skating
Compulsory dances

Theater On Ice
No tests
Free Skating

Showcase Artistic & Interpretive Skating    
No tests
Free Skating

Moves In The Field (MITF) MITF No Competitions

School Figures Figure
No Competitions

*Compulsory Dance tests can be performed with a partner and as a solo      

        Each discipline is based on the fundamental ability to skate on controlled, flowing edges, and while  generating continuous and effortless power.  While many sports do not evaluate the form and technique of the athlete, figure skating equally emphasizes the style and grace over the bruit physical endeavors of the athletes.

        Too many beginners share a desire to avoid spending the time necessary to acquire basic/fundamental skating skills before rushing to attempt jumps or spins or pick up a hockey stick and score goals.
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:

Principles of Sports Training:
Principles of Training Athletes
Developing Skills for Figure Skating
Acquiring Sports Skills
Amount of Time to Acquire Sports Skills
Biomechanics of Sports
Balanced Principles For Training
Sports Skills  & Mechanical Techniques
Physical Fitness & Preparedness
Individual Differences
The Overload Principle in Training
Recovering From Training
Principle of Reversibility
Principle of Specificity
Transference of Knowledge & Skills
Training Variation
Psychomotor Domain
Objectives of Psychomotor Goals

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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